Monday, June 12, 2017

A Nice Armorial Box (with Update)

For our last item in the interior of Provand's Lordship, the oldest house in Glasgow (built in 1471), we ran across this relatively simple, but very nice, armorial wooden chest or box.

While really pretty plain-looking, the carving of the square in the front with the coat of arms is very deep and - despite its relative simplicity - very well-carved, with a lot of delineation and visual interest.

The arms appear to be those of Muirhead, Argent on a bend azure three acorns or, or possibly Akers, Argent on a bend sable three acorns or. (If the latter, they are canting arms, a pun on the surname: acorns sounds a lot like Akers.) I did not see any sign near the box which gave any information about it or its provenance.*

But what a great way to use a coat of arms!

* Correspondence from our good friend Margaret Sainte Claire of Glasgow confirms that these are the arms of Muirhead of Lauchope. She forwarded a link ( that led to an illustration (below) of the arms of Andrew Muirhead, Bishop of Glasgow 1455-1473 at the bottom of his seal.

Bishop Muirhead built Provand's Lordship in 1471, so this armorial box is entirely appropriate to the building. How cool is that?

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