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Loans X.AS 10 Towie Ball

Items lent by National Museums Scotland

Objects from the National Museums Scotland collection can be found at museums throughout the UK and internationally. Recent international loans include loans to Venice, Madrid and Paris, and there are over 2000 objects on long term loan across Scotland and the rest of the UK.

taypani milaythina-tu: Return to Country


National Museums Scotland has lent two Tasmanian kelp shell necklaces, one of which was displayed at the Great London Exposition of 1862, for a ground-breaking exhibition presenting creative work from 20 Tasmanian Aboriginal artists across 15 projects. Ancestral objects from collections around the world have been lent to lutruwita (Tasmania) to be exhibited alongside contemporary responses from artists, some of which are by descendants of the original makers.

Necklace made from two layers of conical seashells, the points of each layer facing away from the other layer. Each shell shimmers with brown, blue, green, and grey.

National Museums Liverpool, Walker Art Gallery

National Museums Scotland has lent a large Imperial Chinese porcelain fish-bowl dating from 1567-1572 for long term display in the new Lee Kai Hung Chinese Culture Gallery. This gallery is part of Manchester Museum’s 15-million-pound refurbishment which saw the reopening of the Museum in February 2023

A large ceramic bowl, almost as tall as it is wide, slightly tapered at the bottom. The bowl is decorated with a colourful painted scene of large flowers made to look like trees, water ripples, and birds.

Reiss-Engelhorn Museen, Mannheim, Germany

The Normans

18 September 2022 – 26 February 2023

National Museums Scotland lent one of the iconic Lewis chessmen to this comprehensive exhibition of the “Men from the North”. The exhibition looks at a geographical approach to exploring the mix of cultures brought about by trade and conquest. The Normans were powerful princes and rulers who left their traces all over Europe and beyond.

Lewis chess piece - carving of a man in a pointed hat

Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle

The Lindisfarne Gospels

17 September 2022 – 3 December 2022

A rare opportunity to see the Lindisfarne Gospels displayed in Tyneside on loan from the British Library. National Museums Scotland lent 4 archaeological artefacts dating from the 7-9th centuries to display alongside the manuscripts. One of the archaeological artefacts is a beautiful gold-plated silver brooch with interlaced and birds’ head ornamentation.

Intricately carved brooch

Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh

Céline Condorelli/After Work

25 June 2022 – 1 October 2022

National Museums Scotland has lent 11 glass Blaschka models to this exhibition in which the artist Condorelli creates works that take inspiration from art, design and the natural world. The models are small and delicate recreations of ocean creatures made in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by master glass artists Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka.

Small glass model of ocean creatures

National Museums Liverpool, Walker Art Gallery

The Tudors: Passion, Power and Politics

21 May 2022 – 29 August 2022

This exhibition looks at five English Tudor monarchs through portraits and associated artefacts. The Tudor dynasty reigned from 1485 to 1603 and oversaw many historic events such as the English Reformation, wars and colonisation. National Museums Scotland have lent 4 artefacts of this period including this beautiful late sixteenth century coif, or woman’s cap, made of fine linen with a design of flowers, pods and berries embroidered in silks and silver gilt thread.

Textile coif, roughly rectangular. Soft yellow base with green vines and red flowers densely patterned across.

Trimontium Museum Trust, Melrose

The Trimontium Roman fort site, near Melrose, is of international importance as the largest Roman fort and settlement north of Hadrian’s Wall and the site of one of the largest concentrations of Roman military-related finds in the British Isles. A newly opened, purpose-built museum in Melrose telling the story of this fort has received from National Museums Scotland a long-term loan of 210 archaeological artefacts associated with the Romans in the Scottish Borders excavated at the site.

Ringlet, open at the side facing forward, made of darkened copper with leaf-like patterns deeply engraved.

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