This outstanding example of a ring brooch dates from the 1600s and was found locally at Cromdale.
Women’s shawls or ‘arisaids’, either plain white, striped or sometimes tartan, would be fastened at the breast with a ring brooch. These varied from very simple rings made from brass or copper to large ornate pieces of jewellery.
The finely engraved detail on this brooch features wild cats, suggesting a likely connection to Clan Chattan.
Clan Chattan was a unique confederation of Highland clans that flourished from the thirteenth century. The families came together under one group for protection against threats from larger clans around them, including Clan Grant.
The Clan Chattan motto was ‘Touch not the cat bot a glove’. The word ‘bot’ means without. It was a warning to anyone who intended to cause harm to a clan member.
Clans under the Chattan banner included Mackintosh, Macpherson, MacBain, Cattanach, MacPhail, Ritchie, Farquharson, Shaw, Davidson, MacAndrew and MacGillivray.