This item sold on September 16, 2012.
Ogham is the earliest Irish alphabet, in Ogham each letter of its alphabet is named after a tree. This one is called Fearn/Fern, means alder tree in English and is the letter F. This alder is specifically known as Black Alder, in Latin it is Alnus Glutinosa and in modern Irish it is Fearnóg. The line with three horizontal lines on the upper left of the image is the letter Fearn or F in Ogham, on the opposite side there are three F's, showing F in Gaelic script through the ages. In Celtic mythology alot of the pantheon was associated with nature, the earth in celtic mythology was worshipped as a divine mother, the rivers were of course deified, like the Seine, Marne, and Saône rivers in France. But one of equal importance to the Celtic pantheon was the cult of trees. Tree cult is expressed in Gaulish names, art and religious dedications but in Ireland it goes further, in old Irish the word for sacred tree is "Bile". Each clan in Ireland had its own bile which stood on the inaugurated site of the kings of the clan. This tree was to embody the clan, and I suppose is a great symbol of a clan's longevity as what else lives as long as a tree? Historically Black Alder has been used to make oars for Currachs (a type of boat) from the Neolithic period on and were found in Viking excavations in Dublin as posts for the wattle among other items.