George Coffey

Commentary

Life
1857-1916; author of Origins of Prehistoric Ornament in Ireland (1897); New Grange [sic] (1912); The Bronze Age in Ireland (1913); Royal Irish Academy Collection Guide to the Celtic Antiquities of the Christian period preserved in the National Museum, Dublin (1909); see reviews of his works in Irish Book Lover. DIW

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Works
Home Rule, Answers to Objections (1890), 16pp.; English and Irish Coins, A Manual for Collectors (1882), ill.

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Commentary
Edward Sullivan, in his Introduction to The Book of Kells (Studio Edn. 1920), references Coffey in footnotes - viz: ֹMr. George Coffey (The Bronze Age in Ireland, 1913) writes: “Ireland during the Bronze Age was not isolated, but stood in direct communication with the Continent. ægean and Scandinavian influences can be detected in the great tumuli of the New Grange Group, and Iberian influence is discernible in some of the later types of bronze implements. Ireland . . . was during the Bronze Age a kind of western El Dorado, owing to her great richness in gold.” Mr. Coffey assumes that spirals were introduced from Scandinavia, where this motive had penetrated early from the Ægean along the amber route.’ (p.38, note 1); ‘Mr. George Coffey, for instance, thinks that Celtic designs were (after 400 B.C.) influenced by classical anthemion and meander patterns, which were modified by the Celtic love of spiral and scroll.’ (p.38, note 3.)

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References
The Royal Irish Academy: The RIA Collection Guide to the Celtic Antiquities of the Christian period preserved in the National Museum, Dublin (Dublin: Figgis 1909), 95pp. [Cathach 1996-97].

University of Ulster Library, Morris Collection holds The Bronze Age in Ireland (1913); New Grange (Brugh na Boinne) and other incised Tumuli in Ireland, the Influence of Crete and the Aegean in the Extreme West of Europe in Early Times (1912), 118p.

Belfast Public Library holds Catalogue of Irish Coins in RIA, pt. 2, ‘Anglo-Irish’ (1895).

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