Jacobite bank note auctioned for £ 6,250 to benefit Fort Museum expansion



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A Jacobite banknote print fetched £ 6,250 when it was auctioned off last week with the proceeds going to the West Highland Museum in Fort William.

The print was created by Edinburgh Printmakers in April on behalf of the museum, from an original 1746 copper plate engraved by Robert Strange.

This contemporary print continues the Jacobite tradition of raising funds for their “cause,” but this time all proceeds raised will help fund the West Highland Museum, which is raising funds to help expand its premises.

The museum aims to expand to 40 High Street, a building it purchased in 2018 with help from the Scottish Land Fund.

This print is the first of 22 in total, produced by Edinburgh Printmakers, to mark the museum’s 100th anniversary in 2022.

Museum curator Vanessa Martin told the Lochaber Times: “We are absolutely delighted with the outcome of the auction and the funds raised have far exceeded the final total we expected.

“This has been an exciting project to work on over the past 18 months and I am grateful for all the expert support we have received which has enabled us to produce these wonderful prints.”

Dating from the days before the Battle of Culloden in 1746, this particular plaque has an interesting and eventful history.

Commissioned directly by Prince Charles Edward Stuart at the height of his campaign, and in fact only days before the fateful Battle of Culloden, it was necessitated by lack of funds due to a costly crusade until 1745-6 and the loss or theft of various gold shipments from France and Spain.

The notes were intended to pay the Jacobite troops and continue to finance the campaign.
During two personal meetings in April 1746, Robert Strange, engraver and member of Prince Charles’s Rescue Regiment, was commissioned by the Prince to create the engraving plates for the banknotes.

However, the commission was not without its problems as Strange could not find any significant quality paper or a functioning printing press in Inverness.

After procuring copper to make the plate, he discovered that its quality was not up to par, and he had to convince a carpenter with mechanical knowledge to work on the Sabbath and build a wood press for him. to print.

Ultimately however, this press would not be used. With Culloden’s disastrous outcome, Prince Charles and his followers fled, along with the plate and other valuables, into exile.

Colin Fraser, consultant specialist with auctioneers Lyon and Turnbull, said it had been a pleasure to see such lively auctions for an amazing item.

“Buyers found the history and research not only enigmatic but fascinating and the added benefit of supporting such an important museum, its collections and its ambitious plans for its second century proved to be a perfect recipe for a wonderful result.” , added Fraser.

“This is a true testament to everyone involved in creating a one-of-a-kind piece of what must now be considered part of the Jacobite history and paper money of Scotland.”

Great care has been taken to ensure the preservation of the plaque while working with it and expert advice has been taken on all rounds.

The print sold at auction, the first in the series, was framed with wood from the famous “Beech Avenue” in Achnacarry, planted at the time of the uprising of 1745 and at the end of its life.

The wooded avenue, along the Arkaig River, was planted by Donald Cameron of Lochiel, 19th Chief of Clan Cameron, without whose support the 45th campaign would never have taken place.

Lochiel was planting the tree-lined avenue leading to Achnacarry House when the call to gather in Glenfinnan arrived. In his haste to join the prince, the saplings were quickly planted in groups rather than in a planned avenue along lead, where they reached full maturity.

The recently harvested wood has been transformed into a suitable setting for such an iconic impression, with tradition at the heart of the work.

The frame was designed by cabinet maker Peter Davis and glazed by Gillian Sloan of Fort William. A second frame was created for the 22/22 print and will remain in the collection of the West Highland Museum.

Other prints will now be sold by the museum, the sale price of which will be announced shortly. To express your interest, contact the museum, send an email to: [email protected] or call 01397 702169.

A draw will be drawn on September 7th. Tickets cost £ 10 each and can be purchased in the museum shop or on the museum’s website using the ‘donate’ button.


The framed print which fetched over £ 6,000 at auction last week. Photography: Lyon and Turnbull.

NO F35 Framed print 1 of 22 sold Lyon & Turnbull 08/18/2021


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