Decorated Bronze Mounts

2 Oct

While studying abroad in Dublin, Ireland my Irish Culture Studies class and I visited the National Museum of Ireland. While exploring the museum on my own i enjoyed seeing many different artifacts such as various crosses(especially the Cross of Cong), Decorated mounts, and the various types of coins used through out different time periods and different locations. Coins generally interest me the most because i have a hobby of collecting coins wether they be foreign or aged, but while looking through some of the artifacts within the Treasury I came across something that really grabbed my attention. 



This was one of the decorated bronze mounts hung up within a case among many other incredible items from around the eighth and ninth century. I thought that these were very creative pieces because of the little detail on the background of the mount. I also had a great fascination with eyes of the animal head holding the giant ring through its mouth.

These bronze mounts are explained to be pieces most likely used in tombs of someone who had relatively higher power than others. They were used among other things to create a form of shrine within the tomb for the specific deceased. 



The reason these pieces caught my eye was because i’ve only had the pleasure of living in Dublin for about three weeks now, and i’ve realized that most doors that i have seen have had a similar mount on them. I live in the United States where i have seen these things on doors used for knocking a few times, but as i walk around Dublin i see them on almost every door. Right when i saw these in the museum I wondered if the people of Ireland have kept such things for this long without realizing where it had originated, or if it had even originated from these types of artifacts. 

I believe these look identical to what i see on most doors on a daily basis here, and I find it amazing that something so common now could come from a tomb of a person of higher status from the eighth century.





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