The Gordons are one of the great families of the north east, although they began their Scottish story in the Borders. The first certain record of a Gordon is during the reign of William the Lion. Richard of Gordon appears in numerous charters between 1182 and 1232, the dominus (‘lord’) of the lands of Gordon in Berwickshire. Gordon itself is a placename. Dun is brythonic (old Welsh) for ‘fort’. Gor is an intensifier, so Gor-Dun means the ‘great fort’. Richard’s great fort is long lost, although its location is said to be have been just a little to the north of the modern Berwickshire village of Gordon. Aside from that, we know nothing of Richard’s background. The main line of the Gordon family later moved and settled in Aberdeenshire, although a branch remained in the Borders. The family’s interests straddled both Lowland and Highlands.
R. R. McIan described his figure thus:
“This figure is in the dress of a Highlander of the present day [1850s], when enjoying the sport of angling; the bonaid in which he is represented is quite modern, and caprice has named it the '' Athol bonnet"; the hose are thick, and strongly knitted, terminating at top in a fillet of white wool. He has hooked a salmon, which gives excellent play, and carries another slung on his back, a practice we have seen in a Highlander pursuing his finny game in the roaring stream of the Awe”.
The figurine weighs just under 2 lbs. It stands 6.3" tall, on a base roughly 2.75" by 2.75".