O’NEILL, Henry. Fine Arts and Civilisation of Ancient Ireland. Illustrated with chromo and other lithographs, and several woodcuts. London: Smith & Dublin, Herbert, 1858. Small folio. pp. vi, 118, 23 (plates). Blue blind-stamped cloth, title in gilt on upper cover. Spine professionally rebacked. A very good copy. Very scarce.
O’Neill has stated: “that Ancient Irish Art originated in Heathen times; that it was the most masterly development of Ornamental Art the world has ever seen; and in applying the style to sculpture the Irish Artists made colour an essential portion of their designs … My hope is that to make known the excellency of the noble sculptured Crosses of Ireland may be a means of adding the store of human knowledge … that my native land was anciently the most civilised in Europe … to create an interest in a fine country and a gifted people, who still retain evidence that they were once ‘Great, glorious and free’ and Ireland was ‘The Emerald’ gem of the western world.”