The ancient scroll

I have yet found only three photos of the scroll. The photo on the right comes from Martin Jackson’s text The Kirkwall Scroll (1). I think the image originally comes from the Masonic scholar Robert Lomas (2) who describes having seen the scroll in 1999 describing how it hangs on the West wall of the building. On the photo you can indeed see it hanging down. Lomas has a link “to see a rolling photograph of the Scroll”, but the link is broken.

Another photo that I found is from the same part, but then up front.

As you can see with good lighting the colours are still somewhat vivid, at least in this part of the scroll.

Then there is the photo on the bottom right. A flat looking, greenish photo that is sometimes used in presentations about the scroll. Judging the difference in colours, I’m not sure that this is a photo of the original scroll.

Cooper (3) refers to Day saying that the middle part of the scroll is blueish and the sides and top panel brown. That may explain why some of the paintings of the scroll are blue. If Day’s remark is correct, the scroll must have lost much of its colour in the last century as -as you can see above- “blue” isn’t really a description of the scroll as it is today.

Over the years several drawings have been made of the scroll. A famous one of the Masonic scholar G.W. Speth, which is black and white. There have been coloured editions, such as the one you can find on the index page of this website. That photo I took from an old auction listing. It appears to be the work of an artist who (drew), painted and framed an scaled image of the scroll.

On the world wide web, several other images can be found. Some even cruder than the original, some better looking. Around 2020 the Masonic publishing house Lewis Masonic started selling a reprint at a sixth of the original size (4). That is the one I have a few copies of and which is the basis of most of the images used on this website, as I could scan it with a somewhat higher resolution than most images that are available online.

(1) See “Literature” Jackson
(2) See “Literature” Lomas
(3) See “Literature” Cooper
(4) Kirkwall Scroll, accessed 9 February 2024