St Bartholomew from St Johns Kirk, 1557


This rare and important Pre-Reformation portrait of St Bartholomew was retrieved from St John’s Kirk, just next to Perth Museum. St Bartholomew was the patron saint of the Glovers Incorporation – crafts people who made gloves from animal skins – and this portrait of him depicts many of the tools and emblems associated with the trade. St Bartholomew was an apostle and was said to have been a missionary in Armenia and India. He is traditionally held to have been martyred in Armenia by being flayed alive with a skinning knife before being beheaded.

The Glover Incorporation of Perth has had a presence in Perth since at least 1210, although the origins of glove making in the city will certainly pre-date this.

Over the centuries the ‘Glovers’, alongside other traders and merchants organised themselves into guilds and trades to protect their interests. By the middle of the 16th century, a royal charter established the position of trade organisations in the management and administration of town affairs. The ‘Dyken’ was a member of the Town Council, until 1833, and also performed the duties of ‘magistrate’ with an overview of social and religious welfare, imposing punishments.