header Notes Collection
Top

5 Pounds 1977, Ireland

in Banknotes Book Number: E141
Years of issue: 14.10.1977
Edition: --
Signatures: Governor: Mr. C. H. Murray, Secretary of the Depatment of Finance: Mr. M. O'Murchu
Serie: Series "B" Banknotes (1976- 82 & 1989-93)
Specimen of: 18.05.1976
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 156 х 83
Printer: Waterlow and Sons, Limited, London

* All pictures marked magnify are increased partially by magnifying glass, the remaining open in full size by clicking on the image.

** The word "Specimen" is present only on some of electronic pictures, in accordance with banknote images publication rules of appropriate banks.

5 Pounds 1977

Description

Watermark:

watermark

Lady Hazel Lavery (second wife of the famous painter Sir John Lavery).

She is a personification of Ireland on Irish banknotes Serie A.

Avers:

5 Pounds 1977

Johannes Scotus Eriugena (c. 815 - c. 877) was an Irish theologian, Neoplatonist philosopher, and poet. He wrote a number of works, but is best known today, and had most influence in subsequent centuries, for having translated and made commentaries upon the work of Pseudo-Dionysius. His work is largely based upon Saint Augustine, Pseudo-Dionysius, Maximus the Confessor, and the Cappadocian Fathers, and is clearly Neoplatonist. He revived the transcendentalist standpoint of Neoplatonism with its "graded hierarchy" approach. By going back to Plato, he revived the nominalist-realist debate.

The picture on the background is taken from the Book Durrow.

Durrow book Durrow book

Page 84, slightly damaged. On the page is initial illustrated letter A, which is in the background of the banknote.

The Book of Durrow is a medieval illuminated manuscript gospel book in the Insular art style. It was probably created between 650 and 700. The place of creation may perhaps have been Durrow Abbey in Ireland or a monastery in Northumbria in northeastern England (where the monastery at Lindisfarne would be the likely candidate) or perhaps Iona Abbey in western Scotland - the place of origin has been debated by historians for decades without a consensus emerging. The Book of Durrow was certainly at Durrow Abbey by 916. Today it is in the library at Trinity College, Dublin (MS A. 4. 5. (57)).

It is the oldest extant complete illuminated Insular gospel book, for example predating the Book of Kells by over a century. The text includes the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, plus several pieces of prefatory matter and canon tables. Its pages measure 245 by 145 mm and there are 248 vellum folios. It contains a large illumination programm including six extant carpet pages, a full page miniature of the four evangelists' symbols, four full page miniatures, each containing a single evangelist symbol, and six pages with significant decorated initials and text. It is written in majuscule insular script (in effect the block capitals of the day), with some lacunae.

The page size has been reduced by subsequent rebindings, and most leaves are now single when unbound, where many or most would originally have been in "bifolia" or folded pairs. It is clear that some pages have been inserted in the wrong places. The main significance of this is that it is unclear if there was originally a seventh carpet page. Now Matthew does not have one, but there is, most unusually, one as the last page in the book. Perhaps there were only ever six: one at the start of the book with a cross, one opposite the next page with the four symbols (as now), and one opposite each individual symbol at the start of each gospel. Otherwise the original programme of illumination seems to be complete, which is rare in manuscripts of this age.

In the standard account of the development of the Insular gospel book, the Book of Durrow follows the fragmentary Northumbrian Gospel Book Fragment (Durham Cathedral Library, A. II. 10.) and precedes the Book of Lindisfarne, which was begun around 700.

Denomination is in lower left corner.

Revers:

5 Pounds 1977

Text and the images of animals are taken from the "Book of Kells", VIII century.

The Book of Kells

The Book of Kells (Irish: Leabhar Cheanannais) (Dublin, Trinity College Library, MS A. I., sometimes known as the Book of Columba) is an illuminated manuscript Gospel book in Latin, containing the four Gospels of the New Testament together with various prefatory texts and tables. It was created in a Columban monastery in either Britain or Ireland, or indeed may have had contributions from various Columban institutions from both Britain and Ireland. It is believed to have been created ca. 800 AD. The text of the Gospels is largely drawn from the Vulgate, although it also includes several passages drawn from the earlier versions of the Bible known as the Vetus Latina. It is a masterwork of Western calligraphy and represents the pinnacle of Insular illumination. It is also widely regarded as Ireland's finest national treasure.

The illustrations and ornamentation of the Book of Kells surpass that of other Insular Gospel books in extravagance and complexity. The decoration combines traditional Christian iconography with the ornate swirling motifs typical of Insular art. Figures of humans, animals and mythical beasts, together with Celtic knots and interlacing patterns in vibrant colours, enliven the manuscript's pages. Many of these minor decorative elements are imbued with Christian symbolism and so further emphasize the themes of the major illustrations.

The Book of Kells

The Panther in the jump. Illustration in the text on page 81.

Denomination is in lower right corner.

Comments:

Designers team

Series B designers team:

Artist - Patrick Hickey.

Michael Biggs - calligrapher.

Sean Mulcahy - consulting engineer.

Richard Hurley - architect.

Brian Hogan - architect, lecturer, writer.