Salmon of Knowledge Pewter Beaker

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About this Piece

This exquisite beaker is 6" in height and its capacity is 12 fluid ozs. 

The beaker depicts the legend of Fionn McCumhaill and the Salmon of Knowledge.

The Legend of the Salmon of Knowledge

This ancient tale is one of Ireland's most iconic myths from the Fenian cycle. It tells the story of a young Fionn McCumhaill, who was living and studying with the wise old poet Finnegas on the banks of the river Boyne. Finnegas spent much of his time fishing, hoping to one day catch the legendary salmon of knowledge, which would award worldly knowledge to the first person who ate it. He kept this secret from Fionn however, hoping to obtain this knowledge for himself. One fine day he caught an extraordinarily beautiful silvery fish, and he knew at once this was the fish of legend. Tired from his struggle to catch it, however, he ordered Fionn to cook it for him. While turning the fish over the fire, Fionn touched the skin and burned his finger, bringing it to his mouth to cool it down. When he later served the fish to Finnegas, the latter noticed something new in Fionn's eyes, as if some deep wisdom had taken hold of him...

Thus began the legend of Fionn McCumhaill, who would go on to become the leader of Na Fianna and Ireland's greatest warrior.

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.

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