The History of Traquair in 50 Objects; No. 2

Published 14th February 2018

Neolithic Jadeite Axehead

Neolithic Jadeite Axehead on Display at Traquair

This is a superb example of a Neolithic Ceremonial Axehead possibly found on or near Traquair estate. We have no record of how or when it was found and little was known about it. However, in 2008, Alison Sheridan of the National Museum of Scotland had the object analysed as part of a European research project and we now know more about this fascinating piece.

The Axehead was made of jadeite in the Italian Alps between 4,500 and 4,100 BC either from Mount Viso (near Turin) or Monte Beigua (near Genoa). If it was found in Scotland, it is likely it was brought over by pioneering immigrant farmers from northern France. It would have been at least 100 years old by then, and was probably their most treasured possession.

Other similar axe heads have been found in the Scottish Borders so it seems likely it was found near Traquair. It also comes with a leather carrying case that is thought to date from the late 1600’s or early 1700’s. Its style suggests that it was made by an Edinburgh based craft specialist and the designs on it are similar to those used on book bindings of the period.

Traquair House The History of Traquair in 50 Objects 14th February 2018