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with the highest veneration, and were used for a variety of superstitious purposes, such as healing the sick, procuring victory in battle, and the solemnising of oaths. The relics of the saints of the fifth, sixth, and seventh centuries were enclosed in costiy metal shrines, generally a few hundred years after the death of the saint, and an hereditary keeper was appointed to be responsible for the safety of the relics when borrowed for effecting cures and other purposes. The shrines and their contents were thus handed down from generation to generation, and in most cases sold by their last hereditary keepers to collectors of antiquities, from whom ^hey were acquired by the national museums of England, Scotland, and Ireland. Tht relics still bear the names of the saints to whom they originally belonged ; the names of their hereditary keepers are well known, and they have been obtained from the localises where the saint founded his church, and where the relics remained for centuries afterwards undisturbed. No class of antiquities, therefore, possesses a better record or a more satisfactory pedigree.

The Irish and Scottish hell-shrines which have been enumerated are cases of metal of the same shape as the bell they contain, having four sloping sides and an arched top. The sides are usually made of bronze plates ornamented with gold, silver, enamel, and settings of crystal and precious stones. Two features which are characteristic of the ornamental bronze bells are repeated in the shrines, namely, the zoomorphic terminations of the handles and the cross on the body of the bell. In the two Scottish bell-shrines the Crucifixion takes the place of the Cross. The ornament on the bell-shrines is much further removed in style from that of the illuminated MSS. than is the case with the sculptured stones. This is only what might be expected, considering the late date of the bell-shrines as compared with that of the crosses. On two of the bell-shrines Scandinavian influence may be clearly detected in the ornament upon them. Thus on the Shrine of the Bell of St. Patrick's Will the pear-shaped eyes of the beast's heads on each side of the arched top are placed with the point outwards in the Scandinavian fashion ; and on the Shrine of the Bell of St. Mura the "tendril pattern," which is so common on the Rune-inscribed monuments of the Isle of Man, may be noticed.

The dates of three of the bell-shrines have been ascertained by means of the inscriptions upon them, namely, Mae'.brigde's Bell-shrine, circa a.o. 954; the Shrine of the Bell of St. Patrick's Will, a.d. 1091 to 1105; and the Guthrie Bell-shrine, 14th century. Judging merely from the style of the ornament, the Shrine of the Bell of St. Culanus should be of the twelfth century, and the .Shrines of the Bell of St. Mura and of Kilmichael Glassary perhaps as late as the beginning of the thirteenth century.

The metal croziers of the Celtic Church are in reality shrines enclosing the wooden pastoral staffs of the different saints, whose names most of them still bear. The chief peculiarity of the Celtic crozier is the shape of the head, which is like the hook of a modern walking-stick, but with a remarkable flattened end. The inside curve of the hook is nearly circular, but the outside curve is only partially semicircular, and suddenly changes to a nearly vertical straight line just hefore the end of the crook is reached. At the bottom of the crozier is a pointed ferrule, and the straight portion consists of two cylindrical tubes of

HEAD OF THE LISMORE CROZIER AT L1SMORE CASTLE, CO. WAJFERFORD

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