The inkstand given by Lady Emily Strangford

The names of the English diplomat and specialist on the Eastern question Lord Percy Strangford and his wife Emily Strangford are closely intertwined in the history of the Bulgarian revival. As a long-time diplomat in the English embassy in Constantinople and an Orientalist writer, Lord Strangford actively supported the church-national movement and has the merit of discovering the Bulgarians and their national cause to the British public. His sympathies for Bulgaria are also shared by Lady Emily Strangford, who takes an active part in the humanitarian action that followed the cruel suppression of the April Uprising. After the horrific news of the massacres in Batak and Peruštitsa, Lady Strangford founded in England a fund to collect aid for the victims and in September 1877 she arrived in Bulgaria, where she opened six hospitals in the most affected areas. Her empathy for the suffering earned her the appreciation and love of the Bulgarians, Ivan Vazov also dedicated a poem to her.

The inkstand shown in the exhibition, made in England, is one of the material testimonies of Lady Strangford's connections with Bulgaria. Nine allegorical figures are engraved on the solid silver base, representing the crafts characteristic of England in the XNUMXth century. Between the three groups of images can be seen a caduceus - the staff carried by the god Mercury, patron of merchants. The inkwell was a gift from Lady Strangford to Mikhail Milkov, a paramedic from Plovdiv.

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