West Highland Museum Review of the Year!

Group of volunteers at clan cameron museum

The West Highland Museum in Fort William is in the heart of the Highlands and is particularly known for its Jacobite Collection and Commando exhibition. 

This year’s newsletter focuses on what the museum has been up to in 2019 and is packed full of interesting information about the museum’s activities.

This includes articles about exciting new acquisitions; loans; existing collections; volunteer activities; local history; visitor events and festivals.

Just two of the highlights of 2019 have been, the long term loan of the Drambuie Collection from William Grant and Son Ltd, and the acquisition of a rare secret portrait Jacobite snuff box.

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An Iconic Acquisition with a Secret – at West Highland Museum

snuff box

Here is a short blog from Vanessa Martin at the West Highland Museum in Fort William on a recent exciting acquisition that is now on display in the museum.

‘We were delighted to have the opportunity to purchase a rare hidden portrait Jacobite snuff box at the Lyon and Turnbull auction in Edinburgh in August.  

It is a mid-18th century circular box with enamel tartan decoration, the hinged cover opens to reveal a plain interior, however, the hidden double lid opens to reveal a finely enamelled portrait of Prince Charles Edward Stuart in tartan jacket with orders of The Garter and Thistle decorations, white cockade and blue bonnet.

Hidden portrait snuff boxes such as this are amongst the most iconic Jacobite works of art. This example is in particularly good condition and finely enamelled.  The portrait is a variant of the famous Robert Strange example which likely date this piece to circa 1750.

The Museum has been established as a “Jacobite Museum” since its inception in 1922.  We have many unique and unusual objects already in our collection such as the Secret Portrait of Bonnie Prince Charlie and his death mask. This iconic object will be a valuable addition to our Jacobite collection and is now on permanent display.

We would not have been able to acquire this fine object for the collection without the financial support of the National Fund for Acquisitions, the Art Fund and a very generous local donor.  We are most grateful to everyone who has contributed to make this purchase possible.  The final price for the snuff box at auction was £9,750.’

Bonnie Prince Charlie picture on snuff box