Cobwebs & Phyllis

Lives Intertwined

Cobwebs over looking the Spanish arch in Galway, has developed from a derelict building on the point of demolition to feature in Bord Failte's advertising on 5th Avenue New York. The shop is often photographed and appears in calendars and travel magazines. Established in 1972, this renowned shop boasts a stunning stock of antique and modern jewels, a visit to which has become an experience not to be missed.

Phyllis MacNamara is the owner of Cobwebs Galway. Jewellery for Phyllis is more than a business – it’s a way of life. Her academic knowledge married to her passion and enthusiasm for these objects of beauty is infectious. She holds a degree in Fine Art from Trinity College and has studied with Sotheby's London and Cartier London.

"In 1968, I went to Trinity to study business studies but by the end of the first week I knew I had made a dreadful mistake... In my second year I changed course, studying Music and Visual Arts with English and Irish. It was heaven, and there began the training of my eye which was to stand to me when I went into the antiques business."

"Just as I finished university, my sister decided to open an antiques shop. I offered to help for a week – and stayed for 45 years"

"I have had many interesting clients, including Barbara Streisand who came into the shop wearing a peaked cap, dark glasses and collar up but I recognised her immediately by her voice. She bought a ring."

The Cobwebs' Timeline

In the Beginning

Trinity College

Phyllis leaves Taylor’s Hill in Galway to study Business Studies in Trinity College


A Change of Heart

Phyllis realises here "dreadful mistake" and changes course to Music and Visual Arts with English and Irish


Cobwebs Founded

"I offered to help my Sister for a week.."


Sotheby’s Institute in London

Phyllis studies history of jewellery at Sotheby’s Institute


Irish Times "Life's Work" Article

An interview by Phyllis outlining her thoughts on her life's work. View Article >>

Present Day

"I was invited to appraise some of the Duchess of Windsor jewels. I tried on her sapphire bracelet, and yes I took a selfie"