Heraldic Fireplace Keystone, 1626
Heraldic chimney piece, 1626 which formed the central keystone over a fireplace. This ornate example is carved with the arms of the French or Ffrench family, one of the fourteen so-called ‘Tribes of Galway’. The arms feature a chevron (an upside-down V-shape) and an ermine, symbolising the white winter coat of the stoat with its black-tipped tail. Although these are the standard French arms, it is unusual to see it referred to as the arms of a woman and her son: IN•GOD IS•NAME KATLINE•FREENCH AND•HER SON•ROBART FRENCH•IS•ARMS. The interlaced design in the upper left hand corner is possibly a stone mason’s mark.
Museum Reg. Comerford House Collection