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Lead Processing at Leadhills: Weighing the Lead Bars

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Lead Processing at Leadhills: Weighing the Lead Bars Probably 1780s


  • Scottish Art
David Allan painted a fascinating set of pictures when the Industrial Revolution was taking hold in Scotland. The setting is the famous lead mines at Leadhills in South Lanarkshire, owned by the 3rd Earl of Hopetoun, who commissioned these paintings. They show the four key stages in lead processing, of which this is the fourth. Once the molten lead had been moulded into ingots they were weighed. The final weighing ceremony was attended by company officials and apparently by the Earl of Hopetoun’s bailie. He was entrusted with extracting the proprietor’s quota (every sixth bar). The remainder of the ingots would then be loaded on to carts for the long and costly overland journey to the port of Leith and onward distribution or export to the markets of Northern Europe and Russia.


  • Acc. No. NG 2837
  • Medium Oil on canvas
  • Size 38.30 x 58.00 cm (framed 45.00 x 65.00 cm)
  • Credit Accepted by HM Government in lieu of inheritance tax and allocated to the National Galleries of Scotland, 2008