Rescued from the mud and peat that contributed to the downfall of the Jacobite cause at Culloden in 1746 the small shield could have been one of a number borne by the brave Scots.
It was one of a wealth of arms left littering the moor by the fallen and those who fled the last battle fought on British soil.
On closer inspection, however, it was a staggering work of craftsmanship, the head of Medusa as its finely sculpted centrepiece, and in fact belonged to Bonnie Prince Charlie himself.
Dropped as the would-be monarch fled, it was rescued by Jacobite colonel Ewan MacPherson of Cluny and remained in his family until the twentieth century.
Also recovered was Prince Charles Edward Stuart’s intricately decorated sword, though it was taken as a spoil of war and presented to the Government commander, William Duke of Cumberland.
The items are thought to have been gifted to the Prince while he resided within the exiled Stuart court in Rome by James Drummond, 3rd Duke of Perth, who was a committed supporter of the Jacobite cause.
Now the items have returned to Perth as part of a display at Perth Museum and Gallery where they can be seen until February 25, 2017.
The targe – or Highland shield – and sword are touring in advance of the opening of a major Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, in whose collection they now rest.
The Perth display will also feature Jacobite objects and archival material from the collections and archive of Perth and Kinross Council, which are cared for by Culture Perth and Kinross.
As well as highlighting the role of Perthshire in the Jacobite uprisings, it will explore the figure of James Drummond, who came to be a leading Jacobite.
Raised near Crieff, the Duke became lieutenant-general of the Highland army and participated in the Jacobite victory at the Battle of Prestonpans before marching into England and laying siege to Carlisle Castle in 1745.
Also making one of its first public appearances will be “The Battle of Culloden”, a recently acquired mid-18th century manuscript poem narrating the musings of Prince Charles Edward Stuart and fictitious conversations between The Duke of Perth, Lady Weem, The Duke of Cumberland and Major James Lockhart following the Jacobite’s brutal defeat on Culloden field.
Jenny Kinnear, Collections and Programming Manager at Culture Perth and Kinross said:”We are delighted to present this new acquisition to our Jacobite collection.
“For the first time this beautifully preserved manuscript will be made available to the public.
“We hope that its presence, alongside these items of local significance, will generate much thought-provoking interest from our visitors”.
The Gifts for a Jacobite Prince Exhibition forms part of a season of commemorative exhibitions and events, entitled Perth and Kinross Remembers.
It will feature five separate exhibitions that look at war in different ways, from the weapons of the First World War to the Battle of the Somme and the making of the film War Horse.