Clan Mackenzie Designed Box
Gairloch Museum

This decorative wooden box features the stag of the Mackenzie crest with the Gaelic motto ‘Cuidich ‘n Righ’, meaning ‘Help the King.’   

It alludes to the exciting story concerning Colin Fitzgerald, the first chieftain of Clan Mackenzie, who saved King Alexander III (1249 – 1286) from being gored by a stag whilst out hunting. Fitzgerald is purported to have shouted these words as his spear pierced the stag. In some stories, he also cut off the stag’s head.   

To show his gratitude, the King rewarded Fitzgerald with lands in Ross.   

The lacquered box dates from the 1920s, showing the significance of the legend to different generations of Mackenzies. It was also used as the badge of the Seaforth Highlanders. It was fashioned from the case of an old wireless radio by Kenneth Mackenzie, reflecting attitudes to reusing everyday objects at that time.  

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Date: 1920s
Materials : Wood
Size : 34cm x 33cm  x 25cm

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