TWO tapestries inspired by the last remaining letters of William Wallace are to be unveiled as the centrepiece of a new exhibition.
Special Delivery: The William Wallace Letters opens next month, and was commissioned by the National Records of Scotland, and designed at Edinburgh’s Dovecot Studios.
The 700-year-old letters are being exhibited for the first time, and the two tapestries will hang behind the exhibits. Their design is based on the ornate lettering and the parchment that the letters are written on.
The exhibition will also play host to the Lübeck Letter, which was issued by Wallace and his associate Andrew Murray inviting the ports of Lübeck and Hamburg, in what is now modern-day Germany, to resume trade with Scotland, and is on loan from the Hansestadt Lübeck Archive in Germany. The other exhibit of note is a letter on loan from the National Archives in London, dating to 1300 from King Philip IV of France to his colleagues at the Papal Court, requesting that they help Wallace with his business before the Pope.
George Mackenzie, keeper of the Records of Scotland, said: “I’m excited about the tapestries in our exhibition on William Wallace, which will add a whole new dimension for visitors. It’s fascinating that the weavers are using methods Wallace would recognise if he was alive today.”
The tapestries took over eight weeks to produce, using traditional Scottish hand-weaving techniques on an upright loom. They contain the Latin for William Wallace, Scotland and Lübeck - Guillelmum (William) and Scotia (Scotland) on one, and Wallensis (Wallace) and Lubek (Lübeck) on the second.
Unveiling the tapestries, Scotland’s Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “The Wallace exhibition is of tremendous importance, providing an opportunity for the people of Scotland to see these two historic documents side by side for the first time.
“These bespoke tapestries have been carefully crafted by skilled weavers using traditional techniques which, like the letters, have stood the test of time. They will provide a beautiful and fitting backdrop to add to the fascinating experience that the exhibition will deliver.”
• Special Delivery, which is free to attend, runs at the Scottish Parliament from August 10 to September 8.
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Saturday 25 May 2013
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