AN IRISH BOG OAK BOOK SLIDE, 19th century, attributed to Cornelius Goggin, the sliding base with central carving of an Irish harp, inside a profusely decorated border of trailing shamrocks, the hinged folding bookends, one carved depicting an Irish Wolfhound seated beside a tree trunk, the other as an Irish Harp surrounded by shamrocks, 36cm wide (when closed), 22cm high, 8cm deep
Irish Bog Oak is a rare timber excavated from deep underground, usually as a by-product of turf cutting, or when bogland is drained for agricultural use. The wood has been preserved due to the unique conditions of the bog, and is is usually jet black in colour. Ireland, in the 19th century, had a thriving bog wood industry in Dublin, with representation also in other main cities and in the tourist towns such as Killarney. It was a highly desirable material with pieces ranging from emblematic jewellery, book ends and candlesticks to intricately carved suites of furniture.
In the 19th century Neo- Celtic style reflected the growing fascination with Irelands ancient, cultural and artistic past. This was a decorative style based on Celtic motifs and designs characterised by the use of symbols such as the shamrock, Irish harp, round tower and wolfhound, with interlacing patterns incorporating Gaelic script from the Book of Kells.
Cornelius Goggin moved to Dublin in 1849, where he set up business in the city centre. In the 1853 Dublin Exhibition, he showed a candelabrum in bog oak Irish silver, he also exhibited bracelets, brooches, necklaces, bookstands, chess boards and other articles and in bog oak. By 1852 Cornelius Goggin had moved to 13 Nassau Street, where he ran a bog oak and Killarney wood warehouse until his death on 1st July 1865. He had also become purveyor to her Majesty. A bog oak inkstand, in the shape of an owl, by Goggin, is on display in the National Museum of Ireland.