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Two historic paintings gifted to South Ayrshire Council's Collection

Rozelle paintings

Two historic paintings were recently gifted to the South Ayrshire Council's Collection by the Kyle and Carrick Civic Society.

The paintings were handed over during a ceremony at Rozelle House Museum and Galleries on Monday 5 February.

The two paintings originally belonged to the Hunter-Blair family who used to own Blairquhan Castle at Straiton.

One of the paintings, dated 1818, depicts Sir David Hunter-Blair. He was second the son of John Hunter from Ayr who later became Sir James Hunter-Blair after marrying Jean Blair in Wigtownshire in 1770. The family name became Hunter Blair when she inherited her father's estate in 1777. Sir James was a Provost of Edinburgh and Member of Parliament.

The second, dated 1730, is of Anne Cunninghame, mother of Sir James Hunter Blair and grandmother of Sir David Hunter Blair. She was married to John Hunter of Mainholm and Millquarter, a merchant.

The paintings were identified at auction by Rob Close, a local author and historian and member of the Kyle and Carrick Civic Society. The purchase of the paintings and gifting to South Ayrshire Council was facilitated by Michael Hitchon, Chairperson of the Kyle and Carrick Civic Society.

Councillor Alec Clark, South Ayrshire Council's portfolio holder for Tourism, Culture and Rural affairs said: "We're delighted to have received this generous gift of two paintings from the Kyle and Carrick Civic Society. These contain rich South Ayrshire history dating back as far as the eighteenth-century, and we'll be proud to display them as part of our Collection at Rozelle."