Mystery of 300 year old Scottish chair rescued from the sea

A number of decades ago a chair was donated to the Highland Folk Museum. The chair shows evidence of having been immersed in sea water for a considerable time. It estimated to be at least 300-years-old and the back panel of the seat has a carved a lion and a unicorn on a crest with a crowned heart motif. At this stage its origins are not known, but museum sources believe part of the carving could be associated with the Clan Douglas. 

Clan Douglas strongholds included the cliff-top Tantallon Castle, near North Berwick (Scottish Gaelic: Bearaig a Tuath), north-east of Edinburgh (Dùn Èideann) in Scotland. Tantallon Castle was sacked by forces loyal to Oliver Cromwell in 1651 and many of the items inside the castle were were thrown into the sea below. Now Museum staff  are working with the Regional Furniture Society to discover more about the chair and if it could be one of the items that ended up in the sea after the attack on Tantallon Castle. Then there is the mystery of how, after many years under water, it was brought back onto dry land, in remarkably good condition and into use once again. The chair is now kept in the Am Fasgadh collection store at the Highland Folk Museum in Newtonmore in the Cairngorms which has over 12,000 artefacts.


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