A WEAPON worthy of James Bond, ‘robotic horse’ armour and a seventeenth century pistol present in a Glasgow river are simply a number of the fascinating gadgets held within the metropolis’s arms and armour assortment.
Curator Ralph Moffat is giving on-line guests an opportunity to see behind the scenes of Glasgow Museums Useful resource Centre as a part of Digital Doorways Open Day this month.
The annual competition – organised by Glasgow Constructing Preservation Belief – has moved on-line due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Along with Ralph’s speak and a delve into the portray retailer with Dr Jo Meacock on September 15, viewers could have the possibility to peek into Pod 17, the brand new textiles retailer on the centre, on September 18, and see Emily Malcolm revealing extra in regards to the metropolis’s transport and expertise collections on September 16.
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Glasgow museums, except for Kelvingrove and Riverside which have now re-opened (you need to guide a free ticket on-line upfront of your go to) stay closed however occasions like Digital Doorways Open Day – uncover extra at glasgowdoorsopendays.org – imply you possibly can nonetheless discover town’s implausible collections.
The arms and armour assortment consists of round 7200 objects and 3000 manuscripts, from Scotland and throughout Europe.
“The guts and soul of our assortment is the RL Scott Library, an in depth archive donated to the individuals of town by Robert Lyons Scott, of the well-known Greenock shipbuilding firm,” says Ralph.
Certainly one of Ralph’s favourites is an intriguing ‘mixture weapon’ which has a 007 gadget really feel to it.
“It’s an axe, relationship again to the late sixteenth century,” he explains. “Nonetheless, maintain it the mistaken manner and you might be in peril of taking pictures your self. Hidden inside is a gun – it’s a actual oddity. The craftsmanship is gorgeous.”
One other spotlight is a German manuscript, written and illustrated by fightmaster Gregor Erhart in 1533.
Ralph explains: “That is extremely uncommon, due to these fantastic drawings.”
He provides, smiling:”It does present that not solely would males have needed to know find out how to store somebody’s head off, they might have been anticipated to play the lute, or be gifted artists, on the identical time – actual Renaissance males.”
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An odd piece of horse armour, which appears unusually robotic, is an fascinating discover, says Ralph.
“This can be a shaffron, relationship to 1535, and it’s fantastically adorned – every of these ridges would have been hammered in, for instance, and the fashion would mirror the fashions of the time,” he provides.
“It could have been fairly scary to have a horse sporting one thing like this bearing down on you in battle.”
Different gadgets within the assortment embody a jousting helmet from round 1600.
“Notice the holes in a single facet – this was to stop a lance from catching it,” says Ralph. “There may be not a lot proof of jousting in Glasgow, however as tournaments tended to be staged within the grounds of Royal palaces or castles, and there have been a number of castles right here, it might have occurred.”
One other of Ralph’s favorite gadgets is a Glasgow-made pistol, relationship again to across the 1620s. It was donated to the gathering after being found within the River Kelvin.
“It has the initials of a Glasgow gunmaker, known as John Currie, on it,” says Ralph. “It’s extremely good – you possibly can see the element within the design.
“It’s not essentially the most fancy of weapons – it’s a little tough and prepared – however you possibly can see from the belt strap that it was worn outdoors clothes. It was meant to be seen.”
Whereas no-one is aware of precisely who it belonged to, Ralph believes it might have been one of many drovers who would have introduced their cattle via Glasgow alongside Byres Highway.
“They might have carried pistols, as they might have needed to defend their livestock,” says Ralph. “It’s extraordinary – virtually actually the oldest Glasgow-made gun in existence.”