Engraving from Old & New Edinburgh - published 1890



Mahoganyland in Potterow 

 from a Painting, 1821

Engraving from 'Old & New Edinburgh'  -  Potterrow

  For permission to reproduce, please contact peter.stubbs@edinphoto.org.uk


Potterow  -  1821

This engraving of Potterow, 1821, after a painting by W McEwan, was published in Volume 1 of the book Grant's 'Old & New Edinburgh'.

The book says that the building with the outer stair protected by a screen of wood was one of the oldest in this part of the town.  It was known as Mahogany Land.  The book adds:

"There was no date to record its erection, but its ceilings were curiously adorned by paintings precisely similar to those which were found in the Palace of Mary of Guise in the Castle Hill, and no record remained of its generations of inmates ..."    [Old & New Edinburgh Vol 1 p.319]

There is no mention of how Mahogany Land acquired its name.

Volume 2 of the same book, Grant's 'Old & New Edinburgh', also has a picture titled 'Mahoganyland'  -  engraved by D Small from a Measured Drawing by T Hamilton, published in 1830.

This picture appears in the book on the page following the description above.  Its distinctive gable can be clearly seen, but otherwise the building (which here has no outer staircase) and of its neighbours differ markedly from those buildings in the large picture above.

Further research is needed to explain these differences  -  and to discover how Mahogany Land acquired its name.