Graham Stewart, Three Honours of Scotland, 2004

Graham Stewart (1955-2020) born Bridge of Allan, lived and worked in Dunblane

Honours sculpture

Silversmith Graham Stewart was awarded the commission to make this sculpture by the Incorporation of Goldsmiths of the City of Edinburgh following a limited design competition.  It was presented to the Scottish Parliament by Her Majesty The Queen at the opening of the new Parliament building on 9 October 2004.

This sculpture is an abstract design based on the three Honours of Scotland - the Crown, Sword and Sceptre. The original Honours were once displayed during meetings of the pre-1707 Scottish Parliament; today they are on display at Edinburgh Castle.

The central axis of this sculpture represents the Sceptre, and is topped with an oak leaf engraved sphere and rock crystal. The sphere recalls a small sphere on the original Scottish crown. The sphere features a pattern of oak leaves, which are part of the Stewart heraldry and used on the original Honours. Within the oak leaves shape is a curving line that the sculptor included as a reference to Enric Miralles' design for the arched ceilings in the MSP Offices of the Parliament building.  The rock crystal is also a reference to the original Honours.

The Sceptre holds the main body of the sculpture which consists of two adjoined Mobius strips. These represent the shape of the original Crown, and also symbolise continuity, as a Mobius strip has a continuous surface.

The Sword intersects the Mobius space creating the shape of the Saltire, Scotland's flag. 

Made of sterling silver, some of the sculpture is plated with gold and it is topped with a piece of rock crystal.  The hallmarks used on the base of the Sceptre are the largest ever used by the Edinburgh Assay Office and were made specially for the sculpture.

Artist Biography

Graham Stewart was based in Dunblane where his workshop was established in 1978. He established a reputation as one of Scotland’s best design silversmiths, working alongside a small team of skilled and established craftspeople.

He studied at Grays School of Art in Aberdeen specialising in silver and jewellery. He regularly exhibited in the UK and abroad and his work is in public collections including The Bute House Millennium Collection, Blair Castle, Keepers of the Quaich, The British Embassy Washington DC, The City of Birmingham Art Gallery, Aberdeen Art Gallery and The Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths, London.

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