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Rob Roy's Sporran


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#1 Tartan Jack

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Posted 21 June 2009 - 11:42 AM

In one post on here, a pict is shown of a sporran (UK spelling is often sporan) called "Rob Roy's Sporran"

Intrigued, I looked around (on-line) for more info.

The sporran pictured is from the Inveraray Castle collection and in the Armory Hall room of that Campbell palace. (Before anyone starts Anti-Campbell crap, remember that Argyle was the benefactor, protector, and patron of Rob Roy, who actually signed his OWN name as "Robert Campbell" using his mother's maiden name.)
http://www.inveraray....asp?PageID=106


I was able to find another pict showing a different one associated with Rob Roy MacGregor:
http://www.scran.ac....0-100-001-456-C
This one is part of the National Museums Scotland collection, but I'm not sure where the actual artifact sits.



As I am working up a set of reenactor kit for Jocobites (and pirates of the same period), I find them interesting.
Neither is much like most we see today and the lids look more like a woman's hinge-topped shoulder purse than most modern "historic-style" sporrans. Also, I noted the extreme simplicity of both of them. There is no ornamentation, at all. Also, the cantles are very, very simple.
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#2 Highland Rogue

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Posted 21 June 2009 - 12:47 PM

QUOTE (Tartan Jack @ Jun 21 2009, 12:42 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
In one post on here, a pict is shown of a sporran (UK spelling is often sporan) called "Rob Roy's Sporran"

Intrigued, I looked around (on-line) for more info.

The sporran pictured is from the Inveraray Castle collection and in the Armory Hall room of that Campbell palace. (Before anyone starts Anti-Campbell crap, remember that Argyle was the benefactor, protector, and patron of Rob Roy, who actually signed his OWN name as "Robert Campbell" using his mother's maiden name.)
http://www.inveraray....asp?PageID=106


I was able to find another pict showing a different one associated with Rob Roy MacGregor:
http://www.scran.ac....0-100-001-456-C
This one is part of the National Museums Scotland collection, but I'm not sure where the actual artifact sits.



As I am working up a set of reenactor kit for Jocobites (and pirates of the same period), I find them interesting.
Neither is much like most we see today and the lids look more like a woman's hinge-topped shoulder purse than most modern "historic-style" sporrans. Also, I noted the extreme simplicity of both of them. There is no ornamentation, at all. Also, the cantles are very, very simple.



Sporrans of this type were typical of those worn back in the 1700's, before the rather grandious hair sporrans worn by Highland regiments during the 1800's caught on among civilians due to King George IV's visit to Scotland in 1822, which spawned a craze for all things Highland that was to carry on for generations after due to Queen Victoria's enthusiasm for things Scottish (and Highland in particular).

While most of the 1800's saw the sporran grow into enormous proportions, covered with long goats' hair, bedecked with ornamental silverwork and numerous decorative tassels; the Edwardian era saw a return to the more modest styles of sporrans that had been worn in the 1700's - especially for daywear or "hunting attire" - when a plain leather sporran with a metal cantle became de rigeur for the deerstalking set.

Notably, this style of sporran is still favored by clan chiefs and the Scottish elite who would rather avoid stepping out in a mass produced commercial "costume" sporran of the type frequently sold to tourists and those who wear the kilt as "fancy dress" rather than as everyday attire.










#3 Scottish Hog

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Posted 21 June 2009 - 01:31 PM

Thank you so much for posting that picture. I was there and only a few inches from that sporran, and could not remember exactly what it looked like. I have been wanting to see it again. So again Thank you for posting that pic. (of course I was a few inches from it but it was behind glass under guard supervision)

In the 1st link you posted it shows the Armory room and if you look closely at the bottom of the picture you can see some table tops, those are the glass covered cases where the ancient artifacts are stored. the case on the left is where the Rob Roy Sporran is held. The curators there are dress in Trews, and and more than knowledgeable and friendly, they let me hold and lift several cannon balls in the foyer some were of clay and others stone and metal. What I found very interesting is this castle is actually lived in by the 13th Duke of Argyll, he was out the day I was there but he is a young man with a very attractive wife and 2 small children.

The armory room is an amazing room covered with something like 1200 swords, 900 guns, and many many other battle remnants.

Thank you so much
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#4 Kilted Carver

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Posted 21 June 2009 - 01:32 PM

Very informative, threads like this make the Brotherhood interesting.
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#5 McFarkus

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Posted 21 June 2009 - 03:31 PM

Here are some pics of a Victorian sporran I gave Turpin. It is black velvet with a sterling cantle. The silver clip on the chain lets you hang it on your belt.








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#6 Highland Rogue

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Posted 21 June 2009 - 06:17 PM

The black velvet purse shown in the photos isn't a sporran, it's a ladies' evening purse from the Victorian era. I see a lot of these listed on ebay from time to time, as they are much more common than men's daywear sporrans from that era. Most of the men's sporrans at that time (1800's) would have been of the long-haired variety, as this was the standard even for day wear during Queen Victoria's reign. It isn't until the Edwardian period that you begin to see sporrans shrink back down to a normal size, and the long-haired ones began to be worn mostly for evening dress, with the smaller fur type we now have gaining popularity all through the 1900's for evening and full dress.


Edited by Highland Rogue, 21 June 2009 - 06:25 PM.


#7 coinneach

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Posted 21 June 2009 - 07:10 PM

Interesting link, great historical perpective.
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#8 McFarkus

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Posted 21 June 2009 - 10:11 PM

QUOTE (Highland Rogue @ Jun 21 2009, 07:17 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The black velvet purse shown in the photos isn't a sporran, it's a ladies' evening purse from the Victorian era.


Thanks for the correction.
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#9 turpin

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 09:31 PM

Jeez. Good thing I just hung it on the wall. It looks good there.
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