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Issue 25 - Art and antiques news

Scotland Magazine Issue 25
February 2006


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Art and antiques news

Sally Toms rounds up the latest shows and exhibitions

Exhibition of rarities is timely

The oldest clockmaker in Edinburgh, James Ritchie & Son, has recently unveiled a collection of some of the rarest timepieces in Europe at the Shapes’ showroom in Edinburgh.

As part of a £2 million exhibition, the display will run for 12 months and is currently showcasing what is thought to be the world’s first ever ‘jukebox’. The Victorian Symphonium and eight day fusee timepiece, mounted at the top of the cabinet, was unearthed by a team of clockmakers from James Ritchie & Son, is on sale for a slim £25,000.

Also on display as part of the collection is an extremely rare Astronomical Tidal Long Case Clock made in 1768 which shows the rising and setting of the sun every calendar day and is worth approximately £85,000.

“We are proud to be a part of the history of Scotland; it is a great honour to hold contracts to maintain some of the country’s most famed public clocks,” commented Ian Anderson, proprietor of James Ritchie & Sons.

“We are also really excited about the exhibition at Shapes which allows us to display some of the most treasured timepieces from our personal collection.”

Another mystery at Rosslyn

The plot thickens.

The suggestion in the DaVinci Code that The Knights Templar were involved with Rosslyn Chapel has been dismissed in some quarters as a modern literary invention.

But an extraordinary painting which has gone on sale at Shapes Showroom, Edinburgh, may prove otherwise.

The identity of the figure in A Templar Knight in Roslin Chapel by R.T. McPherson (1838) was not recorded, but clearly shows the knight against the famous Apprentice Pillar within Rosslyn Chapel.

Robert Brydon, Rossyln exhibition manager commented:

“I’ve long known of another version of the same painting” he said, “but no-one ever knew who the figure was – although he clearly represents an important officer of a Scottish Templar revival order of the 1830s.”

The piece sold for £2,000 and the identity of the knight remains a mystery.