“It rains almost constantly in the Highlands” observed Elizabeth Selwyn in her Northern Tour of 1822. Umbrellas must have felt indispensable for visitors and locals alike, just as they are today, a fact supported by their frequent appearance in contemporary paintings, prints and drawing. In Knox’s Landscape with Tourists at Loch Katrine for example, among the well-dressed figures on the left, a woman is shown clutching a small umbrella while one of her male companions on the rocky step below holds a closed one.

Green silk with wooden stays, brass fixtures and bone handle