THE TARA BROOCH. 263
our skill it is impossible to imitate the delicacy of the workmanship
and the wonderful grace and variety of the design displayed upon this
truly royal gem.
history is of the meagerest. It was found in the month of August, 1850,
on the strand at Drogheda, washed up from the deep by some especially
generous tide, and left there for two little boys to pick up. The
mother of the children carried their find to a dealer in old iron, but
he refused to buy so small and insignificant an object. She then tried
a watchmaker, who gave her eighteen pence (thirty six cents) for the
brooch. The watchmaker cleaned it up and then beheld what he conceived
to be a jewel of silver covered with gold filagree. He thereupon
proceeded to Dublin and sold it to Messrs. Waterhouse, the jewelers,
for twelve pounds (sixty dollars), which it must be admitted was a very
fair profit upon his original outlay.
Messrs. Waterhouse exhibited far and wide this jewel which was by them called the Royal