An exceptional Irish, Dublin School, arts and crafts enamel plaque

This is a very special Irish arts and crafts enamel plaque.  It is titled “Vanity and Renunciation”.  Vanity clearly depicted in the woman and peacock at the edge of the well, their images just reflected in its waters.

The depiction of Renunciation is harder to understand but almost certainly refers back to Irish mythology through the figures standing at the back of the panel. These depict knights (or perhaps kings or gods) bringing gifts to a red headed woman, who seems to be refusing them.

The overall quality of this plaque is simply incredible. The unsigned plaque has full provenance from surviving stickers to its frame, allowing a comprehensive research into its history.

It was made in c 1920 and first exhibited at the Sixth Dublin Arts and Crafts Exhibition of 1921. It was subsequently exhibited in other exhibitions of the period culminating in the 1930 Irish Art Exhibition in Brussels, for which the original sticker remains attached to the back of the plaque’s frame.  Most recently it was exhibited in 1983/4 at the touring exhibition “Art Nouveau, Art deco, Modernism” at Tampa, Montgomery and Mississippi Museums, and an image appears in that exhibition catalogue page 22.

The plaque’s artist is Marie Louise Lynch (1886-1972), a student of Oswald Reeves.  Lynch studied under Oswald Reeves, the Alexander Fisher of Ireland, at the Metropolitan School of Art Dublin c 1910.  Little is known of her career but she seems to have remained an artist for much of her life, with various pieces exhibited at exhibitions 1910-1930. See “additional information” for a full listing of her work.

The plaque is not large but has phenomenal detail of execution and impact.  It sits within an original copper sheet frame.

Price: Sold

Maker: Marie Louise Lynch

Designer: Marie Louise Lynch

Date : c. 1920

Marks: Frame named to reverse. Not signed.

Material: Enamel on copper

Condition: Excellent

Size: Plaque: 13.5cm x 9.0cm, 18cm x 13 cm framed.

Weight : NM


SKU: A966 Category:


Full history of Marie Lynch exhibition record (MSAD = Metropolitan School of Art, Dublin)

1910. Fourth Arts and Crafts Society of Ireland Exhibition
No. 4 .Stained glass panel, St.Michael, [adapted from the Ranworth Roodscreen]. At MSAD
No. 111. Panel for firescreen in gesso, at MSAD
No. 234. Enamel plaque, under P. Oswald Reeves. MSAD.
No 263. Copper bowl and Stand with silver inlay, under P. Oswald Reeves. MSAD.

1917. Fifth Arts and Crafts Society of Ireland Exhibition
No. 12, Copper Dish for oranges and nuts etc, by Marie L. Lynch, under P. Oswald Reeves. MSAD.
No. 209. Silver Ring, by Marie L. Lynch

1921. Sixth Arts and Crafts Society of Ireland Exhibition
No. 191, Enamelled Plaque ‘Vanity and Renunciation’, by Marie L. Lynch, under P. Oswald Reeves. MSAD.
No. 247, Silver and Enamel Brooch, by Marie L Lynch
No. 253, Silver and Filigree Pendant, by Marie L. Lynch
No. 254, Silver Brooch by Marie L. Lynch
No. 255, Pendant, Cameo set in Silver. By Marie L. Lynch

1922 Gallerie Barbazanges, Paris [Irish Race Congress, 21 – 28 January].

No. 202, Enamel Plaque “Vanity and Encounter [possibly a mistake and should be Renunciation]”.

1922 Aonach Taillteann Art Exhibition, Dublin [August].
858, Copper Fruit Dish. Not for sale
859, Copper and Silver Bowl and Stand. Not for sale
962, Enamel Plaque, “A Prophet”.
963, Enamel Plaque “Vanity and Renunciation”.

1925. Seventh Arts and Crafts Society of Ireland Exhibition
No. 304. Copper Bowl and Stand, inlaid with silver.

1930. Irish Art Exhibiton, Brussels. [May]
Enamel Plaque, “Vanity and Renunciation”.

Additional information



Price range





Art deco, Art nouveau, Arts and crafts