The Setup

I spent the day yesterday preparing the case for display, but we ran into a couple snags so I won’t get it done till next week. I really enjoyed the experience. There was an old display that Iain had taken down a while ago, but the labels and nails were still in the wall. The labels were stuck on with velcro tabs, which had been there for so long it was like they had been glued to the wall and getting them off proved more trouble than expected. Then the nails that were used to hang the canes had to be removed, and with them came chunks of plaster (these nails were excessively large, and there were quite a lot of them). Since the wall is now in need of some spackling paste and paint we decided to install a backdrop of paper, which meant I got to take a walk down to the art supply shop to choose and purchase a background color. As luck would have it they had a green almost the same shade as some of the furnishings in the conference room, so naturally I chose that one. I spent a while measuring, cutting, and blu-tacking paper into the display, but that’s as far as we made it for the day. I love doing crafty type things and setting up the display has been a nice combination of crafty/design type stuff and research. Here’s a picture of the display-in-progress:

Physicians' Canes display in progress. Yes, it's right next to the loo, but that's not actually a bad spot because it will force people to look at it.

Physicians’ Canes display in progress. Yes, it’s right next to the loo, but that’s not actually a bad spot because it will force people to look at it.

There’s an odd display of 19th century bleeding cups right next to it, but according to the label at the bottom of the display there isn’t much known about them so I don’t have anything to say about them at this point. Except that I am intrigued.

After I got all that done I was thinking I would wander around the Hall and take pictures for the blog, but there was a conference going on and I didn’t want to cause any disturbance, so I limited myself to the basement area where there was nothing going on. There are a lot of portraits in the basement, and some of them feature one of the canes that will be in the display. It is known as the Presidential Cane. It was presented to the president of the RCPE in 1831 by Dr. William Montcreiff, a Fellow of the College and the Sibbald Librarian. Below are a couple shots of the cane and two of the portraits associated with it.

Presidential Cane, Royal College of Physicians Edinburgh

Presidential Cane, Royal College of Physicians Edinburgh

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