Piece of slate etched with a knotwork square

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From St Blane's, Bute, Inner Hebrides

Postcard of Piece of slate etched with a knotwork square.
© National Museums Scotland

Piece of slate etched with a knotwork square

This piece of slate was found at St Blane's on Bute in the Inner Hebrides. The reused roofing slate has been etched with a design, presumably by a craftsman using it as a motif piece. The slate dates from between 800 and 1000.

The design is an intricate knotwork square, similar to designs known from manuscript illustrations, stone sculptures and quality metalwork such as brooches.

Slate has long been used as trial pieces for experimental work, both drawings and writing. A number of pieces of slate were recovered at St Blane's, some covered with crude graffiti, others, like this one, with more accomplished attempts.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-039-047-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  X.GQ 49
Date: Between 800 and 1000
Material: Slate; large oblong pinhole; incised knotwork square
Dimensions: 5.75" x 4.25"; knotwork square 1.75"
What: Motif piece
Where: Scotland, Bute, St Blane's
Description: Stone motif piece with an incised knotwork square, from St Blane's, Bute
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