This month the Museum has been fortunate enough to receive a donation of a small silver cup known as The Ash Beaker. Jointly devised by three Edinburgh based businesses – Bonhams, Hamilton & Inches and the Scottish Gallery – it was designed by the silversmith Grant McCaig and executed in the workshop of Hamilton & Inches.
This beaker is one of a pair. The Museum’s beaker was gifted to commemorate the project and the other will be auctioned later this year, with the money raised being donated to the charity It’s Good 2 Give. This charity supports young cancer patients and their families. The design of The Ash Beaker was inspired by the protective qualities of the ash tree in early Gaelic folklore, which resonates with It’s Good 2 Give’s current project, the building of a forest respite in the Trossachs near Callender, called the Ripple Retreat.
The beakers were made and chased by father and son, Panos and Paul Kirkos. Panos is Hamilton &Inches’ master silversmith and his son is an apprentice silversmith with the same company. Paul has already achieved a national accolade by winning a junior gold award at the 2017 Goldsmiths Craft and Design Awards.
Paul’s beaker is now on permanent display in The Silver Treasury (on Level 5 of the Scotland Galleries) and sits near a piece made by his father, the crown of the Lord Lyon. McCaig’s work – a sterling silver spoon and scoop with driftwood handles – is also represented in the new Art and Design gallery, Making and Creating. It is a pleasure to have their work on display.