1869 – High Altar, Lattin, Co. Tipperary

Architect: Earley & Powells

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“The altar and reredos, illustrated in our present number, are made in Caen stone, Irish and Italian marbles. The altar-table is one slab of Sicilian marble, supported by Galway green marble shafts, with beautifully carved capitals and bases, having a deep sunk string cornice, filled with carved paterpe and roses. In the centre space under the altar-table, is sculptured the figure of the Dead Christ and the Blessed Virgin leaning over the body of her divine Son in an attitude of the deepest sorrow. On either end space between the columns, is placed a figure of an angel weeping. The effect of the arrangement is most happy and singularly striking. Upon the altar, in the centre, is placed the tabernacle, backed up by the lesser i-eredos. The tabernacle is made of Caen stone, with inlaid marble in small panels on each jamb, flanked by an angel in a kneeling position, the wings forming an arch over the door of the tabernacle. There are plates of brass, beaten and engraved, and pricked in with enamel colours. In the tympanum, over the door, is carved the pelican feeding her young. The lower reredos is raised sufficiently high to act as a screen to a passage leading from the sacristy, which is immediately behind the tabernacle. The throne is placed backward, in line with the lower reredos. The panels in this portion of the work are most elaborately carved and pierced, and backed by a slab of polished Galway black marble. A cornice surmounts these panels, and provision is made upon it for the second row of candlesticks and flower vases to stand upon.

The reredos is very superb. The lower panels up to the first string course are filled with the richest carved foliage, as is also the cornice. Above this line come four deeply recessed niches, each covered by a rich carved and crocketted canopy, supported by Cork red marble shafts. In the spaces be- tween the gablets stands an angel with out- stretched wings. In the centre stands the throne for the blessed Sacrament, rising 21 ft. 6in. from the floor. There are four groups in the reredos. The first, on the gospel side, the Annunciation ; second, the Nativity ; third, the Flight into Egypt ; fourth, the Coronation of the Blessed Virgin. The groups are remarkably fine, and the composition is faultless.

The whole of the work was designed by Mr. John Earley, and executed by Messrs. Earley and Powells, Camden-street Works, Dublin. The cost of the work was £500.”

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