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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.

British Museum, London

The World of Stonehenge

17 February 2022 – 17 July 2022

This British Museum exhibition explores the human story behind the iconic stone monument, Stonehenge. Through objects originating from across Europe, important clues can be detected to help understand the beliefs, rituals and world view of Neolithic people. National Museums Scotland have lent over 100 archaeological artefacts to this groundbreaking exhibition, including a carved ball from Towie, Aberdeenshire and 4 magnificent gold discs from a grave found at Knowes of Trotty, in Orkney.

Black stone sphere with three raised sections and spirals carved across its surface.

Gold foil disc, thin as paper laid out flat. Ziz-zag designs arranged in a spiral decorate the surface.

Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery Trust, Carlisle

To the Edges of the Empire

5 March 2022 – 11 June 2022

National Museums Scotland have lent a stunning bronze Roman face mask to this exhibition which marks 1900 years since the commencement of the building of Hadrian’s Wall. The parade mask shows a young female face and was excavated from the Roman site at Newstead and dates to the late 1st century AD. The mask illustrates the importance of Britain in the Roman Empire at this time.

Metal face mask, dark grey-brown, of a young Roman man with strong nose bridge, curly hair and slightly open mouth.

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.

St Andrews University Wardlaw Museum, Fife

After a major refurbishment the Wardlaw Museum has reopened and National Museums Scotland have contributed loans to a new gallery examining the achievements of the University’s alumni. Sir James Black is one of the scientists highlighted in the displays and lent are three medals that were awarded to Black, plus a custom-made model of the drug Propranolol and a set of wooden Napiers bones.

Bronze medal, faded with age, with a medieval scene in the centre, coats of arms, and 'Universitas sancti andree MCCCCXI' written around it.

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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