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. 
Witch ball
Witch Ball

A brightly coloured glass sphere, of the type often hung in the windows of homes in England in the 18th Century to ward off evil spirits and witches.

Figure 1 - Cranial Amulets
Two Cranial Amulets from Neuchâtel, Switzerland.

A submerged village near Onnens, Lake Neuchâtel reveals its secrets and offers a compelling insight into long-forgotten traditions of European Neolithic society.

black ore metaultrabasite
Smerwick Harbour’s Black Ore

An ancient rock, thought to be of great value, brought across the ocean from the New World over 400 years ago…

Set of nine Richard King postcards
Set of religious postcards

A set of nine postcards by Mayo born artist Richard King, depicting various Irish Saints published by The Capuchin Annual in the 1940’s.

Dugong on display in the Natural History Museum
An Australian Dugong

A large marine mammal from Queensland donated to the Museum in 1890

Bronze Age Bowl
Bronze Age Ribbed Bowl

The Bronze Age vessel that came in from the cold.

Post Office Rule Book
Rule Book for the Rural Postman, 1921

A pre-Irish Free State rule book for rural postmen issued in 1921 and amended and used until the 1950s.

Whaling Hat - detail of whales
Nuu-chah-nulth Whaling Hat

This object is believed to have been brought back from Captain Cook’s third voyage, in 1776 - 1780, by Captain James King, and was catalogued in the course of documenting the Museum’s Ethnographical collections in 2004.

Roman Lar figurine
A Roman figurine

The curious case of the little Roman figurine found in the River Boyne.

Specimens from three Irish factory ships collected during the Antarctic whaling boom
Relics of the Irish whaling industry

Specimens from three Irish factory ships collected during the Antarctic whaling boom

Overview of sampler
A Nineteenth Century Sampler

A sampler made by Elenor Hickey aged 14, dating to 1838 with a macabre rhyme embroidered onto it.

Treaty Statement
The Signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty, 1921

Arthur Griffith’s statement told the world that the war between Ireland and Britain was at an end.

Fig 2_Ray Collection handwritten labels
Thomas Matthew Ray (1801 – 1881) – his collection and archive

T. M. Ray (1801 – 1881) was active in the 19th century Irish nationalist movement and also left his mark on the collections of the National Museum.

Deep water starfish
A Norwegian Deep Water Starfish

In the course of the Inventory Project a starfish from a Norwegian fjord was catalogued.

Sheridan bell
Bell from Sheridan’s Foundry, Dublin

A nineteenth century foundry cast bell from Sheridan’s Foundry, Dublin.

Sienese dragon-side of face
Here be dragons! - A Sienese dragon at the National Museum of Ireland

A late Renaissance wrought iron Sienese dragon in the National Museum of Ireland.

Japanese wood-block print: The Suspension Bridge on the border of Hida and Etchu Provinces by Hokusai
A delicate and beautiful Japanese wood-block print by Hokusai

This Japanese wood-block print by Katsushika Hokusai entitled: The Suspension Bridge on the border of Hida and Etchu Provinces (NMIDB:1933.84) is one of eleven prints from the landscape series Views of Famous Bridges in Various Providences (1827 – 1830).

The study skin of a rare Persian lioness from the early 1900 given to the zoo by King Edward VII
A Persian Lioness

King Edward VII gave this animal to Dublin Zoo. This subspecies of lion is now on the brink of extinction.

Pair of season tickets for Cork International Exhibition 1902
Pair of season tickets for The Cork International Exhibition 1902

The inventory team documented a pair of season tickets to The Cork International Exhibition which was held in 1902, attracting exhibits from all over the world and almost 2 million visitors.

Fig 1 Bii ware sherds from Ballygarran
Late Roman amphora sherds in Co. Waterford.

Unexpected discovery of Late Roman amphora sherds amongst the excavated material in the crypt of the National Museum.

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