In 1904, the largest ever display of over 500 original Irish treasures was transported to St. Louis, Missouri, to represent “the art, history and social life of Ireland” over a period of 4000 years at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition. Set amongst symbolic replicas of Blarney Castle, Cormac’s Chapel, the Houses of Parliament, a rustic cottage, a Celtic high cross, a Norman gateway and a Hiberno-Romanesque revival Industrial Hall, its unprecedented success was seen as heralding the new, independent Ireland, ripe for industrial development, keenly looking to the future, secure in its past. In retrospect, it may be seen as anticipating the advent of Ireland’s latest symbol, the Celtic tiger, a hundred years hence.
Nowadays is very difficult to define the meaning of status symbol due to the blurred distinctions between social classes of people. The goodwill and level of status of a human being can be reflected on the basis of the clothes and accessories worn by him. Instead, one’s social status is seen not in the frequency of indulged luxury, but in the quality of it. Where to spend a family holidays is more vital than when or how often. Is it a cruise to the South of France or a car trip to the neighboring county every month? Cooking food themselves or hiring a qualified chef? The custom now is to invest in products or services that are sophisticated.