Dysert O’Dea Cross, Dysert, Co. Clare

Dysert O’Dea Cross

Plaster-of-Paris replica SA1909:10

This was cast in 1908 and was one of the last crosses to be copied. In light of escalating costs and the departure of the modeller Sig. Giuntini, the casting of high crosses ceased. The era of Industrial Exhibitions and World Fairs came to an end at the beginning of the twentieth century and so too did the making and exhibition of plaster reproductions.

Original Cross

Dysert O'Dea Cross

The Dysert O’Dea cross dates to the twelfth century and belongs to the later Romanesque series of crosses which is dominated by high relief figures of the crucifixion and bishops or patrons. It has no ring and is composed of two sections, both displaying characteristics of the same school of masonry but may not have been intended for the same cross. The cross and its base were positioned on a stone plinth at a later date. The decorative motifs consist of large panels of interlaced animals similar to those on the Cross of Cong and the geometrical fret or step patterns are like those on the shrines of St Patrick’s Bell and the Book of Dimma. The west face of the cross-head bears five lozenges with floral decoration and animal interlace with two dragons depicted biting a sphere.

Figure sculpture

The east face displays (from head to base):

• The crucified Christ

• A bishop/abbot with a pointed mitre. The hole where the right arm should be suggests that a secondary piece was to be inserted

• Inscription:

THIS CROSS WAS NEWLY REPARIED BY MICHAEL

O DEA SON OF CONNOR CRONE O DEA IN THE

YEARE 1683

The west face displays

 Adam and Eve

The south face displays

• Inscription:

REERECTED BY FRANCIS HUTCHINSON SYNGE OF

DYSART FOURTH SON OF THE LATE SIR EDWARD

SINGE BART AND MARY HELENA HIS WIFE IN THE

YEAR 1871.

• Daniel in the lion’s den

The north face displays

• Unidentified scene on the base.

 
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