A Terrible Beauty Is Worn


Imelda May wearing Terrible Beauty Grace Cuff

Imelda May during last night’s Centenary show wearing a Grace Cuff by Maria Parsons of new jewellery brand Terrible Beauty

You may have spotted Imelda May’s alluringly ornate wrist clasp last night on the telly?

Charmaine Kenny at The Irish Workshop, writes:

When you think of Irish jewellery that is inspired by something intrinsically Irish, images of Celtic swirls, St. Brigid crosses and harp emblems probably spring to mind. But we’ve discovered a jewellery collection that is Irish to the core yet about as far removed from such clichés as you can get. Introducing Terrible Beauty, a new Irish jewellery brand – the work of award winning jewelry designer Maria Parsons.

Maria’s first collection under the Terrible Beauty brand is inspired by the events of 1916, and each of the three series in the collection are named after women of the Rising – Constance Markievicz, Grace Gifford and Maud Gonne.

One of Maria’s grandfathers worked in the GPO in 1916, while the other worked in Boland’s Mill – so this collection is close to Maria’s heart. We were excited to spot on last night’s Centenary programme that Imelda May (above) is a fan of Terrible Beauty’s Grace Cuff too.

Terrible Beauty (The Irish Workshop)

Irish-made stuff to broadsheet@broadsheet.ie marked ‘Irish-made stuff’

28 thoughts on “A Terrible Beauty Is Worn

    1. Medium Sized C

      The 201 is common to both.
      The 9 is above the six.

      Clearly 2016 – 2019.


          1. Vote Rep #1

            1916 with the bar to the left of the 9 & 6 being the 1

            and then 20 on the left for the 2016

          2. Clampers Outside!

            Thanks Vote Rep…. the ‘1’ could still be better placed or made stand out more.

            All said and done, it is nice jewellery. I just wouldn’t go for that piece like.

  1. jack johnson

    “Irish to the core yet about as far removed from such clichés as you can get” … So much so that no-one knows what the hell it’s supposed to be – Terrible indeed

    1. Mia parsons

      Sorry that you feel like that Jack… I am the desgner Maria Parsons and what it is is the Grace cuff inspired by my visit to the prison. ..kilmainham…and the aesthetics of same…looking through the spy hole of graces cell door …the bars of the windows…the gradfiti on the walls of the prison and the shackles and hand cuffs in the museum…the 2016 1916 is designed to be abstract. Sorry that you feel it is so terrible.

  2. Jonah

    “each of the three series in the collection are named after women of the Rising – Constance Markievicz, Grace Gifford and Maud Gonne.”

    Only one of those women participated in it. Maud Gonne was, as another commentator pointed out, in France when it happened. Grace Gifford certainly supported the Rising and married Joseph Plunkett in Kilmainham before he was executed, but was also not actively involved.

    Kind of odd choices when there were options like Winifred Carney, Julia Grenan and Elizabeth O’Farrell – the only members of Cumann na mBán there at the surrender and, particularly Carney, activists in their own right. Or Dr Kathleen Lynn, the only woman to command a garrison during the Rising.

    None of them are as famous as the women in the bracelet – or as well off – but it would have been nice to see them celebrated.

  3. Drebbin

    Maud Gonne had been involved in nationalist causes since the late 19th century, funding Connolly’s early Dublin endeavours among many others. When she met McBride they were both touring the US to raise money for nationalist groups. She was so eloquent in the cause that Helena Molony, for example, attributed her conversion to activism to hearing Maud Gonne speak.

    You could make a strong case for all the women Jonah mentions, and several more, but I think Gonne earned her place too.

    1. Drebbin

      And the more we celebrate her, the more we let some lucky sub-editor make his reputation with She’s Been a Long Time Cumann (and She’ll Be a Long Time Gonne).

    2. Medium Sized C

      In the fight for independence yes, but in the rising? They said “women of the rising” .

      1. Tommy

        What about Rosalie Rice (Irelands own James Bond) undeterred by barbed wire and machine guns managed to inform the media in New York before London knew what was happening. Became a model for code writing/breaking for British secret service

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