EDITORIAL                                                                                                            Winter 1995

 

Now I've reached three score and ten

I'm going start at one agen

 

            A member once told me he thought the two lines of rhyme at the top gave the Journal a bit of class, I'm sure he must be having second thoughts by now. If I can get this edition out fairly quickly I shall be up to date, and shall then be able to start the new year with the Spring Issue. Not much has happened since the last editorial.

            I have had time to go through Stanley Hunter's pull-outs, and as I expected, new things have come to light. On the 1911 Scottish National Exhibition pull-outs published by Alex. MacLaren, the strip of pictures were circular in shape, joined where the circles touched. As, at this point they only measured about 3/8" they easily got torn apart. Stanley had several pairs of views still joined and these together with mine meant I could now list the six views in their right order. The cards which show a large sporran (which is the flap) against a tartan background (a kilt) came as we thought in three colours of tartan, red, brown and green. Now I can actually compare the cards, I find that the brown is really another red and we have between us three cards with a red tartan background, but they are all different tartans. A book from the library indicates they are Cameron of Lochiel, Royal Stuart and Fraser of Lovat. The green tartan could be the Maclean Hunting tartan.

            It is not easy to identify the different tartans, some of them are as different as chalk and cheese, and those are easy, but some are more complicated, and that is why I use the words indicate and could.

The first book I got out didn't help me a lot, and the library got me a more specialised book by Robert Bain, I am still not sure about the Maclean. When I read that the clan changed the colours of their tartan three times, it becomes apparent that identifying tartans is a job requiring a specialist, rather than yours truly. There is also of course the spectre wispering in my ear that perhaps the cards show an artists impression of a tartan and it is not an identifiable tartan at all. It seems logical to me that MacLaren's would have chosen well known tartans for their cards, but this is one I shall have to ask Stanley to sort out, there's probably lots of experts in Glasgow.

            Certainly pull-outs have turned out to be not the simple thing we first thought they were. The 1938 Glasgow Empire Exhibition pull-outs are now known to have four different strips of views, and five different backs. I have three of the relatively common bottle of "Hennessy's" Cognac card, and Stanley sent me down two more, and they are all different. Andrew Brooks wrote to me some time ago commenting he was not sending me details of all of his cards as " I'm also sure that Stanley will have all the Scottish cards," in the light of what we know now Andrew's could all be different.

            Before I leave pull-outs another thing that has become very apparent is that on the comic or subject type pull-outs, the printed message although using the same words, can have three or four formats. If you think of a message of say eight words, this can be printed in two lines of four words, four lines of two words, or three lines of four, two and two words, the various combinations go on for ever. It is no longer sufficient to say, as was said in the case of a 1929 North East Coast Exhibition card "There are three different settings for this title", we shall have to illustrate that portion of the card with the title, so that other collectors can check the illustration with cards in their own collection, to see whether they have got it, or got another variation.

            I can see this research will be going on for some time, but in the end we shall be able to come up with a fairly accurate listing, which might even warrant a small thirty or forty page booklet on the subject. Thank you to those members who have made the effort to send me notes and photo-copies of the pull-outs in their collections.

            I am also publishing the results of the members interests form I sent out.

 

                                                                                                Bill Tonkin    Editor

© Exhibition Study Group 1994

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