Freedom casket and Burgess ticket by Brook and Son Edinburgh

This striking piece of interwar Scottish silverware was awarded to author and dramatist Sir James Matthew Barrie when he was granted the Freedom of the Burgh of Kirriemuir in 1930.


Details

Medium:
Silver, enamel & mahogany
Dimensions:
29 x 13 x 15.5 cm
Art Fund grant:
£3,730 ( Total: £8,460)
Acquired in:
2013
Vendor:
Greenslade Taylor Hunt Auctioneers

Best known as the creator of Peter Pan, Barrie was born in Kirriemuir to a family of weavers and would ultimately be buried there in 1937. He studied literature at the University of Edinburgh before moving to London to pursue a career as a writer. He published a series of stories in the St James’s Gazette about ‘Thrums’, a fictional Scottish town based heavily on his birthplace that would serve as the setting for his first three novels. Created by Edinburgh silversmiths Brook and Son, the casket is of an eclectic design, combining clean lines inspired by East Asian design with elaborate decorations derived from medieval Scottish stone carvings.. The four vertical faces are bonded above and below with an ornate floral pattern and feature plaques bearing views of Kirriemuir that were of particular significance to Barrie, including his house, the town’s statue of Peter Pan and the Barrie Pavilion. An inscription commemorating the presentation forms the centrepiece of the lid, flanked by two Pictish interlace designs reminiscent of the carved stones in Kirriemuir Parish Kirkyard. The casket will be incorporated into Kirriemuir Museum’s existing display on Barrie’s life and work.

Provenance

Sale of J M Barrie's assets, Sotheby's, April 1938; by descent; the vendor.

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