Leod was the younger son of Olaf the Black, one of the last Norse kings of Man and the North Isles. Olaf died around 1237, and Leod inherited the islands of Lewis and Harris, with part of Skye. Marriage to the daughter of the Norse seneschal or steward of Skye brought the family to Dunvegan, which remains the chief's seat to this day. The clan consisted of two main branches, the Macleods of Lewis, later 'of the Lewes', named after a son or grandson of Leod, Thorkil or Torquil (the 'Siol Torquil'), and the Macleods of Skye, named after another of Leod's sons, Tormod (the 'Siol Tormod'), who established their seat at Dunvegan.
R. R. McIan describes this figure thus:
‘The figure which illustrates this clan is clad in the dress usually worn when not fully armed for war. The plaid was a most useful vestment in so watery a climate as Skye; nor was it less necessary for the Highlanders, who, in a thinly-peopled country, might, on occasion of sudden tempests, be storm-staid on desolate isles; in such cases it would enable them to bivouac in sufficient comfort. There is a fine full-length portrait of the Mac Leod of 1745 at Dunvegan, which appears in the trews and an ample plaid, like the figure which the artist has here given; but that was manufactured by a lady of the name of Fraser, and presented to the laird as a token of gratitude for some favour’.
The figurine weighs a little under 1.3 lbs. It stands 5.9" tall, is 4.3" at its widest, on a base roughly 3.9" by 2".