Celebrating the creative talents of Scotland’s crafters

A free summer exhibition looking at the history merchants and makers is set to take place.

The Fair City’s merchants and craftspeople are being celebrated in a new event which digs deep into the history of the city.

By Hammer and Hand, running from June 30 to September 30 at Perth Museum and Art Gallery, is free and brings to life the people who formed the backbone of Perth’s economy.

The exhibition draws on archives, artwork and significant objects which bring their history and importance to life.

Perth’s merchants and craft Incorporations were the original administrators of the town, sitting on the council, overseeing tax payments and organising markets and fairs. The original Merchant Guild also owned property in the area.

They also formed Perth’s original maker movement, with professions including bakers, glovers, tailors, fleshers, Hammermen (blacksmiths and metalworkers), shoemakers, weavers, and wrights. The exhibition will feature their work and artefacts.

It includes: a set of ceremonial keys to the city of Perth; leather tawes used to punish members and apprentices; banners and portraits associated with the region’s Incorporated trades.

Rhona Rodger, senior officer, collection management with Culture Perth and Kinross, said: ‘Perth’s merchants really did form the backbone of the city’s economy as well as its administration. With By Hammer and Hand we wanted to ask questions we know everyone has asked: Who were they? What did they make and sell? And what made them so influential?’

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