Published: 20/05/2013 14:59 - Updated: 20/05/2013 15:06

Best to last pledge as Tain silver project comes to an end

Jason Ubych, a volunteer at Tain & District Museum, practises his metalworking skills as assistant manager, Sheila Munro, shows him a Hugh Ross I thistle cup.
Jason Ubych, a volunteer at Tain & District Museum, practises his metalworking skills as assistant manager, Sheila Munro, shows him a Hugh Ross I thistle cup.

AN impressive piece of silverware is set to go on show at an Easter Ross museum at the beginning of next month.

In the final stage of its Heritage Lottery Fund: Collecting Cultures project, volunteers at Tain & District Museum are promising the best has been saved until last.

For the past five years volunteers at the local museum have been developing their collection of 18th and 19th century silver made in Tain. One of three museums in Scotland to receive funding under the scheme, The Tain Silver Collection project has seen the collection grow by 40 pieces, including a unique Hugh Ross luckenbooth brooch, a William Innes wine label and a Richard Wilkie fish slice.

As the project sets to close, an early 18th century thistle cup made by Hugh Ross I, arguably the finest of the silversmiths who worked in Tain, has been acquired by the museum.

There are only three known examples of Hugh Ross I thistles cups, two of which now reside at the museum. The purchase was made with additional financial help from the Art Fund and the National Fund for Acquisitions.

The cup will be on show to the public for the first time on Saturday, June 1 when the museum stages an open day from 11am until 3pm.

Throughout the day, silversmith Alan Baillie will be on hand to demonstrate how some of the silver pieces were made. Estelle Quick, foremost authority on Tain silver, will be giving a talk at 3pm entitled "An Adventure in Silver", highlighting some of the special pieces purchased as part of this project and just how they add to the understanding of the collection as a whole. The event is open to all members of the public and is free of charge.

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