Iron John

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  1. Not really interested in an old school bonnet, just a modern one of the Robert Mackie type that has more of an overhang than they are currently being offered with. The historical reenactor look isn't exactly what I go in for.
  2. Newsome must have gotten the names confused in his essay. Parkinson and Pinkerton being somewhat similar, I suppose. Edit: I found an on-line edition to the essay entitled The Highland Kilt and the Old Irish Dress by a William Pinkerton, published in the Ulster Journal of Archaelogy in 1858, that you referred to here:
  3. There was a Scottish antiquarian named John Pinkerton (1758-1826), who evidently supported the claims made by Ivan Baillie of Aberiachan, whose account of the feilidh-beg having been first produced by the regimental tailor named Parkinson at the suggestion of Thomas Rawlinson, was published in the Edinburgh Magazine in March 1785. It should be noted however that John Pinkerton was vehemently anti-Celtic and was a proponent of the concept of Germanic superiority who even went so far as to claim that the Picts were a Gothic tribe; so his support of Baillie's account was no doubt colored by his distate for Celtic culture in general.
  4. I noticed that Matt Newsome gives the name of the regimental tailor as Pinkerton instead of Parkinson. I've seen the story about Thomas Rawlinson before in other sources, but they always give the name of Rawlinson's friend the tailor as Parkinson. Where did Matt Newsome get the name Pinkerton from?
  5. I wish the professional bonnet-makers would make their Balmorals a bit broader. I've noticed that the outside diameter of bonnets seems to have shrunk somewhat over the years (considerable in the past 100-125 years). Check out these vintage images and compare them to the modest circumference of today's modern Balmoral bonnets: I know that these are generally referred to as "braid bonnets", and styles have changed over the years, but the Balmorals being made today just look a little small to me for some reason, almost as if they had been shrunk. Maybe it is an effort on the part of the manufacturers to cut corners or something by skimping on materials, but I think the finished product would look better if it had more of an overhang.
  6. I have 11 basket hilt swords, but these two are my favorites: Some of my others, these are Paul Chen/Hanwei reproductions:
  7. Here are some other vintage sgian dubhs that I have had for awhile. I think these are from the early 1900s: And here is my antique dress dirk from the late 19th century:
  8. Lots of information here:
  9. There's really not much evidence for the wearing of sgian dubhs themselves prior to the early 1800s. The oft-repeated story about Highlanders placing their sgian achlass in their hose top out of courtesy when in the company of others they were visiting seems to be a bit of imaginative invention; but by the Victorian era sgian dubhs were an accepted part of the "Scotch costume" a trend that may have been set by Colonel Alexander Ranaldson MacDonell of Glengarry (1771 - 1828) who was said to have taken to wearing an ornate dagger tucked into the top of his hose to hide a scar on his right leg. Col. Alastair Macdonnell of Glengarry was certainly quite a flamboyant character, He was a member of the Highland Society and the Celtic Society of Edinburgh, and in June 1815 formed his own Society of True Highlanders, subsequently leaving the Celtic Society and complaining that "their general appearance is assumed and fictitious, and they have no right to burlesque the national character or dress of the Highlands". His mortification at the acceptance of Lowlanders became a bitter complaint about the prominent role the Celtic Society had in the 1822 visit of King George IV to Scotland, and he made several unauthorised and flamboyant appearances during the visit, to the annoyance of his friend Sir Walter Scott and the other organizers, but causing no more than mild amusement to the King.
  10. Here's a look at my most recent acquisition, a Victorian era hunting sgian dubh for day wear: