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Friday, October 2, 2015

Our jewellery collection is a living resource for ourselves and our commission clients

This item in the Urban_Archaeology Collection ticks all our interest boxes. Our research has shown the same piece sold in the UK, twice previously. 1) and 2) - Maker: Patrick Robertson. Edinburgh c1790.

A rare Georgian Scottish silver Helter Skelter Club Badge of plain oval form with tied ribbon and ring surmount, the face engraved with a crest of a heart with an arrow through it below the motto ‘Thus Far’. To Robt Campbell Original Member. The reverse with the instituted date 8th May 1790 and the initials D.W.B.C.

Further research on the Helter Skelter Club is supplied by Michael Allen:

Sir Walter Scott:  St Ronan’s Well (written c1823)
Thirdly, we may commemorate some ranting blades, who also came from the metropolis to visit Saint Ronan's, attracted by the humours of Meg, and still more by the excellence of her liquor, and the cheapness of her reckonings. These were members of the Helter Skelter Club, of the Wildfire Club, and other associations formed for the express purpose of getting rid of care and sobriety. Such dashers occasioned many a racket in Meg's house, and many a bourasque in Meg's temper. Various were the arts of flattery and violence by which they endeavoured to get supplies of liquor, when Meg's conscience told her they had had too much already. Sometimes they failed, as when the croupier of the Helter Skelter got himself scalded with the mulled wine, in an unsuccessful attempt to coax this formidable virago by a salute; and the excellent president of the Wildfire received a broken head from the keys of the cellar, as he endeavoured to possess himself of these emblems of authority. But little did these dauntless officials care for the exuberant frolics of Meg's temper, which were to them only "pretty Fanny's way"- - the dulces Amaryllidis iræ. And Meg, on her part, though she often called them "drunken ne'er-do-weels, and thoroughbred High-street blackguards," allowed no other person to speak ill of them in her hearing. "They were daft callants," she said, "and that was all - - when the drink was in, the wit was out--ye could not put an auld head upon young shouthers--a young cowt will canter, be it up-hill or down--and what for no?" was her uniform conclusion.

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