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Book of Kells Initial Necklace
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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
 
3.6

(based on 10 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (2)

70%

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 (3)
      • Was this a gift?:
      • No (4), Yes (4)

    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 10 customers

    Sort by

    Displaying reviews 1-10

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    (2 of 2 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 30 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

                      (8 of 20 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      1.0

                      Very disappointed in this product

                      By kilty

                      from Rochester MN

                      Verified Reviewer

                      Pros

                        Cons

                        • Smaller than described

                        Best Uses

                          Comments about Book of Kells Initial Necklace:

                          The catalogs gives the size of the initial as one inch. It is not. It is a disappointment. I will be very reluctant to order from NG again

                          (16 of 26 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          2.0

                          Letters not as expected

                          By STV

                          from Montgomery, TX

                          Pros

                          • Look nice

                          Cons

                          • Letters not as shown
                          • Some letters in lowercase

                          Best Uses

                            Comments about Book of Kells Initial Necklace:

                            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.

                            Displaying reviews 1-10

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