The Art Fund helps bring rare Scottish vessel home

  • 3 April 2008

The Art Fund has helped the Tain & District Museum win at auction a rare silver antique worth £15,000. The Quaich, a traditional Scottish vessel used for drinking whisky or brandy, brings the charity's total grants to the Museum to over £25,000.

The silver drinking cup, dated at around 1740, is the 100th item to be added to the Museum’s collection. The work of Scottish silversmiths Hugh Ross I or Hugh Ross II, it is one of only three examples of Ross Quaichs which are known to exist.  Both father and son spent time working in Tain during the first half of the 18th Century.  Engraved with stave lines and stamped with the artist’s initials, the piece is a great example of local craftsmanship.

David Barrie, Director of The Art Fund, said:  “It’s fitting that this rare and quintessentially Scottish piece should be housed at Tain. This is the third time The Art Fund has been able to help the Museum acquire Hugh Ross silver, and I’m very pleased that the Quaich will be enjoyed in its rightful home.”

Morag Bremner, Manager of the Tain & District Museum, said: “The Art Fund’s continued support has been indispensable.  With their generosity, we are able to flesh out our already expanding portfolio of Hugh Ross works and thus further engage the community about Tain’s history and silversmithing.”

The Art Fund has given two previous grants to the Tain & District Museum.  In 2000, the charity gave the Museum £9,410 and in 2004 £10,610, both for Hugh Ross I silver cups.  All three pieces will be displayed in the Tain & District Museum’s permanent collection. 

For more information on the Tain & District Museum please visit www.tainmuseum.org.uk.