Mechanical Pocket Watch with Pewter Ireland/Kells Design
About this Piece
A Pewter/Stainless Steel Mechanical Pocket Watch with Open Face Pewter Design inspired by the artwork of the Book of Kells.
This is a mechanical gent's watch designed to capture that early Victorian look as portrayed by the gentlemen of that time. The watch itself is a manual wind-up and the workings can be seen from both the front face and back of the watch. The chain is 12" in length and has a pocket clip on the end designed to slip on to the cuff of a pocket.
History of the Book of Kells
Also known as the Book of Colum Cille (one of Ireland's patron saints), the Book of Kells is one of Ireland's greatest and oldest tourist attractions. Created around 800 AD, it contains an illuminated manuscript of the Gospels. It remains one of the greatest examples of insular art (from 'insula', the Latin for 'island'), which combines Christian and Celtic design. The calligraphy and stylized illustrations feature Biblical figures as well as mythical beasts from local folklore. It was a masterful undertaking at the time, containing 340 pages of quality calf vellum, while the inks were imported from far-off lands. However it was never fully finished - it may have been put into hiding instead due to the threat of Viking raids.
Its name comes from the Abbey of Kells in County Meath, though it was originally produced on the island of Iona off the coast of Scotland. Today it resides at Trinity College, Dublin.
About the Maker
In 1974, Paddy Collins revived the ancient craft of pewter manufacturing in Ireland, establishing his workshop in Mullingar, County Westmeath. Pewter has existed since ancient Egyptian and Roman times (as an alloy of tin mixed mainly with copper and antimony), and came to Ireland 800 years ago, becoming fashionable among the wealthy and for ceremonial purposes. Mullingar Pewter combines traditional handcrafted techniques that take many years to perfect, along with modern advances (modern pewter no longer contains lead, for instance), producing wonderful heritage gifts.