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Refined triskeles

Object number: ROMGH.1998.95

Type: Former

Technique: Engraved

Material: Linoleum

Width: 29.5cm

Production date: 1920 - 1968

 Yes you can     No you cannot
Use the same Celtic patterns in your art and craft work Yes
Use this design for commercial purposes without the permission of the Copyright holder No
Commercially reproduce this object without the permission of the Copyright holder No

This circular spiral design is one that is used a lot by George Bain and his students. A disc of seven three-in-one spirals (triskeles) is on the Pictish cross-slab by the church in Aberlemno. Bain used it as his source for the ways of drawing spiral designs in Methods of Construction. Today the sculptured stone is covered in winter to protect it from rain, snow and frost. But between April and October it’s open for view.

A more complex form of this triskele design is used on a page of the early medieval illuminated gospels known as the Book of Durrow. Both this and the cross-slab are fantastic examples of artwork of the later 600s or early 700s AD.

George Bain may have created this linocut as a former for the spiral embossed footstool in the collection. Or, as there are two small holes at opposite sides, perhaps it was a piece for display.

See Book of Durrow IE TCD MS 57 (digital collections MS57_014_HI.jpeg) Trinity College Dublin

See Bain's Celtic Art, Methods of Construction pages 62 & 64, Plates 4 & 7

Author: Diana Cobden

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