Hardback, Stationery Office Books, 1977.
Very good condition, signed by author John Bannerman on inside cover, very slight fading to dustjacket.
For centuries visitors to the west of Scotland have been fascinated by the distinctive series of medieval crosses, effigies and grave-slabs that are found throughout the Western Isles and on parts of the adjacent mainland. This book, the outcome of a detailed study of the whole body of material undertaken on behalf of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, attempts to answer the questions where, when and for whom the carvings were made. It reveals that production began in the first half of the 14th century and ceased abruptly at the Reformation (c. 1560). The original workshop was at Iona Abbey, but subsequently other schools of carving were established in Kintyre and elsewhere, while in the 16th century the trade passed largely into the hands of independent craftsmen. Particular attention has been paid to the arms and armour displayed on the effigial monuments, and to the decorative motifs on the slabs, which include a wide variety of tools and other objects in daily use in medieval times. The inscriptions, many of which have not previously been read, are of absorbing interest to linguistic and genealogical studies, and are dealt with in a separate section.
Since the patronage of the Lords of the Isles was evidently the dominant factor in the creation and development of the industry described in the book, a summary account of the history of the Lordship is given in an appendix.