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Bilsland Crest, Thistle Chapel, St Giles' Cathedral

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Bilsland Crest, Thistle Chapel, St Giles' Cathedral

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Rebecca Bailey, RCAHMS staff

This fantastically lively sketch was discovered amongst the design drawings for the Thistle Chapel in Edinburgh's St Giles Cathedral. The drawing is one of a set of studies in the Lorimer & Matthew Collection which start with the architect sketching live bulls in the field and then evolving, simplifying and stylising those sketches into a symbolic design to be carved in wood. Some of the sketches even have detachable paper horns to allow the exploration of different profiles. The Thistle Chapel is a magical place to visit for the quality of the craftsmanship and the unexpected surprises in the creatures depicted in the carvings, of which this bull, representing the crest for the Bilsland 'Knight of the Thistle' is one.

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Region: City of Edinburgh

This preliminary sketch of the Bilsland Crest was drawn c.1950
Lorimer and Matthew Collection

Votes: 11

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