What Is A Quaich?

What Is A Quaich?
A quaich is a traditional Scottish cup with two lugs (handles), known as a symbol of friendship. Frequently given as rewards, prizes and celebration gifts.

Origins

A Quaich is a traditional Scottish drinking cup. The two lugs (or handles) emphasise its symbolism as the cup of friendship. It derives from the Scottish Gaelic word 'cuach', which is translated as 'cup'.

Traditionally they were made of wood and were used to offer a welcome or farewell drink of whisky, brandy or ale when receiving guests in the home. Nowadays, they are often awarded as prizes, or given as gifts, and are more commonly made from pewter or silver.

 

Quaichs on Tartan

 

History

Quaichs can be found throughout Scottish history. In 1589 King James VI of Scotland sent Anne of Denmark a quaich (or "loving cup") as a wedding gift, and this tradition is widely used today, often with an engraved message.

In 1745 the quaich travelled from Edinburgh to Derby with the Scottish army in Bonnie Prince Charlie's canteen and in the 19th century Sir Walter Scott dispensed drams (a measure of whisky) in silver quaichs.

Quaichs Today

Quaichs feature in many of today's celebrations. They are presented at weddings as a symbol of love and partnership, at christenings they are sometimes used as a baptismal font and also to 'wet the baby's head' (to drink to the health of a newborn child).

Quaichs are still an important part of Scottish culture and are often presented on their own plinth, which is a great way to display them to best advantage in a cabinet or on a shelf.

Have a look at our Wedding Inspiration page for ways you can include a quaich in your big day.