The Earl of Rosebery Dalmeny House
A Spectacular Scottish Stately Home
Home to the Earls of Rosebery since 1662, the majestic Dalmeny House on the western outskirts of Edinburgh boasts spectacular scenery, inspired architecture and an extraordinary collection of antique furniture, artworks and curious objects. The first item we crafted for The Earl of Rosebery was in 1887 and have since created an array of exceptional pieces. Discover our history with The Earls of Rosebery below.
Amongst some of the oldest exhibits in the Celebrating our Craft Exhibition (around 1887), Highland Dress Dirks are derived from the 16th century as an alternative to a broadsword, also being used as a symbol of honour upon which oaths were sworn.
Described as the "heart of a Highlander", the dirk accompanied its owner throughout life, even after Culloden when Scots were forced to never "possess any gun, sword, or pistol, or to use tartan".
Over the centuries, the dirk has evolved into a ceremonial weapon, the shape of the grip mimicking that of a thistle. Typically, when worn, the dirk hands by a "frog" leather strap, one example here including a small knife and fork in compartments. A smaller version of the dirk is known as a Sgian Dubh and is still a widely used Highland Dress adornment.
These two silver photograph frames were crafted in 1897. One frame encloses a photograph of Prince George, later George V, the plain oblong frame embossed with Tudor roses at the corners and surmounted by a coronet and scroll motif. The second shows a photograph of Queen Victoria on her Diamond Jubilee, the frame featuring a plain border with Celtic motifs at the angles, surmounted by a coronet and scroll work above applied VR monogram. Both fine examples of 19th century silversmithing.