The Meaning and Origin of the Celtic Knot

Celtic Knot Cufflinks 1

This week I've been busy etching Celtic patterns to replenish our stock of Celtic Knot Cufflinks. I decided to look at the meaning of this Celtic knotwork of Ireland and see where it first originated. This distinctive design can be seen in some of the greatest artworks of Ireland such as the Book of Kells and the Ardagh Chalice. Ireland enjoyed a period of unparalleled prosperity during the seventh century, during which time this distinctive Irish style of art began to emerge. This new design was influenced by the plant designs of the Mediterranean and animal ornamentation and metalwork from mainland Europe.

This new abstract art consisted of beautiful flowing interlaced designs which displayed the skill of their creators. This skill was illustrated in manuscripts such as the Book of Kells and an abundance of metalwork which was produced during this time. Celtic knotwork is made up of a combination of spirals, triskeles and other geometric motifs often interwoven with human and animal forms. These intricate designs have been interpreted in a number of ways, the most popular the idea of the continuous woven pattern representing the cycle of life and as a symbol of eternity or unity. This is perhaps why these Celtic knots are used in wedding ring designs as they are akin to the infinity symbol, where there is no beginning or end. The interlacing of animal and human forms symbolizes the inter-dependency of man and nature. Regardless of which meaning you wish to believe there is no disputing their beauty.

Celtic Knot Cufflinks 2

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