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Military Sculpture Commissions

The British army has a structure based largely on local recruitment of Regiments. These, along with specialist departments and the other Armed Services, have a long tradition of marking significant events in their history by commissioning sculptural pieces of silver. Over the years, this has led to the build-up of some fine collections. The pieces take many forms; often they are statuettes, singly or in groups, or they are models of ships, aircraft, tanks, guns and so on, the constantly evolving hardware of war. Within these collections can be found a wealth of information on the dress, both ceremonial and combat, and the equipment of the Forces.

This is a living tradition, as you can see from these pieces made in the past few years by Gordon Lochhead.


To see larger, and sometimes more images of a piece, click on the photographs

Cossack (1917)

Silver statuette, height c.24cm, 1999

Made for an Irish regiment to mark a training visit to Russia

The Royal Navy

"On The Step"

Silver (part oxidised) on painted wood. Length c.60cm. 1991

This is a model of a "Conqueror" class submarine, commissioned by the Royal Navy when this type of vessel was being taken out of service. A unique characteristic was their high surface speed, when, as depicted here, the submarine could ride its own bow wave like a speedboat

The Queen's Own Highlanders Regiment

Thirty Years

Silver Centrepiece on wood base, height c.48cm. 1991

The Sergeants' and Warrant Officers' Mess of the Queens Own Highlanders regiment commissioned this piece to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the amalgamation of the Seaforth and Cameron Highlanders which formed the new regiment in 1961. The four figures depict uniforms at particular postings during this period, in Brunei, Northern Ireland and the Gulf War. The central figure is in the ceremonial uniform of 1991.

(photographer unknown: will attribute if contacted)

Edinburgh Castle

Silver Centrepiece for HMS Edinburgh, Elm base, length c.45cm. 1987.

Commissioned by the Royal Navy Trophy Centre for the wardroom of HMS Edinburgh. The piece is used as a centrepiece when the ship's captain entertains guests on board. The base was made by Tim Stead.

Photograph of Edinburgh Castle Centrepiece

Edinburgh Castle 2

Silver Centrepiece for Highlanders Regiment, Oak base, length o.a. circa 32cm. 2000.

A complete reworking of the earlier piece.

Commissioned by the Officers Mess of the Highlanders Regiment, who are based at Edinburgh Castle.

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