Jacob's Dream is one of two stained glass windows designed and manufactured by Clayton and Bell of London, which were installed in Ardmiddle House, near Turriff in Aberdeenshire, in 1868. The house has since been demolished.

Ardmiddle House, from an archival source.

The whereabouts and subsequent history of one of the windows in known. Our correspondent writes that Jacob’s Dream was at the west end of the hall. Robert Collier Caw, a Glaswegian, bought Ardmiddle in 1923 and donated it to Forglen Memorial Hall, which was being built nearby at the time. Restoration was carried out by Linda Cannon who was conservator at the Burrell Collection, Glasgow, with a studio in Crow Road, Glasgow.

The Chess Players, based on a drawing by Moritz Retzsch.

However, at the east end of the hall was another stained glass window, The Chess Players, based on a drawing by Moritz Retzsch, a famous Dresden artist. Retzsch was fascinated by the tale of Faust, who sold his soul to the devil in exchange for unlimited knowledge. The drawing shows the devil playing chess for the soul of an innocent young man. An examination of the board shows the devil about to win — the chess pieces being the Vices and the Virtues. The fate of this window is unknown.

An item about this, by Tamsin Gray, appeared last year in The Press and Journal (see below), with the request that anyone with knowledge about the window should get in touch with the community council by emailing Jim Bayne, Secretary, Alvah and Forglen Community Council: secretary.alvahforglencc@gmail.com


Gray, Tamsin. "Historic stained-glass window removed from north-east hall to be repaired." The Press and Journal. 9 May 2019.

Created 25 February 2020