The Kildare harp

Kildare harp
My sketch of the arms & inscription

On the front of the forepillar is carved in low relief a coat of arms. Above the arms is the text "R F G", and below the arms is "Fecit anno 1215".

Petrie, quoted in O’Curry (vol 3, 1873, p.294) says “the inscription is... the letters R.F.G. and, in Arabic numerals, the date 1672”. I presume Petrie was misreading the inscription.

Armstrong describes the arms as “the Fitzgerald arms, charged with a crescent in chief surmounted by a helmet and an ape for a crest’.

The colours of the painting are very darkened and faded, but I can make out the bright red of the frame and cross, and the white spots on the brownish helmet. The background to the shield looks vaguely purplish and the crescent appears to be darker in colour than the white spots, perhaps being yellow or golden.


Simon Chadwick