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  1. #1
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    Possible interest to some MacLeods...

    I have recently acquire this sterling silver clan badge, Halmarked from around 1891 - 1892 if I'm reading it correctly.
    The Motto is in Gaelic which is somewhat surprising to me, but what is most unusual to me is that it has been translated to three different phrases, each by different sources.

    None of these translations are the same as what has been long associated with our clan.
    So the question is. What do you Gael talk folks think about this?

    Could it be a "one off" or the motto of a lesser known sept of our clan?

    Hoping some of you Mhic Leoids will chime in here.


  2. #2
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    I am afraid that I have no idea. However this quote from an old MacLeod Clan pamphlet may assist? "Many MacLeod Clansfolk display their own Arms and crests on their badges, garments and flags". I am not sure what the Lord Lyon, who oversees these things, might have thought of that though?
    Last edited by Jock Scot; 19th July 21 at 05:30 PM. Reason: can't spell.
    " Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the adherence of idle minds and minor tyrants". Field Marshal Lord Slim.

  3. #3
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    Independent lot aren't we

    A rather independent lot aren't we then... Thanks, Jock.

  4. #4
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    Another thing that I notice that the marks on the back of the badge are not silver hallmarks that denote any UK assay marks that I am aware of. Therefore three things spring to mind. 1. Is it really made of silver? 2. Has the badge illustrated been officially sanctioned by the Lord Lyon in Scotland? 3. Is this some fanciful Clan badge made by some enthusiastic Clansman? I have no ideas on those matters.
    " Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the adherence of idle minds and minor tyrants". Field Marshal Lord Slim.

  5. #5
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    I'm certainly no Gaelic expert but while it might not be a direct translation, I think it looks close enough:

    Glidh means to keep or maintain

    Daingeanh means strong or unmoveable

    Perhaps I'm incorrect but I'd call that close enough to the more familiar motto.

    Lovely piece!

    Shane

  6. #6
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    As I understand it,Jock, the marks on the back are pre 1900, Glasgow Hallmarks STG SIL representing Sterling Silver and T U gives the date.
    Given the the cost to have some dies set up and the casting of one of these, you might think it not that common for someone to undertake, as there were makers mass producing clan badges already I'm sure. But you have asked some good questions here. We will have to see what unfolds with more research.

    The translation you came up with Shane is one that I got as well. So thank you for that. What strikes me strange is that it is similar, but not a direct translation to Hold Fast, which translated to

    Cm gu sgiobalta.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shinenotburn View Post

    The translation you came up with Shane is one that I got as well. So thank you for that. What strikes me strange is that it is similar, but not a direct translation to Hold Fast, which translated to

    Cm gu sgiobalta.
    I'm wondering if it might be a case where the direct translation doesn't mean the same thing while what is here is closer in meaning to Hold Fast.

    However, I certainly don't know Gaelic well enough to know if that's the case or not.

    Shane

  8. #8
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    motto

    Hi Shane,

    Neither do I.

    It just seems so strange to have an English motto for a Scottish Highland Family, one that does not translate directly into Gaelic. I believe most of the clan probably spoke Gaelic in the time of Malcolm, 3rd Chief of the MacLeods 1296 - 1370, when this motto was supposedly was adopted.
    Another translation I got was "Save Perseverance" All very strange to me.

  9. The Following User Says 'Aye' to Shinenotburn For This Useful Post:


  10. #9
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    I found this statement on Reddit.

    Not sure how correct it is, but it does seem plausible.

    Quote" Latin was the language of the church and law in the medieval period. Due to this Latin was the written language of nobility. These Scottish clans heritage were not necessarily rooted in the Gaelic as the lines of lordship were greatly reset after 1066 and this had both direct and indirect effect that stretched from England all the way north into Scotland. This inevitably sparked a key theme of early to mid-Medieval Scotland which was the drawing of lines between the central and lowlands of Scotland and the western Highlands and Islands of Scotland. The western isles and highlands had a much more concrete Gaelic heritage and as the chivalric culture of medieval Europe expanded into the noble classes in the central lowlands. This clash of cultures and family heritages eventually caused much friction and inter clan violence through the years. Before long though the dominant chivalric culture and governance of medieval Europe won out over the Gaelic influence in western Scotland. As such though some families maintained the Gaelic culture as seen in the houses with Gaelic mottos, the majority adopted the dominant traditions and language of European nobility. They used Latin mottos because of this, practically these mottoes had to be read and understood by of all of nobility throughout Europe and their class.

  11. #10
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    The marks impressed on the badge appear to be the maker's marks, not hallmarks as used in the UK. If made in the UK commercially, and therefore assayed in the UK, the marks would be the standard mark (lion passant for sterling) the assay mark (leopard head, anchor, rose, castle etc for the place assayed) and the date stamp (a letter which changes annually) in a particularly shaped frame. The maker's mark is not always stamped.

    If imported into the UK, it would be required legally to show an import mark in place of the assay mark.

    However, specially commissioned pieces or those for personal use, are not obliged to be assayed in the usual way, and are sometimes stamped simply to indicate the metal - eg Stg Sil or .925 - but this is a more recent trend, not ancient.

    A Glasgow-made piece would have the 'tree' assay mark, lion rampant, Victoria's profile and an upper-case letter for the date - Roman from 1871 to 1896, and script from 1897 to 1922.

    I would say that this is a 20th century piece, probably made for the overseas (non-UK) market. The motto is intriguing, though - and may be a (at one time popular) loose Gaelicising of Latin, which would explain the confusion.
    Last edited by Troglodyte; 24th July 21 at 07:52 AM.

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