22/01/2018
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Robert the Bruce state sword now on public display in Edinburgh

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The state sword of Robert the Bruce is one of several historic treasures which are on display at Bonhams Edinburgh as part of its Scottish week, from 22 to 27 January 2018, 10am-4pm.

The exhibition Treasures from Broomhall House and the Bruce Family will be on display at Bonhams' premises on 22 Queen Street, and will run alongside a free valuations service, where members of the public are invited to bring in treasured items for expert valuation.

Exhibition highlights

Among the many objects on display at the exhibition will be the Sword of State of Robert the Bruce. Kept at Broomhall House, the seat of the Bruce Family, this historic sword is rarely seen in public. Other treasures include:

  • A suit in the Bruce Tartan from around 1760. The suit was commissioned and worn by James Bruce of Kinnaird, who discovered the source of the Blue Nile in 1770.  From 1746 – 1782, the Dress Act banned the wearing of tartan in Scotland for every man and boy, except serving soldiers
  • A silver casket from Rangoon dated 1898 – given by the Municipality of Rangoon to Victor Bruce, 9th Earl of Elgin as Viceroy & Governor General of India 1894-1899
  • Silver from the collection of Alexander Bruce, 2nd Earl of Kincardine. Bruce was a noted Scottish 17th inventor who collaborated in the invention of the first reliable marine chronometer, and, with Robert Boyle and Christopher Wren, was a founding member of the Royal Society
  • A Portrait of Charles Bruce, 5th Earl of Elgin, by the famous Scottish painter, Allan Ramsay. The 5th Earl was a founding member of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews

Kolkota Scottish Heritage Trust

The exhibition and valuation are free but visitors will be encouraged to make donations to the Kolkota Scottish Heritage Trust which is restoring the Scottish Cemetery in Kolkota. The Scottish Cemetery was laid out in Calcutta (Kolkata) in 1820 and contains 1,600 headstones and monuments and 4,000 burials. In 2008 the Kolkata Scottish Heritage Trust (KSHT) was established to restore the cemetery and since then volunteers have cleared four acres of jungle, restored the gatehouse, graded and landscaped 70% of the site, assessed the condition of most of the monuments, developed skills training workshops, and opened a technical advice centre.

Bonhams Managing Director in Scotland Charles Graham-Campbell said, “It’s a pleasure and a privilege to be hosting these treasures from Broomhall House belonging to the Bruce Family. This is a great opportunity for people to see important and wonderful artefacts from our nation’s history that are rarely on public display.”

Broomhall House has opened for the first time in 300 years as a corporate venue for meetings, private dining, product launches and events.

Bonhams, 22 Queen Street, Edinburgh EH2 1JX; tel: 0131 225 2266; website.

(image copyright Bonhams Edinburgh/Broomhall House)

The news of the forthcoming Netflix film The Outlaw King has brought new interest in the life of Scottish king Robert the Bruce, victor of the momentous Battle of Bannockburn of 1314.

In this digital special from the publishers of History Scotland we bring together a collection of research from our 700-year-anniversary special edition. Historians and archaeologists explore:

• Why the Battle of Bannockburn was fought
• Whether Robert the Bruce deliberately led the enemy to a battle site of his choice
• What finds have been discovered on the battle site
• What new scientific techniques can tell us about how the conditions on the day affected the outcome of the battle

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