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We recently had a customer that wanted to know a bit about the history of the Pictish Axe prior to making her purchase (she was buying the matching pendant to these earrings). I have never actually looked at this ancient tool in much detail before and it made quite interesting reading.
As well as being used for every day practical duties, the pictish axe also has a bit of a gruesome history as it was also used to behead enemies...... but you have to admit they really make lovely earrings!
While browsing on Twitter a fascinating link came up to the following article: The Pictish Trail In Easter Ross. The blog is full of amazing travel stories and is well worth a read but this article in particular really stood out for me.
Many of you will know that the Tain Silver designs have been heavily influenced by our Pictish Past and this article includes details and pictures of some of our closest pictish attractions.
Inspiration for our two new product designs that came out last month: the Nigg Stone Cufflinks and the Cadboll Cuff links was taken from the exact standing stones mentioned in this article.
Hand Crafted Cadboll Cuff Links
Hand Crafted Nigg Stone Cufflinks
We came across this lovely image on the facebook page of www.landscapes365.com and we thought that you might appreciate it. The stone stands out against the starry sky behind it and it just makes you want to visit that site.
It looks like this image has been taken in an ancient graveyard in Skye and the detail on the stones are amazing. When you look at this image, it is no wonder that so many celtic products today have been inspired by designs carved into stone over the years.
It would be lovely to visit this site to see the designs on all the other stones, not to mention that lovely backdrop. In our opinion the Isle of Skye is one of Scotland's most picturesque places.
(Image from the Daily Mail)
Did any of you see this image in the press last week? Here we have two heron fighting over a fish in the South of France. This image made me smile as when I think of Heron, this is certainly not the image that comes to mind!
This is more the image that I see. A Heron wading in the River Severn they look so graceful and elegant. That is why I think this bird lends itself so well to jewellery design.
Our Heron jewellery range has proved very popular over the last year and we have found that there is an even greater number of people searching for heron pendants, heron earrings as well as heron brooches. The brooch is available in two different sizes: medium and large. The medium size brooch is 33mm in diameter.
Our heron earrings are an exact match for the medium sized brooch so they are also 33mm in diameter and the pendant is the same. Some people opt for the matching pendant and earrings and the large brooch. It is an entirely personal choice.
As always, Tain Silver products are also available in gold.
This video appeared on our Facebook Page recently and it gives our Facebook Fans a quick overview of Tain Silver and our wide range of hand crafted jewellery and accessories.
Why not take a quick look?
We have lots more videos on our YouTube Channel which is a quick way to view some of our product collections. We will try to share more of these on our blog shortly.
We are very lucky to live so close to the Hilton of Cadboll Stone which is an excellent example of a Class II Pictish Stone. As the name suggests the stone can be found at Hilton of Cadboll which is on the Tarbat Peninsula in Easter Ross in the Scottish Highlands.
Many people class this as one of the most magnificent of all of the Pictish Cross-Slabs. If you are seaward facing you can see the Christian Cross and then on the landward facing side of the stone are secular depictions. Above the latter you can see Pictish symbols of Crescent and V-rod and double disc andZ-rod, as well as a hunting scene which includes a lady wearing a large Penannular Brooch and she is riding side saddle. The Hilton Of Cadboll stone is dated between the 6th and 9th Centuries.
Tain Silver designs have been inspired by various Pictish Standing Stones including this excellent example. Can you guess which of our products have been directly inspired by the Cadboll stone?
If you are considering visiting the Scottish Highlands then you should make sure you visit the Royal Burgh of Tain. This town is situated approximately 35 miles North of Inverness and we are lucky enough to have a great choice of craft businesses to choose from in the town.
Obviously there is Tain Silver. Our workshop is situated in the basement of local Jewellers M A Forbes which is placed on the High street. We have a large range of products on display in the shop, making it easy for you to browse lots of products at once.
Anta is famous for it's pottery, textiles and the lovely furniture that it designs and creates. Collected worldwide, Anta pottery is situated a few miles outside of Tain. If you are visiting Tain, make sure you take the time to visit the lovely pottery and their cafe is the perfect place to have a refreshment.
We love these fantastic glass baubles that were created by local company Glasstorm. This company is based in Tain and is headed by the very creative glass artists Brodie Nairn and Nichola Burns. Take the time to visit their excellent glass studio to see a wide range of their lovely products.
Tain Pottery has some amazing products, the above photograph gives you an idea of what they have to offer. They have a lovely pottery which is situated just outside of Tain on an old farm. The pottery is based in a huge old barn which was restored by Tain Pottery. If you are visiting Tain then don't leave without visiting the pottery where you can find a huge range of their products on display.
The Royal Burgh of Tain has so many different attractions, the above is just a taste. For more information just visit the community website - www.tain.org.uk
Designs on the Hilton Of Cadboll Stone have been great inspiration for Tain Silver over the years. This article was featured in the Scotsman today:
Stone detectives discover one of Scotland’s earliest surviving depictions of Jesus in Hilton of Cadboll Stone
THE identity of a mysterious figure carved on an iconic Pictish stone slab will be revealed this week as being one of Scotland’s earliest surviving depictions of Jesus.
For more than a thousand years, the aristocratic rider carved on the 8th century Hilton of Cadboll Stone, discovered in Easter Ross, was assumed to be a Pictish princess out with a hunting party chasing a deer.
But a new book to be launched on Wednesday says that the long-haired figure riding side-saddle and wearing flowing robes is of Christ riding into Jerusalem in the days leading up to the Crucifixion.
Martin Goldberg, one of the authors of Early Medieval Scotland: Individuals, Communities and Ideas, said he hoped his work would help kickstart a re-evaluation of the era known as the Dark Ages because of the lack of surviving written sources and show it as a time of intellectual vigour in Scotland with ideas flowing freely back and forth from mainland Europe.
Goldberg, the curator of Early Historic and Viking Collections at National Museums Scotland, described how he began his quest to discover the identity of the figure four years ago after glancing at the 2.5-metre tall sandstone cross-slab, a centrepiece of the museum’s Early People’s Gallery, and suddenly thinking: “You know, it doesn’t have to be a lady on that horse.”
The stone, which has a Christian cross on its reverse side, dates from around 800AD and is regarded as one of the finest 8th-century sculptures in Western Europe. It was carved following the conversion of the Picts to Christianity, celebrating their new religion.
Such Pictish carvings often showed hunting scenes because they represented an everyday activity which people would recognise. The evidence for the figure being female previously centred on the Pictish symbols of a mirror and comb also carved on the slab.
However, experts say only a select, educated few would have been able to interpret deeper significant “hidden”, and now thought to be Christian, messages, which were lost over time.
Goldberg said: “People have assumed the figure was female because it was riding side-saddle and we are used to the prim and proper Victorian image of women like that and of pictures of top-level aristocracy out hunting.
“But then I started to really think about it and I began to see that perhaps the two trumpeters behind the main riders on the stone had nothing to do with hunting and instead looked like they were performing a fanfare for an adventus ceremony welcoming a new king which would tie in with Jesus’s entrance into Jerusalem. It’s all very well coming up with an idea like that but then someone says ‘prove it’ and that’s the difficult part.”
Goldberg carried out extensive research across museums worldwide looking at carvings from the same era of Jesus on horseback, searching for similarities with the Hilton of Cadboll Stone. “I started examining other hunting scenes with riders and found a few of Jesus riding side-saddle. In particular, I studied one in the Coptic Museum in Cairo which was taken from Al-muallaqa church and shows a carving on a wooden lintel which is very similar to the Hilton of Cadboll stone with Jesus with long-flowing robes, long hair and riding side-saddle and entering Jerusalem.
“Jesus riding side-saddle can be ‘read’ as him sending a very personal message and wanting to appear humble, not a triumphant leader.”
Goldberg, whose findings were then peer reviewed by other experts, added: “All the elements started to tie in together.” The Hilton of Cadboll Stone stood on a chapel site in Tain, Ross-shire. Over the years, it was defaced, used as a gravestone and moved to Invergordon Castle before being donated to the British Museum. After protests, it was returned to the National Museum of Scotland in 1921.
The Glenmorangie Company, whose distillery lies near the chapel site, has funded a research project on Early Historic Scotland, of which Goldberg’s book is part.
Hamish Torrie, brands director of the whisky company, which uses a design from the lower half of the stone as the logo for its single malts, said the book was the latest in a line of “fantastic reveals” produced by the research team.
“When we started the project we didn’t want to see just a ‘signed off’ name plaque on a wall, we wanted to be actively involved and we are very proud to be associated with this work. When we did our re-branding, we went back to our roots and the Hilton of Cadboll Stone is a marvellous icon to work with. Today it’s on millions of bottles around the world and, by this, we’ve introduced the history of the stone to so many people.”
Hidden symbolism features elsewhere in the book with Alice Blackwell, the Glenmorangie research officer, revealing her finding that the elaborate engraving on some brooches from Early Medieval Scotland were meant to be “read” upside down by the wearer looking down at Christian symbols.
We just wanted to add a quick note to let you know that our new website is currently under construction. While the main work has taken place, we have still to add lots more products and make changes to various sections.
Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause and if you have any questions please get in touch at : firstname.lastname@example.org
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