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MacTavish Tartan and the retail world

 
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NH Commissioner



Joined: 14 Oct 2007
Posts: 28
Location: Derry NH

PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 3:09 pm    Post subject: MacTavish Tartan and the retail world Reply with quote

As I was in Edinburgh this past week I did a ton of shopping.

I noticed that the Camel Thom(p)son is extremely popular and readily available, no thanks to those who stole the design.

A couple of things bothered me:

1) Ingles Buchan company has on the back of all our tartans:
"The dress and the Hunting Thomson tartans were designed by Lord Thomson of Fleet. Both were submitted to the Lord Lyon Office in 1958 and subsequently registered there as the tartans of Lord Thomson and the family."
Is this factual?? What bothered me was the MacTavish red sold as "Thompson Red" and with the same history on the back.

2) Clans of Scotland company has on the back of their items:
Clan: Thomson Motto: Truth will prevail Crest: A stag's head
Sept and related names include Comie, Commie, Maccomie, Tamson, Thomsan, Thomsand, Thmson, Tomsoun.

Taking their name from"the son of thomas", bearers of the name flourished in both the Lowlands and the Highlands of Scotland and became inextricably linked with Clan MacThomas, Clan MacTavish, Clan Campbell of Argyll, and Clan MacKintosh.

This is the one that bothered me the most and should be corrected.

3) James Pringle Weavers of Inverness company has on a Thomson Blue scarf that
"The Clan was orginally known as MacThomais. Thomson is an anglicized form of MacTavish, MacThomas and MacComie.



I would like others to place here the different manufactures that they have come across and wether or not they properly identify the tartan.



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Stephen C. Pearson MS
NH Commissioner
Clan MacTavish
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viartn



Joined: 10 Feb 2006
Posts: 313
Location: Tennessee

PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 4:17 pm    Post subject: Clan Tartans Reply with quote

Stephen,

What you have seen is partially right and I think partially wrong. The Tartan associated with Fleet as I understand it was Thompson Dress Blue. There are references I believe (have seen them in books I have) to MacTavish Red going back in the 1850's. We even have an 1851 variant. Actually we need to get Patrick to address this issue.
My wife is in the process of making a set hangings of all our current Tartans including two Stevenson Tartans and I can tell you different providers can get it really wrong. The Tartans do not look anything like what is publised on our web. Also, we have either swatches, scarfs, or my kilts that are valid and authenic to compare with what we see from some providers. There are providers of Tartan we can trust and I suspect Patrick and may be the Chief need to declare who they are.
Remeber our cousins in Scotland are trying to make a sale sometimes and do not get things including the information about the Tartan the way it needs to be. I have found things attached to "Official MacTavish" items from different houses that were just wrong.
Hope this helps,

Charlie Viar
Region 3


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SherryLThompson



Joined: 06 Feb 2006
Posts: 611
Location: New Hampshire, USA

PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are right on all counts Charlie. I have found the only consistently reliable source of our tartan is Lochcarron. And we have to be careful there because they have put the blue stripe in our Camel.....which is incorrect and is due to the pressure brought to bear by Burburry...

great idea to identify reliable vendors so our members do not get fleeced by inaccurate items. still a lot of misinformation out there due to our dormancy, we have to know more than the shop owners when we shop for our stuff

steve, I knew you would be a shop-a-holic! Wink and you try to blame Cheryl at games!



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Sherry Thompson
National Commissioner USA
Region 1 (Northeast) Commissioner

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass......
it's about learning to dance in the rain.
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NH Commissioner



Joined: 14 Oct 2007
Posts: 28
Location: Derry NH

PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found something very interesting:

http://www.tartanregister.gov.uk/results.aspx?name=mactavish&cat=&ref=&des=&sta=&stwr=&apn=&res=


This link may not work. Anyways it is from the Scottish Register of Tartans, which is now the OFFICIAL TARTAN AUTHORITY IN SCOTLAND.

The MacTavish references are great. Now we just need the retailers to follow the official listings.



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Stephen C. Pearson MS
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Clan MacTavish
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Patrick Thompson



Joined: 04 Feb 2006
Posts: 175
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 4:21 pm    Post subject: Tartan manufacturers and retailers Reply with quote

Tartans are a very confusing issue … because the Scots never say what they mean, a genteel way of getting around an issue.

You have to read everything with great care. For instance, regarding the Dress (Blue) MacTavish/Thompson Tartan, and the Hunting.

While 2 Tartans were registered for Baron Roy Thomson of Fleet, the publishing mogul, it is based on an earlier Tartan. Thomson of Fleet was created a Baron in 1964, however you will note when reviewing the tartan information for STA ref: 1383 (Dress Blue Thomson/MacTavish) that it was based upon a Tartan in the mid 19th century…that’s the 1800’s folks. So why is there not a Tartan registration number for that 1800s pattern? My take on this is that Baron Roy Thomson of Fleet bought it, and had enough money to have it declared his own. Same with the Hunting Tartan (STA ref: 232). They were all originally MacTavish tartans. Here is the registration note, with the KICKER underlined.

Registration notes: Approved by the Lord Lyon in 1958. Designed for Lord Thomson of Fleet in 1958 based on a sample in the Moy Hall collection dating from the mid 19th century. In 1998 it was agreed by Dugald MacTavish of Dunardry 26th Chief to be the 'dress' Clan tartan. This collection is found in the Scottish Tartans Society archive.

Now there is a problem with how the above reads, Thomson of Fleet was created Baron in 1964, not 1958, and the original sample from the mid 1800s could only have been a MacTavish Tartan. GO figure. Roy Thomson even said that he had this tartan registered for those bearing the Thomson name (that is Thomsons, even if they are descended from MacTavish or Not), because they had to make due with MacTavish tartans in the past. Oh my! Now we understand. This tartan was originally a MACTAVISH Tartan. Since there was nothing stopping the Baron he registered the 1800’s MacTavish Blue and Hunting as “Thomson” tartans.
Since he could do it, he did, not that there is anything wrong in purchasing a tartan design, but the history of that tartan should not then be stretched to the breaking point, as you have just read in the Notes.

Now for the twist that will never be corrected. Tartan manufacturers and retailers are in the business for money, not for milling or marketing authentic clan tartans, which is really a modern invention anyway. They will sell anyone any tartan, unless it is restricted. Hence they put little tags on tartan items with a mixed up history, and abbra-cadabbra, it sells. Good luck to anyone who thinks it can be corrected.

There are quite a few MacTavish/Thom(p)son Tartans, some that are not to my liking, but anyone can order what they want. You have a choice of tartans, even if not registered by the chief. Our chief is lenient on this issue.

Patrick Thompson
Seannachie


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SherryLThompson



Joined: 06 Feb 2006
Posts: 611
Location: New Hampshire, USA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2009 7:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

All I can say is that when I discovered my scottish roots I'm just GLAD that I didn't turn up a McCloud!!!!!!!!!!

I love our Dress Blue, it is so distinctive as there are so few blue tartans....you can spot it a mile away at a games.....and our hunting is the prettiest of all the clans hunting....like Patrick I have my preferences....I wear Dress Blue the most, I prefer the Lochcarron shade of bluish/grey....however I like ladies sashes in large sett which can only be obtained from Ingles Buchan.

I picked up a great line from Miss Mary at the Gathering tent....I have a sample of each of our tartans and she was telling some prospective members that we are such "fashionistas" that we have six of our own designs Wink



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Sherry Thompson
National Commissioner USA
Region 1 (Northeast) Commissioner

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass......
it's about learning to dance in the rain.
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