Skip to main content

It's National Tartan Day!





Today, April 6th is National Tartan Day, a day for Scottish Americans to celebrate their history and contributions to the USA. Did you know that the Declaration of Independence was modeled after the Declaration of Arbroath?  The Declaration of Arbroath, the declaration of Scottish independence, was signed on April 6, 1320 after Scottish barons and earls sent a letter to Pope John XXII to assert Scotland's status as an independent state.  According to Scotland's National Records, the letter, or declaration, also asked the pontiff to recognize Robert the Bruce as the country's lawful king.



In 1998 the US Senate passed a resolution declaring today National Tartan Day, "whereas this resolution honors the major role that Scottish Americans played in the founding of this nation, such as the fact that almost half of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were of Scottish descent, the governors in nine of the original 13 States were of Scottish ancestry, Scottish Americans successfully helped shape this country in its formative years and guide this nation through its most troubled times."



From my personal transferware collection, I thought I'd share a few images of my Tartan transferware plates and favorite interiors decked out in Tartan or plaid.  The plate in the two photos below is entitled "Caledonian": the Latin name given by the Romans to land in Scotland.  Today the name is mostly used as an historical description of Northern Britain or a poetic or romantic name for Scotland.  It was made circa 1836-42 by Ridgway, Morley, Wear & Co.  The green is enameled over the brown transfer printed plaid pattern.  I have them in purple as well and they're some of my favorite pieces as they have a little sentimental meaning to me as well because I've got both Scottish and English heritage.  

   This one is on the office mantle (notice the plaid wallpaper and puppy painting with the bagpipes and Tartan shawl, and a few books from my collection of Clan history books).

The same patterned plate, along with some other transferware pieces, is in the family room.  

Each Scottish Clan has their own Tartan.

My family (Robinson) are part of the Gunn Clann

Shawn also has Scottish heritage and his family (Clements) are part of the Lamont Clann, so our kiddos have Scottish on both sides.


Tartan is actually a pattern of interlocking stripes running both horizontal and vertical and is mistakenly known as plaid.   Plaid, according to the Scottish Tartans Museum,  comes from the Gaelic word for blanket and is specifically used in the context of Highland dress to refer to a long length of material.  Originally the kilt was known as the belted plaid which consisted of basically a large blanket that was gathered and belted at the waist.  Plaids were most often made from a tartan cloth, so the confusion between the two is understandable.  In fact, I'm sometimes still a little confused.  haha



Tartan designs originally had no symbolic meaning and cloths made of the patterns can be dated to about 3000 BC.    Where there was woven cloth, Tartan patterns were created and yet it is only Scotland that cultural significance is associated with them.  Tartan became so extremely popular in Scottish Highland culture that by the 17th century it was characteristic of Highland dress.  It was so identifiable with the Highland Gael that in 1746 the British government forbade the wearing of Tartan in the Highlands; an attempt to suppress the rebellious Scottish culture.






Have a piece of cake,

pull up a seat 


and enjoy all of these wonderful Tartan and Plaid interior images from my Pinterest board Insanely Mad About Plaid.


































Am I driving you plaid yet?

Happy National Tartan Day!


joining:
Charm of Home
A Stroll Thru Life
French COuntry Cottage

Comments

  1. A very exciting post, I love all the Tartan in your photos!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am of the Greenlaw sept of the Home clan. Happy Tartan Day!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Nancy, this is one of the best posts! I learned a lot, and your images are fabulous. I'm crushing over your tartan transfer plates. I'm happy to know about this pattern. Thanks for sharing this post today. Happy Tartan Day! ~ Sarah

    ReplyDelete
  4. Love the history lesson, very interesting.....love all the tartans and plaids too......

    ReplyDelete
  5. Love your post and photos of Tartans- I am mad for plaid myself. Happy Tartan Day!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Love this....hubby's family sports a beautiful Royal blue tartan...clan Elliott...of the highlands. Sheil

    ReplyDelete
  7. Interesting history. Love all the photos!

    ReplyDelete
  8. what a beautiful way to show off your heritage love all the plaid
    come see us at http://shopannies.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. My great-grandmother, mother of my maternal grandfather, was a Ramsay and proud of her heritage (though she also was french-canadian). And while there might only be a little bit of the blood in my line (as I also am italian) I have alwasy been in love with Tartan and now I know why. While researching my family line through my mother's father, I also found out more about my great grandmother Anna Ramsay and her family line. And their Tartan happens to be one of be my favorites! Love our tartan transfer plates!!!
    GADawn57

    ReplyDelete
  10. My family has tartans as well but I forget which ones at this time. One from my side and one from my hubby's side. I always find it so interesting to learn the history of things. Thank you for partying at my place Nancy! Have a great rest of the week.

    ReplyDelete
  11. These are gorgeous images, Nancy. Thanks so much for sharing. Our family has deep Celtic roots, and my brother was a piper for many (40+) years. . .so I LOVE that cake! LOL! I'm going to have to pin a few of these. . .and follow you on Pinterest. Missed some of your recent posts, so I'll have to go back and check.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I loved learning the history and the pictures are beautiful :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. what an interesting post that was, full of interesting information and lovely pictures.. I shall be back to read more.. I just wanted to ask if you knew the name of the artist of that second picture. Its a little girl sewing, and I have a smaller copy, framed, but cannot see any artist name, and would love to know if you do know? It is such a gorgeous work of art, its a shame for it to have no name... Meanwhile I have started to follow you, so I shall be back again soon.. hugs from across the pond, spring is starting here too thank goodness**

    ReplyDelete
  14. Oh Nancy your bed is awesome! Thanks for joining Home Sweet Home!
    Sherry

    ReplyDelete
  15. Gorgeous photos! I love tartan, plaids and old Scottish decor. I live in Scotland, but I am not myself Scottish though. I found your lovely blog because I've been trying to get my hands on this painting with puppies you talk about. The ones with bagpipes and tartan shawl. Can you tell me who painted it? I want a reproduction! Many thanks

    ReplyDelete
  16. I love every one of these images and I think I have them pinned on a board too.
    What a perfect tribute to Tartan Day, Nancy!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

I love hearing from my readers. I appreciate the time you take to post a comment and I read them all.

Popular posts from this blog

English Cottage Living Room - Before, Partly After & Still a Work in Progress

I am sorry for not posting more pictures of the progress we've made settling into this new (to us) home.   It seems life rushes by so fast and that at times, doing little things, even those that I love and enjoy, often get pushed aside and onto the back shelf of my mind where I tell myself, "I'll get to this later".  Well, it is later and though I don't have as much to share with you as I'd like, I'm going to at least share my favorite spot in our living room.  I promise to show the rest of the room soon but for now the opposite half of the living room has been occupied by my daughters boyfriend who has been staying with us for the past 7 or so weeks until his apartment is ready for him to move into, and so the couch is usually made up for him to sleep on!  

Here is a photo of the current living room just as we found it, a small room just off the entry of the house with a nice marble and wood fireplace surround, hard wood floors, beautiful crown moulding a…

More Traditional Red White & Blue Rooms with Transferware

A couple of weeks ago I shared some pictures of beautiful rooms in red and blue color schemes decorated with transferware.    Here is another roundup of rooms that I adore, all with red and blue color schemes and all with transferware! 
Enjoy!




 (via Traditional Home)
(via enchanted home)











(my old living room)





Joining some of the following parties:
Between Naps on The Porch
Transformation Thursday at The Shabby Chic Cottage
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage

The History of Johnson Brothers and The Friendly Village Tablescape

Last week, Shawn and I popped into a couple of estate sales and I picked up over 100 pieces of Johnson Brother's The Friendly Village.  I think I may have to hang on to 12 of the dinner plates and use them this year at Thanksgiving but the rest of them, including this 48 piece service for 8, will be you know where.
I don't know about you all, but I have had enough of Summer and I am down right ready for the cooler temperatures of Autumn.  I've been doing a lot of rearranging around the house….I'm in one of those zones where I've got a zillion projects going on, even if half of them are just in my mind that I'm contemplating!   We've also been moving kids out and around.  Three of them are out and the three still at home are moving or rearranging their rooms around.   
Since I am yearning for Fall, haven't posted any tablescapes in a while and just got these Friendly Village pieces I decided to set the table with them.  
Oh great, I just realized that I lef…

The Aesthetic Movement and Transferware

What is the Aesthetic Movement?
The Aesthetic Movement refers to a period of time in the late 19th century (1870-1900) which was a backlash to the formal Victorian years. 
Artists and writers of the Aesthetic movement period maintained the belief that art should provide refined sensuous pleasure, rather than convey moral or sentimental messages.  They believed that art did not have any didactic purpose; it need only be beautiful. 
Japanese art had a great influence on Aestheticism. Aesthetic interiors were often decorated with Japanese prints, screens, fans and other objects. An appreciation of the art of Japan is seen in the work of many Aesthetic artists and designers such as James McNeill Whistler and E.W. Godwin.
photo credit Country Living



The Aesthetes developed the cult of beauty, which they considered the basic factor in art. They ascertained that life should copy art and considered nature as crude and lacking in design in comparison. Th…

Decorating with Brown Transferware & $100 GIVEAWAY

Brown was introduced as a transferware color around 1829-30 and is the least expensive of colors to make. Therefore it is fairly common, so far as transferware goes, to find.  It is also one of the most collected colors and it is probably the most versatile of colors in my opinion.  Brown is neutral and looks good with any color scheme from pastels to rich jewel tones, but it is with the ushering in of Autumn that I see it popping up in home decor and vignettes the most.  Though, most of these rooms and vignettes are decorated with brown pieces year round, it just seems the perfect time to share them.  I may have to do another post because there are so, so many more equally beautiful spaces that have incorporated the use of displaying brown transferware and I can't fit them all here.
So, check these lovelies out and then stick around for the giveaway at the bottom of the post.
This vignette just stole my heart the first time I saw it.  So many of us have vintage luggage in our homes…

Decorating with Blue Transferware and a GIVEAWAY!

If you haven't already been over to Enchanted Home, you'll want to go over after you finish this post because the wonderful Tina, who authors the incredibly gorgeous blog,  has a great post up about decorating with dishes plus she's hosting a giveaway to my online shop, English Transferware!  Details at the end of the post!
I know Tina loves blue and white (just look at her header and you'll know!) and has a collection of her own. In honor of Tina, I've decided to share some of my favorite images of rooms decorated with and often around blue transferware collections.  You can see more rooms decorated with blue transferware on my Pinterest board.

To me, Charles Faudree is just about as synonymous with English transferware as he his with French Country Decorating...he seemed to always find a use for it in his incredibly detailed decorating schemes.  Isn't this bedroom charming?


I love this next image from Decor Magazine.  Look how the blue pieces are hung directly o…

Children and Their Pet Rabbits ~ Antique Oil Paintings

Have you ever known a child to resist a bunny rabbit?  They're so adorable.   It seems that at some time we've all had as our own, or known someone who had, or bought for our children, a pet rabbit.  I remember surprising Michael, Ethan and Jonah (before our other three came along) with rabbits one year at Easter.  I determined that, for us, owning pet rabbits was a better thought than idea...but that's another story.   
Nonetheless, children and their pet rabbits have long time been a favorite subject of painters. Though I am more keen to having a painting of an animal than actually having an animal, I can't resist the charm and pure innocence in the paintings I'm sharing here.   I adore each of these beautiful works of arts, and I hope you do as well.

The Favourite Rabbit, by John Russell (1745-1806)
Feeding The Rabbits by German artist Heinrich Hirt (1841-1902)

Children Feeding Rabbits by Joseph Moseley Barber
Little Girl with Rabbit by Hermann Kaulbach 
I have this p…