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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The spooky, the mysterious...the bizarre! » » The Torwood Wallace Oak Cup (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

The Curator
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Catch of the day, the Torwood cup. Made from the oak who offered asylum to William Wallace for the head of Clan Irvine, before 1831 (probably circa 1810)
Inscribed in the cup:

- “This Cap is part of the Oak Tree in the Torwood which was often an Asylum to the immortal Wallace. Drink of this and mark the footsteps of a Hero.
- We’ll take a cup of Kindness yet for Auld Lang Syne*1.
- Pro Patria.
- Born 1876 - Died 1305.
- Sub sole sub umbra virens.

My Scotch Whisky will taste different now. And Oak is a druidic tree, it's rustling with magic...
The Curator
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The Ghost of Bravekeart appears after you drink some whisky (pur scottish malt) in the cup.
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That is beautiful! Have you really sipped whiskey out of it?

I would love to sip a little Lagavulin out of it. So much history.
The Curator
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16 year old Lagavulin seems a good choice. I will sip a very good Scotch Whisky from it in the memory of William Wallace.
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Eventually, I choose Cù Bocan (special edition, sherry casket)

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Michael_MacDonald
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This has got to be one of my most favorite sets in your collection. Slante!
Wizard of Oz
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Curator, I could look at photos of your collection all day and be very happy.

16 year old Lagavulin would make it even better.
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Quote:
On May 28, 2015, Wizard of Oz wrote:


16 year old Lagavulin would make it even better.


It's the next in line.
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Quote:
A quaich /ˈkweɪx/, archaically quaigh or quoich, is a special kind of shallow two-handled drinking cup or bowl in Scotland. It derives from the Scottish Gaelic cuach (Scottish Gaelic pronunciation: [kʰuəx]) meaning a cup.

According to the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, the quaich was inspired by the low silver bowls with two flat handles frequently used as bleeding vessels in England and the Netherlands in the 17th century. Another popular theory suggests that the shape is derived from scallop shells. However, this seems to have had its origins in the now discredited poems of James Macpherson supposedly translations of poems by Ossian, son of Fionn mac Cumhaill.

In his 1955 monograph Some Scottish Quaichs. Richard L. McCleneahan, an American collector, suggests that the quaich evolved directly from the medieval mazer. This seems unlikely as the form and material (burr maple for mazers) are quite different. There were small stave-built drinking vessels common in the medieval period found around the Baltics and, since some of the earliest quaichs are stave-built, this could be the source.


sycamore and silver quaich
Traditionally quaichs are made of wood, an artform known as "treen". Some early quaichs are stave-built like barrels and some have alternating light and dark staves. The staves are held together by bands of willow or silver. They generally have two, and more rarely three or four, short, projecting handles. Other wooden quaiches were lathe-turned out of a single piece of wood and there was another group which were turned then carved outside in basket-weave pattern. In addition to wood, they are made of stone, brass, pewter, horn, and silver. The latter were often engraved with lines and bands in imitation of the staves and hoops of the wooden quaichs.


Oak quaich
The origin of quaichs in Scotland is traced to the Highlands[citation needed]; it was not until the end of the 17th century that they became popular in such large centres as Edinburgh and Glasgow. The silversmiths of such local guilds as Inverness and Perth frequently mounted them in silver, as may be seen from the hallmarks on the existing examples.

Commemorative quaichs awarded as prizes, or given as gifts, are more commonly made of pewter or silver. These prize cups are rarely used for actual drinking.

Related vessels to the Scottish quaich include the porringer, a larger vessel typically 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter with one (US colonial) or two (European) horizontal handles. The Sami and Norrland, Sweden, equivalent is the kuksa, which also only has a single handle.

The quaich was used for whisky or brandy, and in the 19th century Sir Walter Scott dispensed drams in silver quaichs, and the one he kept for himself was particularly precious to him.

In 1745 the quaich had travelled from Edinburgh to Derby with Bonnie Prince Charlie's men.

Some quaichs' bottoms are made of glass, allegedly so that the drinker could keep watch on his companions. A more romantic quaich had a double glass bottom in which was kept a lock of hair so that the owner could drink from his quaich to his lady love, and in 1589, King James VI of Scotland gave Anne of Denmark a quaich or "loving cup" as a wedding gift.[citation needed]

Wooden commemorative quaichs designed by Paul Hodgkiss were given as presents to winners at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
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Another gem. Very interesting!
Thanks for sharing!
The Curator
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The Torwood Oak was certainly a very old druid tree linked to thunder God Taranaich (Taranis).
If two person drink whisky in the same magical Quaich, not only they honor the memory of William Wallace, but they may share dreams and thoughts...
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I retrieve an XVIIIth century deer leather jacobite sporran in the Surnateum Collections, to match the quaich.

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I tried the Octomore 5 with the quaich, a most unique experience.
I absolutely refuse anything else than Scotch Whisky (or other alcohol from Scotland) from this quaich. Smile
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Wow. Beautiful design as well. Hmmm. I hope I can find it at my local liquor store.

Curator, do you have any interest in...or are watching Outlander: https://www.starz.com/series/outlander/episodes

Time travel. Jacobites. Swordplay. Drinking. Sex. (Not necessarily in that order). What's not to like?
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I gonna take a look at the serie. Thanks.
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The hollow old oak tree at Torwood, which had endured a thousand winter storms, had just collapsed for good.

The year was 1818, somewhere near Dunipace parish. Some time before, part of the same tree had been used to fashion a beautiful little cup featuring a silver rim and decorative embossing. Engraved in the silver were various inscriptions:

- "This Cup is part of the Oak Tree in the Torwood which was often an Asylum to the immortal Wallace. Drink of this and mark the footsteps of a Hero.

- We'll take a cup of Kindness yet for Auld Lang Syne*1.

- Pro Patria.

- Born 1276 - Died 1305.

- Sub sole sub umbra virens.

- Inside the cup is the face of William Wallace embossed in silver.

This immense, legendary tree had provided shelter for the celebrated Scottish hero William Wallace and his companions as they fled their pursuers. It had served as the site for the speech given in 1860 by Donald Cargill, a Covenanter(*3) who excommunicated King Charles II. The cup -- called a quaich in Scotland -- was made for the leader of Clan Irvine (*4), who could pay tribute to Wallace (*5) by sipping his single malt Scotch from it. According to tradition, we use the quaich to share our whiskey with friends.

Few people remembered that the oak had been at the centre of ancient Druid rites and that its wood was still very much imbued with magic. In mythology, the oak is dedicated to Taranis, Taranaich, Thor, Perun, Jupiter, Zeus and the Gods of Lightning and Thunder. Keeping an acorn in your pocket or near a window is said to provide protection from lightning... Behind the legend, however, other older forms of magic come to mind.

The spirit of Druidism looms over this object. In fact, some claim that two people who have sipped from the same cup can guess each other's thoughts.


1 In Scots Lallans dialect, Auld Lang Syne means, "long ago", "days gone by", "the days of yesterday", or even "for the sake of long-standing friendship". The song is often sung on New Year's Eve.

This ancient Scottish ballad was transcribed and published by the poet Robert Burns in the late 18th century, based on fragments from an older Scottish song.

2 Sub Sole Sub Umbra Virens, motto of Clan Irvine - Scotland. "Flourishing both in sunshine and in shade"

3 Covenanters https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Covenanter Scottish Presbyterian movement that rebelled frequently against the English and the Roman Catholic Church.

4 Clan Irvine: Scottish clan from the Lowlands whose origin is linked to the first Celtic kings of Scotland. They supported Robert the Bruce and his clan. It is likely that the quaich was made for Alexander Irvine, 18th Laird of Drum (or for his third son, Hugh Irvine (1782 - 1829), who was passionate about old relics) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clan_Irvine

*5 William Wallace https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Wallace

His great victory against the English army of Edward I (Longshanks) took place at Stirling Bridge in 1297, but a year later he was defeated at Falkirk. Betrayed and captured, he was handed over to King Edward I, who had him hanged, drawn, and quartered.

"A special place of safety and retreat for Wallace was Torwood, where the great Wallace Oak survived to 1820, the root being dug up to make a presentation snuff box for King George IV when he visited Edinburgh in 1822. A great many items, from a small quaich to a special box for George Washington, "the Wallace of America", and even a sideboard were made from the Wallace Oak of Torwood. For general forestry purposes, the agreement that the "Wallace tree is ever

excepted from cutting when the wood is sold" pertained." (from The Face of William Wallace, 2005 Catalogue, Stirling Smith Museum and Art Gallery)

But that's not all:

The oak was struck by lightning some time before 1820, probably between 1816 and 1819. Only a terrible storm could completely destroy this thousand-year-old Druid oak. But the weather between 1816 (the year without summer) and 1819 was absolutely atrocious across Europe. Why? The eruption of Mount Tambora on the island of Sumbawa in Indonesia in 1815, the largest volcanic explosion in human memory that changed the global climate for the next three years. It was that eruption that prompted certain celebrated occupants of Villa Diodati to spend their time telling each other ghost stories in the summer of 1816. This gave rise to Gothic literature, with Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and John Polidori's Vampyre, both of which in turn influenced Bram Stoker's Dracula (1897). Dracula, the creature created by Bram Stoker for his employer, the celebrated actor Sir Henry Irving... Irving/Irvine, the circle is complete.

Byron, Shelley, Polidori and Irvine all died young. With this cup we can drink to their memory, and to the memory of William Wallace (Braveheart was actually Robert the Bruce's nickname).

As Walter Scott was probably the source of Hugh Irvine's collection of historical Scottish objects, it is safe to say he shared a whisky with Irvine from this cup.

http://logs.surnateum.com/la-lettre-du-vampyre/

Link to Hugh Irvine https://artuk.org/discover/artists/irvine-hugh-17831829

Note: Braveheart was the surname of Robert the Bruce and not William Wallace...
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