The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Saturday, March 24, 2018

One of Wales's most prized ancient masterpieces is secured by National Museum Wales
The Capel Garmon Firedog becomes a permanent Museum treasure.

CARDIFF.- An elaborately decorated Iron Age firedog in the form of an iconic double-crested mythical beast, and nearly 2,000 years old, has found a permanent home within Wales’s national archaeological collections.

In recognition of its uniqueness as one of the finest surviving prehistoric iron artefacts in Europe, it has been accepted by the Welsh Ministers in lieu of inheritance tax from the previous owners. Formerly on loan to the National Museum, this treasure is now secured for present and future generations - and represents a significant addition to the nation’s collections of Early Celtic Art.

The firedog - part ox and part horse in its attributes - is a masterpiece of early blacksmithing. Originally one of a pair, it once defined the hearth at the centre of an Iron Age chieftain’s roundhouse. Seen in flickering firelight, during feasting events, political gatherings and story-telling, it would have been viewed as a powerful symbol of authority.

It was discovered in May 1852 by a man cutting a ditch through a peat bog on farm land near Llanrwst, Conwy. Accounts suggest that it had been carefully buried, on its side at great depth with large stones placed at each foot – perhaps at the end of its life, or that of its owner.

Conservation X-raying of the object, twinned with an experiment attempting to replicate the making of the piece, has demonstrated the sheer skill of the master blacksmith. It comprises 85 separately shaped elements, and originally weighed around 38 kilos. To make such an elaborate set would have required a significant investment of time, perhaps as much as three years, signifying iron was then a material of great value.

The Acceptance in Lieu (AIL) scheme enables taxpayers to transfer works of art and important heritage objects, such as the Capel Garmon firedog, into public ownership in full or part payment of their inheritance tax. In Wales, these items must be approved by the Minister for Housing, Regeneration and Heritage, who is advised by the Acceptance in Lieu UK Panel. The panel consists of independent experts, who seek specialist advice on the object offered. The panel operates on behalf of the Welsh Government and co-ordinates with CyMAL: Museums Archives and Libraries Wales, in appropriate cases.

Huw Lewis, the Welsh Government’s Minister for Housing, Regeneration and Heritage said:

“The Capel Garmon Firedog is an excellent example of early Celtic art and I’m pleased that the artefact has been acquired for the national collection, enabling the public to access and appreciate the craftsmanship of this fascinating object.”

The firedog is currently one of the most popular objects in the Origins: In Search of Early Wales gallery, National Museum Cardiff. David Anderson, Amgueddfa Cymru’s Director General explains more about its importance:

“It is a privilege for Amgueddfa Cymru to care for the Capel Garmon Firedog on behalf of the people of Wales. The AIL scheme, approved by our Minister, is an important way of ensuring an institution like the Museum can acquire and care for important objects such as these.

“The firedog will be shared with the thousands of visitors who come to the Museum each year and play a key role in communicating the history of Wales.”

In future, the Capel Garmon Firedog will be displayed in new galleries being planned at St Fagans: National History Museum as part of the Creu Hanes - Making History project. The aspiration is to bring archaeology and history together to tell even more stories of the people of Wales in innovative and challenging ways.

A new Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales publication ‘Discovered in Time: Treasures from Early Wales’ profiles seventy archaeological treasures from the national collections, including the Capel Garmon Firedog.

Entry to National Museum Cardiff where the object is on display is free, thanks to the support of the Welsh Government.

Amgueddfa Cymru operates seven national museums across Wales. These are National Museum Cardiff; St Fagans: National History Museum; National Roman Legion Museum, Caerleon; Big Pit: National Coal Museum, Blaenafon; National Wool Museum, Dre-fach Felindre; National Slate Museum, Llanberis and the National Waterfront Museum, Swansea.

Today's News

December 20, 2011

Capitoline Museums exhibition compares two paintings of Baby Jesus by Pintoricchio

Napa vintner Jan Shrem donates $10 million for new museum of art at UC Davis

Christie's to offer the Peter H. B. Frelinghuysen, Jr. Collection of Chinese Export Porcelain

Eykyn Maclean launches new London gallery with Cy Twombly: Works from the Sonnabend Collection

Bonhams Knightsbridge to offer free verbal valuations in second 'Open House' in January

Northern Art Prize exhibition brings together the work of shortlisted artists at the Leeds Art Gallery

Jan Peters, prominent figure in American contemporary craft movement, dies at 64

One of Wales's most prized ancient masterpieces is secured by National Museum Wales

Ayyam Gallery presents recent canvases by Syrian painter Tammam Azzam in "Dirty Laundry"

Steven Holl Architects' Cité de l'Océan et du Surf wins award in 2011 annual design review

Don Presley's New Year's auction features sterling, Asian art, clocks and Scottish Rite's 'Paetus et Aria'

Gold coins, spectacular jewels and art in Government Auction's January 1 sale

Rediscovered and undocumented High Chest by John Townsend from 1756 to be sold at Sotheby's

Keno Auctions presents its upcoming important Americana, paintings, furniture and decorative arts sale

1795 S-79 B-9 Large Cent, Sans Edge Reeding, makes debut in Heritage Orlando FUN auction

George Billis Gallery presents a new installation by Santa Monica-based artist Maddy LeMel

Spectacular large works announced at Art Stage Singapore 2012

"Growing Up Black" by Dennis Morris a chronicle of black Britain in the 60s and 70s

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- The Morgan explores the Medieval world's fascinating approach to the passage of time

2.- Experts discover hidden ancient Maya structures in Guatemala

3.- Egyptian archaeologists unveil tomb of Old Kingdom priestess Hetpet

4.- The Speed Art Museum and Italian Ministry reach loan agreement on ancient calyx-krater

5.- Major exhibition features artistic masterpieces from the glorious Church of the Gesù

6.- From Beowulf to Chaucer, the British Library makes 1,000 years of rich literary history freely available online

7.- Truck damages Peru's ancient Nazca lines

8.- Trish Duebber is new Coordinator of Youth Programs at Boca Raton Museum Art School

9.- Exhibition examines the way art, like language, was used to articulate a rhetoric of exclusion

10.- The Dallas Museum of Art announces gift of three major European works

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful