Tontine heads

This bunch of carved heads have quite a lot of history.
They were part of Glasgow’s town hall which was built in the mid 18th century. This took a long time to complete and there is 16 years between the first four heads being made and the second five.
The town hall was sold off and converted to the Tontine hotel in 1781 which is where they get their name.
The hotel was sold off in 1869 and converted to a shop and the front remodelled the heads ended up in the hands of a builder.
The builder used them in a new warehouse in 1872 a few streets away and another two in the same style were added at the same time to fill space on the wall.
In 1888 the warehouse burned down destroying one head and ending up with several others in private hands.
In the 1930s a journalist decided to track them down.
They were not reunited until the 1970s when they ended up in a museum store.
In the 1990s they finally ended up back on show in the Garden behind the Provands lordship. Another two heads from another building were also added for some reason.


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