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Discover the 17th Century Parlour

Provost Skene's House - 17th Century Parlour

The Parlour is furnished mainly with furniture of lightweight woods such as yew and walnut. Walnut superceded oak as the most prized wood for furniture in Britain in the 17th century. The high-backed chairs around the table have turned and carved walnut frames and lightweight canework seats and backs and date to the 1680s.

Perhaps the most decorative piece of furniture in the room is the long-case clock by John Martin of Whitegate Alley, London c.1680. The walnut veneered case is decorated with intricate marquetry panels depicting flowers and birds.

David Anderson, architect and his wife Jean Guild
David Anderson, architect and his wife Jean GuildThis is a double portrait by one of Aberdeen's most renowned artists George Jamesone. He was one of the few indigenous portrait painters working in Scotland during the 17th century. This work shows the architect David Anderson and his wife Jean Guild. In a convention typical of the 17th century, the architect's wife is placed on the 'distaff' or left hand side of the architect. The couple are members of the merchant and academic class of Aberdeen so favoured by Jamesone in his subject matter. Jamesone was a skilled if somewhat limited painter and yet this portrait conveys a certain tender intimacy between husband and wife. They are both dressed soberly as befitted the time but it can be seen that the cloth is of good quality and is richly textured. Both costumes are defined by their expansive necklines; in Mr Anderson's case a broad linen collar and for Mrs Anderson a lace-trimmed starched white ruff.