On Friday, July 22nd, and Saturday July 23rd, I am taking part in interesting and important events in Edinburgh, organised by the Clan Currie Society.
On Friday 22nd, at 11am, a stone will be unveiled in the Makar’s Court, outside the Writers Museum just off Edinburgh’s Royal Mile. The court is paved with stone slabs, each commemorating an important Scottish writer, and the latest stone is for Lachlan Mór MacMhuirich, and will be engraved with the first two lines of his famous brosnachadh, or incitement to Clan Donald before the battle of Harlaw in July 1411:
A Chlanna Cuinn, cuimhnichibh
Cruas an am na h-iorghaile
On Saturday 23rd, starting at 10am, in the Royal Scots Club on Abercrombie Place, Edinburgh, there will be a symposium on Lachlan Mór MacMhuirich and the Battle of Harlaw, with a good selection of speakers.
You can find out more details on the Clan Currie event website.
See also my Harlaw music pages.
Yesterday I was listening to In Our Time and they were discussing unicorns. The discussion of how unicorns were depicted in medieval art was very interesting and made me think of the unicorn on the forepillar of the Queen Mary harp, carved perhaps in South Argyll, Scotland, in the 15th century. That one is slightly unusual in that it has a short, thick, snout-mounted horn rather than the usual long twisted forehead-mounted one, but most strange of all is that it is stuffing a fish into the mouth of a Lindworm (wingless bipedal dragon). It is also not clear what the projection above its eye might be – a forelock or mane, or an eyebrow, or a rudimentary second horn?
The illustration here shows the Queen Mary harp unicorn as copied by David Patton on my replica of the harp.
On Tuesday I visited the perhaps misleadingly titled “Lewis Chessmen” exhibition in Edinburgh. This gaming-piece here is particularly interesting – the curators suggest it is a locally-made replacement piece. The decoration on the chair back matches that on the Queen Mary harp and on other 15th century West Highland sculpture. It’s British Museum 1831,1101.82