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Chris Goerner




Location: Roanoke, Virginia
Joined: 19 Sep 2004
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PostPosted: Sun 07 Feb, 2010 1:20 pm    Post subject: Scottish Portraits with Arms         Reply with quote

For a couple of years now I have been keeping my eye out for period art work of Scottish men and boys depicting their swords, dirks, pistols and targes. I have learned quite a bit about variations in these weapons and how they were worn. I am posting a few of my favorites, and would invite others interested in the topic to do the same. I'd love to see what's out there that I haven't come across already.

Chris



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Thomas_Osborne_1.jpg
Note the dirk and pistol in the right foreground.

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Henrik sent me this one and it has become one of my favorites. [ Download ]

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Not the most handsome of men, but interesting to see the pistol worn on a waist belt. [ Download ]

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Chris Goerner




Location: Roanoke, Virginia
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PostPosted: Sun 07 Feb, 2010 1:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Below is Virginia Governor Lord Dunmore. At first I thought his dirk hilt was of carved wood, but on closer examination, it appears the dirk, knife and fork are all hilted in antler.


 Attachment: 102.66 KB
[ Download ]

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Chris Goerner




Location: Roanoke, Virginia
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PostPosted: Sun 07 Feb, 2010 1:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

And no collection of Scottish portraits would be complete without Lord George Murray!


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Lin Robinson




Location: NC
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PostPosted: Sun 07 Feb, 2010 1:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for sharing Chris. I have seen Major Fraser, Lord Dunsmore and Lord George many times before, but the other two were new to me.

Wearing a pistol on the waistbelt was apparently common, when pistols were kept for serious work. I have seen several old portraits with one at the waist and the other clipped to a cross belt which was apparently made for the purpose of carrying a pistol

Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
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Chris Goerner




Location: Roanoke, Virginia
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PostPosted: Sun 07 Feb, 2010 1:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lin,

Yes, much of the artwork I have seen of Highland soldiers shows the pistol worn on a crossbelt that runs parallel to the baldrick holding their sword. I was interested to find a painting of the pistol worn on a waist belt instead. In the paintings you have seen this in before, were the men wearing kilts, or were they in trews like this individual? That would be interesting to know.

One of the things that has been curious to me as well is what's absent from certain paintings. For example, the man in the painting referenced above is not wearing a dirk. Similarly, Lord George Murray is not wearing a sporran. These things seem so ubiquitous on the whole that I find it interesting when they are "missing".

Chris

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Lin Robinson




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PostPosted: Sun 07 Feb, 2010 1:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chris Goerner wrote:
Lin,

Yes, much of the artwork I have seen of Highland soldiers shows the pistol worn on a crossbelt that runs parallel to the baldrick holding their sword. I was interested to find a painting of the pistol worn on a waist belt instead. In the paintings you have seen this in before, were the men wearing kilts, or were they in trews like this individual? That would be interesting to know.

One of the things that has been curious to me as well is what's absent from certain paintings. For example, the man in the painting referenced above is not wearing a dirk. Similarly, Lord George Murray is not wearing a sporran. These things seem so ubiquitous on the whole that I find it interesting when they are "missing".

Chris


The paintings I have seen were all kilted. When I read your post I started looking for one good example but have not found it. And, since the Super Bowl is starting shortly, it may have to wait.

I agree that no dirk and no sporran are a bit unusual. We do need to allow for artistic license also; after all these are not photographs.

Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
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Thom R.




Location: Tucson
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PostPosted: Sun 07 Feb, 2010 1:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

don't forget this one Sir Mungo Murray



Last edited by Thom R. on Sun 07 Feb, 2010 2:54 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Lin Robinson




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PostPosted: Sun 07 Feb, 2010 1:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here is one with the pistol on the belt. This is Kenneth Sutherland, the 3rd Lord Duffus.


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kenneth sutherland.jpg


Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
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Thom R.




Location: Tucson
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PostPosted: Sun 07 Feb, 2010 2:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Alastair Grant with his claidheam crom


Last edited by Thom R. on Sun 07 Feb, 2010 2:32 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Thom R.




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PostPosted: Sun 07 Feb, 2010 2:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Major Alexander Tulloch of Dunbennan
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Thom R.




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PostPosted: Sun 07 Feb, 2010 2:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

next two are from the cover of Sons of the Mountains, not clear who the gentlemen are:



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Thom R.




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PostPosted: Sun 07 Feb, 2010 2:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

lets not forget the common soldier - nor the piper!!





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Thom R.




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PostPosted: Sun 07 Feb, 2010 2:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

this one is from a bit later - 1822 Major General Sir Evan MacGregor
note the traditional pistols however

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Lin Robinson




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PostPosted: Sun 07 Feb, 2010 2:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thom R. wrote:
next two are from the cover of Sons of the Mountains, not clear who the gentlemen are:



The chap with the musket is John Campbell of Melfort. I do not know who the other fellow is.

Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
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Henrik Bjoern Boegh




Location: Aust Agder, Norway
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PostPosted: Mon 08 Feb, 2010 4:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chris Goerner wrote:
Below is Virginia Governor Lord Dunmore. At first I thought his dirk hilt was of carved wood, but on closer examination, it appears the dirk, knife and fork are all hilted in antler.

What makes you say that? When I zoom in on it it looks much like the handles are both carved. To me it appears that there is knotwork on is as well. The dirk also has the typical wide pommel, thin grip and wider haunches form, which seem an unlikely form if made by antler.

Who is the lad in the portrait above (with trews and a laaarge plaid hanging behind him, and the unusual cloth bonnet)

Here are a few more portraits.

Cheers,
Henrik



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Andrew Macpherson of Cluny 1640 - 1666 15th Chief.jpg
Andrew Macpherson of Cluny 1640 - 1666 15th Chief

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Charles Campbell of Lochlane died 1751 Advocate.jpg
Charles Campbell of Lochlane died 1751 Advocate

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John Campbell 3rd Earl of Bredalbane.jpg
John Campbell 3rd Earl of Bredalbane

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Moray Abercairney by Jeremiah Davidson.jpg
Moray Abercairney by Jeremiah Davidson

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Sir_James_Macdonald_1741_1765_and_Sir_Alexander_Macdonald_1744_1810_by_William_Mosman.jpg
Sir James Macdonald 1741-1765 and Sir Alexander Macdonald 1744-1810 by William Mosman

 Attachment: 172.14 KB
Norman MacLeod of Dunvegan 20th chief [ Download ]

Constant and true.
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Scott Kowalski




Location: Oak Lawn, IL USA
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PostPosted: Mon 08 Feb, 2010 4:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thom R. wrote:
Alastair Grant with his claidheam crom


That is a very interesting looking blade. It looks like some kind of falchion or even messer mated to a baskethilt. That or I could not be totally awake as of yet.

Scott

Chris Landwehr 10/10/49-1/1/09 My Mom
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Lin Robinson




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PostPosted: Mon 08 Feb, 2010 4:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Scott Kowalski wrote:
Thom R. wrote:
Alastair Grant with his claidheam crom


That is a very interesting looking blade. It looks like some kind of falchion or even messer mated to a baskethilt. That or I could not be totally awake as of yet.

Scott


It is a saber blade. There are a couple of examples of basket hilts with saber blades, so this is not just artistic license.

Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
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Scott Kowalski




Location: Oak Lawn, IL USA
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PostPosted: Mon 08 Feb, 2010 5:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lin Robinson wrote:
Scott Kowalski wrote:
Thom R. wrote:
Alastair Grant with his claidheam crom


That is a very interesting looking blade. It looks like some kind of falchion or even messer mated to a baskethilt. That or I could not be totally awake as of yet.

Scott


It is a saber blade. There are a couple of examples of basket hilts with saber blades, so this is not just artistic license.


NOOOOOOOOOOOO! That was my wallet by the way. It does not like you much right now Lin. Mainly due to the fact that this has given me the idea for yet another sword I would like to someday have. Maybe in FY 2012.

Joking aside Lin, thank you very much for the response. I do not suppose anyone has a better picture of just the sword from the picture do they? The one posted is dark when you get to the tip which I would like to see better since it looks clip pointed to me.

Scott

Chris Landwehr 10/10/49-1/1/09 My Mom
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Thom R.




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PostPosted: Mon 08 Feb, 2010 7:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There is a beautiful baskethilted saber in Culloden the Swords and the Sorrows which you should check out - Vince Evans once did a repro and I think you can still see it in his public photo album. The Swords and the Sorrows is out of print but copies exist for about 60 bucks which is still quite a good deal if you like scottish baskets! unfortunately we used to have all manner of photos of baskets here in Mac's posts but then his photo album links went into the internet ether. tr
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Chris Goerner




Location: Roanoke, Virginia
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PostPosted: Mon 08 Feb, 2010 8:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Henrik Bjoern Boegh wrote:
Chris Goerner wrote:
Below is Virginia Governor Lord Dunmore. At first I thought his dirk hilt was of carved wood, but on closer examination, it appears the dirk, knife and fork are all hilted in antler.

What makes you say that? When I zoom in on it it looks much like the handles are both carved. To me it appears that there is knotwork on is as well. The dirk also has the typical wide pommel, thin grip and wider haunches form, which seem an unlikely form if made by antler.

Who is the lad in the portrait above (with trews and a laaarge plaid hanging behind him, and the unusual cloth bonnet)

Here are a few more portraits.

Cheers,
Henrik


Henrik,

I can't be certain they are antler. However, when I zoom in on the hilt, the pommel looks more like an antler crown than turned wood. Also, the knife and fork appear to have similarly shaped pommels (ie, hilts look like they flare at the top rather than being cylindrical in shape.

It could certainly be my eyes playing tricks on me, as I can only get so much resolution out of the copy of the painting I have. And, as Lin noted earlier, these are paintings and not photographs. What I am interpreting as crown stag may simply be the artist's technique at representing celtic knotwork with his paints.

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