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  1. #1
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    Resonances of the so-called "Rob Roy" tartan?

    I have been wondering about the so-called "Rob Roy" tartan--the basic red and black tartan that seems to have been appended to Clan MacGregor. This particular pattern seems to occur fairly frequently in early portraits, of everyone from Norman MacLeod of MacLeod (aka the Wicked Man) to Niel Gow. Historically, in practice, was it actually always a universal tartan? The appellation "Rob Roy" seems a 19th century invention, but does it carry that association to many today? Among contemporary tartan wearers, what association does this one carry? What is one likely to think of someone sporting it?

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    Last edited by Old Building Prof; 28th April 18 at 08:39 PM.

  2. #2
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    Some thoughts on the so-called Rob Roy tartan.https://www.scottishtartans.co.uk/Ma...ck_and_Red.pdf
    Last edited by figheadair; 28th April 18 at 11:12 PM.

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  4. #3
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    I wonder if the Rob Roy might have been woven for millinia. As I recall one or more of the Tarim Basin mummies was dressed in a yellow and black check "tartan." Red and black could have been done as easily, couldn't it?

    In the US Rob Roy and Robin Hood are two variants of what we call Buffalo Check. Three other common variants are black and white, and brown and black and blue and black. Cabelas once sold brown on brown pattern shirts. I have a piece of brown on off yellow that I thought might make good autumn camouflage here as many of the native trees and shrubs here have yellow and brown leaves that time of year.

    In my youth hunters nationwide wore Rob Roy -- red Buffalo Check -- coats and trousers for safety In the woods as red was considered a way of warning other hunters of one's presence. That was before blaze orange was universally mandated for hunter safety, and full camouflage was so heavily marketed it became de rigueur.

    The history of Buffalo Check peeks my interest. I wonder where and how that name came into use. Does it have something to do with our bison, or buffalo, or might it have something to do with Buffalo, New York, a once prominent commercial city along the Erie Cannal. Or, is there another explanation. Is Buffalo Check a spontaneous American creation so simple anyone could have come up with It, or might it have been inspired by Rob Roy introduced by Scottish immigrants? It gets curiouser and curiouser.
    Benning School for Boys
    97th Company
    OC 5-68

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  6. #4
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    I have heard that the name "Buffalo Check" or "Buffalo Plaid" comes from the days when Black US Army Soldiers were called "Buffalo Soldiers".
    Steve Ashton
    Forum Owner

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  8. #5
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    I think maybe that "Buffalo Check" relates to the use of woven woolen blankets as trade goods for buffalo and deer hides in the fur trade era. It seems to have been a pattern that was used by some of the historic mills that catered to the fur trade like Pendleton Woolen Mills. Hudson's Bay had its stripes and Pendleton had its checks?

  9. #6
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    Rob Roy?

    Hi Guys,

    as far as I know Niel Gow wears a historic form of Gow tartan called Gow portrait...

    https://www.tartanregister.gov.uk/ta...tails?ref=1473

    Modern Gow
    https://www.tartanregister.gov.uk/ta...tails?ref=1472

    Gow Hunting (Smith)
    https://www.tartanregister.gov.uk/ta...tails?ref=1474

    The modern Smith tartan has an azur blue line instead of the thin dark blue in Gow Hunting.

    The Gow Tartan contains red, green and blue. Rob Roy is red and black only.
    No black in Gow tartan.

    Greetings, Tom (Gow)
    Last edited by Pipersson; 29th April 18 at 06:06 PM. Reason: Spelling
    "A true gentleman knows how to play the bagpipes but doesn't!"

    Member of Clan Macpherson Association

  10. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pipersson View Post
    Hi Guys,

    as far as I know Niel Gow wears a historic form of Gow tartan called Gow portrait...

    https://www.tartanregister.gov.uk/ta...tails?ref=1473

    Modern Gow
    https://www.tartanregister.gov.uk/ta...tails?ref=1472

    Gow Hunting (Smith)
    https://www.tartanregister.gov.uk/ta...tails?ref=1474

    The modern Smith tartan has an azur blue line instead of the thin dark blue in Gow Hunting.

    The Gow Tartan contains red, green and blue. Rob Roy is red and black only.
    No black in Gow tartan.

    Greetings, Tom (Gow)
    I refer you to the picture above in the first post, which is a portrait from life in the Scottish National Gallery by Sir Henry Raeburn. Thanks.

  11. #8
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    I recommend to read the description in the Gow Portrait Link. There you find further informations...
    Thanks!
    "A true gentleman knows how to play the bagpipes but doesn't!"

    Member of Clan Macpherson Association

  12. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pipersson View Post
    I recommend to read the description in the Gow Portrait Link. There you find further informations...
    Thanks!
    OK? Here is the link to the National Gallery description:

    https://www.nationalgalleries.org/ar...t-and-composer

    I really don't see any pink or green.
    Last edited by Old Building Prof; 29th April 18 at 07:27 PM.

  13. #10
    Join Date
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    Crieff, Perthshire
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Building Prof View Post
    OK? Here is the link to the National Gallery description:

    https://www.nationalgalleries.org/ar...t-and-composer

    I really don't see any pink or green.
    The reference to pink is very strange and I can only assume was the writer's impression of the shade of red used in the portrait. Having studied the original I can confirm that the pattern is red, blue and green.

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