Clan jewels recreated to honour first Scottish chief since 17th century

A set of ‘clan jewels’ pieced together over hundreds of years, but partly lost over time will be recreated ahead of the inauguration of the first chief of Buchanan since the 17th century.

The replicas are being made ahead of the ceremony to install John Michael Baillie-Hamilton Buchanan as Chief of Clan Buchanan in October.

The inauguration, which will be held at the chief’s Perthshire home, will be the first time the clan has had a figurehead for 340 years, with Mr Buchanan, 63, identified after years of of genealogical research.

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Recreating the jewels will help bring the clan closer to its past as it prepares for the future, the new Clan Chief said.

Among the pieces is a replica silver Jacobite rose, which was originally presented to the clan in the 18th century after Francis Buchanan of Arnpryor, a treasurer and armourer of Bonnie Prince Charlie, was executed in October 1746 for stockpiling weapons before Culloden.

Mr Buchanan, a retired civil engineer of Cambusmore Estate in Perthshire, said: “The ‘clan jewels' symbolise the soul of the clan. so it was vital to research and replicate each item in order to honour our history and heritage.

''The skilled and dedicated work from a number of local Scottish craftspeople has led to the creation of an intricate collection capturing the essence of the clan's past, while embracing its evolution into the modern day."

The silver Jacobite rose which was originally made to commemorate a number of key figures during the 1745 rising, including Francis Buchanan of Arnpryor who was executed for stockpiling weapons ahead of Culloden. PIC: Contributed.

A replica of the Silver Sword of Leny, which was reportedly first presented to the Chief’s ancestor by King Cullen around 970, has also been made.

The sword, which disappeared after Culloden, acted as an early legal symbol of the clan’s ownership of land around Callander, with the symbol becoming embedded on the Buchanan coat of arms.

Mr Buchanan said ‘clan jewels’ celebrated successes and moments of clan pride, with objects made to represent joint tribal experiences, such as important battles and particular weapons used to defend the clan name.

The passing of the clan jewels to the new chief was symbolic of the importance of continuity and the ongoing spirit of the clan, he added.

A new cromach, a type of crook, featuring the silver head of a bear, another insignia of Clan Buchanan. PIC: Contributed.

Silversmith Roddy Young, of Inverness, worked on several of the pieces for the inauguration.

He recreated the insignia of the Sword of Leny from a drawing of the original as well as the Jacobite rose and a new cromach, a type of crook, which features a silver bear.

Mr Young, who made the cromach with Ron Speirs, a specialist maker in Dunkeld, said: “I feel very honoured indeed to have been chosen to work on creating a new set of Buchanan 'clan jewels', some of them based on recreating historic pieces, but others made from new, adding a contemporary twist.

“This project has made full use of my broad range of skills as a craftsman, incorporating very traditional silversmithing along with the latest digital techniques.

A replica of the Silver Sword of Leny, which was first presented to clan figures around 1,000 years ago, according to accounts. The small weapon, which features in the Buchanan coat of arms, disappeared after Culloden. PIC: Contributed.

“Thanks to the excellent historical research carried out by The Lady Buchanan, the challenging design brief has gone smoothly so far, and I look forward to working on the next set of pieces for the inauguration in October.”

A stone throne, which features two falcons, has also been carved for the inauguration by stonemason Adam Innes.

The last Chief of Clan Buchanan was John Buchanan, who died in 1681 without a male heir.

The 'throne' that will be used in the inauguration of the new clan chief. It was made by Adam Innes, a stonemason based in Doune and Edinburgh, and features two falcons, which have been used in clan insignia over time. PIC: Contributed.
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