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Logo of spirals

Object number: ROMGH.1999.41

Type: Illustration

Material: Card, Inks

Width: 21.8cm | Height: 23.8cm

Production date: 1950

 Yes you can     No you cannot
Use the same Celtic patterns in your art and craft work Yes
Use this design for commercial purposes without the permission of the Copyright holder No
Commercially reproduce this object without the permission of the Copyright holder No

George Bain took various sorts of commissions after he retired in 1946. Amongst them are a number of logos. This one, for a small hospital near Perth, is based on his fascination with three-in-one spirals (triskeles). Bain explains how to draw two- and three-coil spirals in his book ‘Methods of Construction’. His favourite spiral groups seem to have been those on the Pictish Aberlemno Churchyard cross and in the Book of Durrow.

The hospital opened in 1939, to serve evacuees and wounded German prisoners of war. It stayed open after the 2nd World War and served the local community until it closed in 1992. We don’t know whether this logo was ever used. But the ‘original design by George Bain, Kilmore Drumnadrochit, Inverness-shire 13th June 1950’ reflects Bain’s commitment to Scots Gaelic. We’ve translated seòladh gu slàinte as ‘a route to health’.

TCD MS57 folio 3v Trinity College Dublin (digital link MS57_014)

See Bain's Celtic Art, Methods of Construction page 60, Plate M and page 64, Plate 7

Author: Diana Cobden

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