Documentation Discoveries

documentation teams working on the collections
Find out about rare objects, exciting collections and unusual specimens discovered in the course of the museum’s Five Year Inventory Project. 
Viviparous lizards preserved in alcohol (NH:1892.76.1)
Three Young Lizards from Cappagh, Co. Waterford

The viviparous or common lizard is the only land reptile native to Ireland.

Photography of a Pair of Bronze Boar Figurines. Figure 1 From L-R: 6804:W10 & 6805:W11
Brazen Beasts – A Pair of Bronze Boar Figurines of Uncertain Origins

A curious pair of bronze boar figurines of uncertain origins, which were first listed in the 1861 museum catalogue of the Royal Irish Academy.

The rhinoceros viper (scientific name: Bitis nasicornis). Specimen in a jar.
A snake from west Africa

This rhinoceros viper specimen (scientific name: Bitis nasicornis) was donated by Roger Casement to the National Museum of Ireland.

Figure 1. Silver case R2881 and pendant R2882
A Pair of Silver Reliquaries from the Dawson Collection

A small case of intrigue is opened when two unusual silver reliquaries are rediscovered.

Title Page of the Gaelic Athletic Association Football Rules Book, 1888. Registration Number F:1942.1818
Gaelic Athletic Association Football Rules Book, 1888

GAA football rules as revised at Thurles, County Tipperary in January, 1888

Thylacine specimen in Natural History collections (NH:1917.25.1)
Thylacine: An extinct marsupial from Tasmania

The thylacine is an extinct species of marsupial mammal, formerly found in mainland Australia and later confined to Tasmania. It is commonly known as the ‘Tasmanian tiger’ or ‘Tasmanian wolf’.

A decorative antler point with potential origins in Viking Dublin - Detail of carved burr
An Interesting Point

A decorative antler point with potential origins in Viking Dublin

A pipefish from North Bull Island
A pipefish from North Bull Island

A pipefish was caught by a terrier dog in North Bull Island and donated to the museum in 1930.

Minoan Pottery Sherd
Minoan Pottery Sherd

Decorated in the Marine Style and dating to circa 1450 BC.

Booklet Cover - Book of Etiquette
‘My Home’ Etiquette Book

The ‘My Home’ Book of Etiquette and Entertaining, booklet by Lady Troubridge, 1938

A thorny devil from Australia
A Thorny Devil from Australia

A thorny devil - Moloch horridus - also known as horned dragon, mountain devil, thorny lizard, thorny devil or simply moloch.

A possible carved ivory gaming piece, depicting a bear and a Greenlander
A Bear, a Sea-horse and a Greenlander – the fascinating origins of a possible carved ivory gaming piece

A curious carved ivory object shows an attack scene between a possible polar bear and a Greenlander.

Figure 1 The Disc
Rathbarran Lunar Disc

Discovered in county Sligo in the mid-nineteenth century among the Rathbarran grave goods and transferred to the Science and Art Museum in 1890, it has been suggested that this most unusual disc might be a lunar disc.

One of two harps carved from the shoulder blades of an animal
Irish Republican POW Bone Carvings

These two harps were carved from the shoulder blades of an animal. They were carved by Irish Republican POWs interned in the Curragh, Co. Kildare, 1923.

Mounted taxidermy bird
Barrington’s Bird Collection

The “Fassaroe Natural History Collection” was bequeathed to the National Museum of Ireland in October 1916 following the death of R.M. Barrington in 1915.

Eozoon canadense- a pseudo fossil
A Canadian Pseudo-Fossil

This specimen was once thought to represent the earliest life on Earth.

A great bittern from County Wicklow
Great Bitterns in Ireland

The bittern was a common bird in Ireland until the mid-19th century. It used to live here all year round but is a rare winter visitor nowadays.

Bodhrán, c.1820

A nineteenth century example of an Irish musical instrument.

postcard sent home - Allies flags stitched
Thomas and Joseph McEnroe – Two Brothers’ Experience of World War I

This photograph album tells the story of Dublin brothers Thomas, a professional soldier in the British Army, and Joseph McEnroe, a volunteer who enlisted in 1916. Their combined service covered the war years from 1914 to 1919.

Four handled wooden medieval mether.
Medieval Irish Mether

A ceremonial drinking vessel with body and handles crafted from one piece of wood.

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