The Deacon's Chain of Office is based
on the new chain purchased in 1881 for the sum of £57 (about £5,000
calculated according to the 2013 RPI); the present chain is a
modern replacement, following the theft of the original some years
ago. It comprises a medal, suspended on a chain of oblong links,
each engraved with the name and dates of office of a past Deacon,
back to 1882. On the obverse, the medal bears the coat of arms of
the Incorporation of Cordiners, blazoned Azure a chevron
between three ducal crowns with shoemakers' cutting knives
underneath the crowns or . The reverse of the medal shows the arms
of the City of Glasgow. Despite its long usage, the coat of arms of
the Incorporation of Cordiners was not registered in the Public
Register of All Arms and Bearings until 1921.
Many of the incorporations had bells, but it seems that
only the Cordiners still use them. At the Deacon's Choosing Dinner,
each time the Deacon speaks s/he rings a bell, echoed immediately
by the Collector's bell and then again by the goudie's
No 1 is inscribed: "The gift of Deacon John Jenkins to the
Incorporation of Cordiners in Glasgow, 1788."
No 2 is inscribed: "Incorporation of Cordiners, 1794."
No 3 is inscribed: "Given by Col. Charles Walker, of the 1st
Regt.. Lanarkshire Local Militia, to Mr. John Craig (for the third
time), present Deacon of the Incorporation of Cordiners in Glasgow,
for the use and behoof of the Trade, and in token of respect to the
Deacon and regard to the Craft. - Glasgow, 2nd August, 1815."
The Deacon's Dancing medal:
The Collector's medal:
Installed around the end of the Boer War, the painted and gilded
frieze runs the entire perimeter of the Great Hall, stretching a
distance of some sixty-four metres, or 210 feet in a styled and
romantic way, depicting the work of the fourteen Incorporated
Trades. It features 161 individual figures as well as a donkey, two
pigs, two sheep and a cow. Little is known of the original Belgian
artists who painted it, but whoever designed it was clearly
familiar with the Grand Hall, designing it to tie in with the
window arches and the large paintings at the end of the room. The
Cordiners panel, on one of the shorter walls, shows a customer
being given a fitting for shoes: the craftsmen‟s booth in which she
sits has numerous shoes hanging at the left hand side and more
piled up in boxes. At the right hand side, the five figures at the
workbench cut and shape the leather to make the next batch of
At the Deacon's Choosing Dinner, the Incorporation displays its
silverware, including two wine coolers and a buffalo horn of
Also on display at all dinners are the silver goblets
commissioned from Glasgow School of Art by Lord Forte in 1986. Each
is decorated with a symbol of the craft - the Cordiners' goblet
having one of the ducal crowns from its coat of arms.
At Master Court meetings, the Goudie Box, for charitable
donations, is displayed.
The magnificent seven-metre dome in the Grand Hall carries the
coats of arms of the fourteen incorporated trades, of which only
two, the Hammermen and the Cordiners have crests. The Cordiners'
crest is St Crispin, patron saint of leather-workers.