Since 1953, fine bone china table and gift ware have been synonymous with Royal Tara in Galway, Ireland's City of the Tribes. A prosperous merchant town in the 16th century, when it was run by 14 successful merchant families, Galway is today a vibrant university city and is a very popular tourist destination on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean.
Royal Tara's philosophy has always been to offer the highest quality goods, and today, as the company evolves, this philosophy is continued and improved upon to keep these gifts of distinction to the forefront of the public's imagination.
In 2003 Islandcraft was established as a new brand in order to broaden our offering of Celtic gifts with a strong handcrafted emphasis. This brought us into hand carved wood with our Celtic Carvings collections, hand embroidered textiles with our Celtic Linens collections and cold cast works for our Celtic Shadows collections. Over the years we have also developed gifts for our Celtic neighbours in Scotland & Wales which are to be seen in our carving and linen ranges. Ireland, Scotland & Wales are steeped in Celtic culture and have proud heritages dating back to ancient times.
This wealth of inspiration is the well from which our designers at Islandcraft draw their ideas for the gifts of today. The riches of our nations are everywhere to be seen from the ruins of 12th century Norman castles to 8th century illuminated manuscripts, with their stunning interlacing, to the highly ornate stone high crosses to be seen marking the locations of ancient religious sites.
At Islandcraft we are very proud of the bountiful heritage inherent in the well known symbols of our three separate nations. The Shamrock with its reminder of St Patrick who brought Christianity to Ireland in the 5th century, the Harp symbolising the great musical culture which still flourishes in Ireland today and the famous Claddagh Ring which originated as a wedding ring in the Claddagh village in Galway in the 17th century - The Thistle which became a symbol of Scotland during the Viking invasions and the Lion Rampant which was a 12th century battle standard of King William the 1st of Scotland - The Dragon was chosen as a symbol of Wales in the time of Henry VII (15th Century) in tribute to the Welsh people who had made his victory possible, as he fought the Tudor claim to be the true rulers of Britain.
Islandcraft endeavours to interpret some of these representations of what it means to be Celtic as modern reminders of what has gone before and offers to the native and visitor alike unique keepsakes from these Celtic lands.