For a Scottish start-of-year item, I turn to an unlikely source.
That is John Howard, the antique English pottery specialist, who is based at Heritage Antiques, Woodstock in Oxfordshire.
From Mr Howard comes an English creamware pottery tankard with a depiction of a Highlander playing bagpipes formed as Napoleon.
You won’t be surprised to learn that it dates from around 1800 when Napoleon was Public Enemy No 1 on this side of the Channel.
Bonaparte as the bagpipes
The creamware tankard is decorated with an underglaze transfer print which is coloured and shows a Highlander playing the bagpipes in the form of Napoleon Bonaparte.
The Highlander expresses a smiling delight at the predicament of ‘Bony’, who is upside down with his two legs over his right shoulder.
This satirical piece was made to commemorate the victory over the French at Alexandria, Egypt in 1801, where the 42nd Regiment of the Royal Highlanders gleefully captured the colours of Napoleon’s Invincibles.
The ‘Gallant Forty-Twa’
After capturing the standard, the ‘Gallant Forty-Twa,’ who had besieged Cairo and then Alexandria, helped to expel the French forces from Egypt.
The print shows pyramids in the background and has two verses in a painted script.
The first, ‘An old performer playing on a new instrument, or one of the 42nd touching the Invincible’.
And the second from a bubble from Napoleon’s mouth, which is singing the verse the Highlander is piping, comes the national anthem, ‘God save Great George our King, Long live our noble King, God save the King.’
Some 4.75 inches high with a wee bit of wear commensurate with its age, this whimsical but historic tankard carries a price tag of £1975.
By the way, it is exceptionally rare.