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Book of Kells Initial Necklace

Price: $58.00

Item#:1074887

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The eighth-century Book of Kells is an ornate, hand-copied illuminated manuscript of the gospels—one of the most important pieces of early Celtic art in the world. These sterling silver pendants are inspired by the highly decorative letters, called initia, that begin each section of text. Each is cast from sterling silver and finished by hand in a family-run Dublin studio.


Not available for shipment outside of the U.S. and Canada.


  • Most charms hang approximately 1" from the chain. Specific dimensions for each letter, not including the ring that attaches the charm to the chain, are listed. 18" chain; spring ring clasp.
  • V = 39/64"
  • W = 45/64"
  • X =3/4"
  • A, C, D, E, M, N, O, R, S, U, Y, Z = 51/64"
  • T = 29/32"
  • F, G, H, I, J, K, L, P, Q = 1"
  • B = 1 7/64"
  • Please note: The Kells artists used both uppercase and lowercase forms for the decorative letters in their manuscript. The following initial necklaces are lowercase letters: A, B, D, E, G, H, N, Q, and T.

Before printing presses made books, journals, and pamphlets accessible to a wide audience, manuscripts were laboriously copied by hand. Those that were adorned with decorative letters, borders, and paintings are known as illuminated manuscripts, and the Irish Book of Kells is one of the most famous. A collection of the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, it is generally believed to have been transcribed by monks at the Abbey of Kells around 800 AD.

That the book still exists is extremely fortunate. The Abbey of Kells was attacked repeatedly by Vikings in the Middle Ages and the manuscript could easily have been destroyed. It was stolen in the early 1000s and later found with its jeweled cover torn off. In 1654 the book was sent to Dublin for safekeeping during Oliver Cromwell's campaign against Ireland, and it has been in Dublin at Trinity College ever since. Its ornate decoration and initial capitals make it one of the greatest examples of Insular art—the name for the art of the British Isles during the Middle Ages—and a major source for the intricate knotted designs that we associate with Celtic art.


REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
Book of Kells Initial Necklace
 
3.5

(based on 12 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (3)

67%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Beautiful (6)
  • Good quality (6)
  • Stylish (4)
  • Good length (3)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Everyday (5)
    • Office (3)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Practical (4)
      • Was this a gift?:
      • No (5), Yes (5)

    Most Liked Positive Review

     

    Initial P was very nice.

    The initial P was much nicer than previous reviews would have you believe. I would recommend the purchase of this item.

    The initial P was much nicer than previous reviews would have you believe. I would recommend the purchase of this item.

    VS

    Most Liked Negative Review

     

    Letters not as expected

    The surprise of receiving two of these necklaces in lower case was based upon some letters cannot be distinguished easily in lower case. No description indicates anything but capital letters when ordering.

    The surprise of receiving two of these necklaces in lower case was based upon some letters cannot be distinguished easily in lower case. No description indicates anything but capital letters when ordering.

    Reviewed by 12 customers

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    Displaying reviews 1-10

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    1.0

    too flimsey

    By blondie

    from West Chicago, IL

    About Me Practical

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Looks cheap

    Cons

    • Poor Workmanship

    Best Uses

    • Very Casual

    Comments about Book of Kells Initial Necklace:

    I bought two--for each of my daughters. Looked good in catalog, but was disappointed as It looks very cheap. I at least feel I donated to Natl Geo

    • Was this a gift?:
    • Yes
     
    5.0

    Good Quality and Stylish

    By Smitty

    from Las Vegas, NV

    Pros

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about Book of Kells Initial Necklace:

          I love my necklace as it is very stylish and good quality. Exceeded my expectations

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          Nice Necklace but...

          By Laura

          from Rochester, NY

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Beautiful
          • Good Quality
          • Stylish
          • Versatile

          Cons

          • No Information

          Best Uses

            Comments about Book of Kells Initial Necklace:

            I purchased this necklace to give as a gift. It is very pretty and seems well made. I expect it to be received gladly.

            My only complaint is the lack of information accompanying it. It is in a typical nondescript black velvet necklace box. If I hadn't ordered a gift box for it, there would be no way of knowing that it came from National Geographic. There is also no discernible stamp indicating that it is sterling silver, although it does bear a stamp indicating its country of origin on the back. A card or a small piece of paper explaining the significance of the style and the Book of Kells would have been nice. I am going to copy some information from the product description to print out myself and give with the necklace as I think that will heighten the enjoyment of this gift upon receipt.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No
             
            5.0

            She loves it!

            By mom

            from wynndel bc

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

            • Beautiful

            Cons

              Best Uses

                Comments about Book of Kells Initial Necklace:

                My daughter doesn't usually wear necklaces so I wasn't sure about this gift but she loves it and only took it off once when she had surgery. Looks lovely on her.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • Yes

                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                4.0

                I would buy this as a gift as well

                By D

                from Langley, BC Canada

                About Me Career, Comfort-Oriented, Modern, Practical, Stylish

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Beautiful
                • Good Length
                • Good Quality
                • Unique

                Cons

                • Tarnishes Easily

                Best Uses

                • Everyday

                Comments about Book of Kells Initial Necklace:

                Very unique, thinking about buying others as gifts for family members

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No
                 
                5.0

                Pretty!

                By lcb513

                from Lebanon, PA

                About Me Classic, Comfort-Oriented, Practical

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Beautiful
                • Good Length
                • Good Quality
                • Stylish

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Everyday
                  • Night Out
                  • Office
                  • Travel

                  Comments about Book of Kells Initial Necklace:

                  Bought 2....one for me and one for my granddaughter for her birthday. Even the chain sparkles. Very pleased with my purchase and I was lucky enough to get it on sale.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  True to Kells Art

                  By O'Dene girl

                  from Payson, AZ

                  About Me American, Classic, Practical, Stylish

                  Verified Reviewer

                  Pros

                  • Ancient
                  • Artistic
                  • Beautiful
                  • Good Length
                  • Good Quality
                  • Stylish
                  • Unique
                  • Versatile

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Everyday
                    • Highlander Games
                    • Night Out
                    • Office
                    • Travel

                    Comments about Book of Kells Initial Necklace:

                    As an artist and Celt, wearing my necklace daily for 3 years it still looks new & no breaks! Compliments aside, I adore my petite Kells 'initial' & am buying 3 for each Celt daughter!

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • Yes

                    (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Wife loved it!

                    By Greg

                    from Grants Pass Or

                    About Me Career

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Beautiful
                    • Good Quality
                    • Stylish

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Everyday

                      Comments about Book of Kells Initial Necklace:

                      Until she received this necklace, my wife alternated between several other styles. She is a calligrapher and this was a great choice for her.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • Yes

                      (9 of 31 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      1.0

                      Purchase only what is shown.

                      By Jill

                      from Hiram, GA

                      Verified Reviewer

                      Pros

                        Cons

                        • Too Delicate

                        Best Uses

                          Comments about Book of Kells Initial Necklace:

                          I purchased this as a gift. If this had been shown in the catalog or on line I would not have purchased it as it does not in any way look like a "d" - looks like an "o" with a small tail on top. Also, very flimsy. I called NG and was told I would have to pay return shipping as the letters are different than our alphabet. Perhaps they should mention that fact. Will not purchase from NG in the future as I am disappointed in customer service policy. Also, will not continue my subscription to Nat. Geo. Magazine when my subscription expires.

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

                          (15 of 16 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          4.0

                          Initial P was very nice.

                          By JEPR

                          from EHT, NJ

                          Verified Reviewer

                          Pros

                          • Good Quality

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                            • Everyday
                            • Office

                            Comments about Book of Kells Initial Necklace:

                            The initial P was much nicer than previous reviews would have you believe. I would recommend the purchase of this item.

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • Yes

                            Displaying reviews 1-10

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