Historic artefacts giving an fresh insight into the city’s highest ceremonial office have been revealed.
In a small non-descript room on the top floor of Aberdeen’s townhouse lies a treasure trove of gifts given to the lord provost through the ages.
The office of Lord Provost dates back to the 13th century and current incumbent Barney Crockett is already the fourth of the 21st century.
In the post, Mr Crockett also serves as Lord Lieutenant of the city, a royal ceremonial role which means he meets many dignitaries on behalf of the royal family.
And now the Press and Journal has been given a look at some of the treasures collected over the years.
In a neatly labelled box is a folded Union flag and standard of Boulogne-sur-Mer, a gift given by the French town to the city in 1934 in gratitude for the sacrifice of the Gordon Highlanders in World War I.
Other items include Russian Orthodox icons, 19th century medals for fishermen, and a shell necklace from the Carribean and various blankets quilts presented from Aberdeen, Maryland to the city.
Some of the props of past provosts – including a ceremonial sword from the reign of George VI and an ebony cane with the city coat of arms on the handle are also in the room.
On closer examination, when removing the handle of the cane, there was a letter from former provost George Adam in honour of the Glasgow Commonwealth games in 2014.
Mr Crockett, who holds a degree in history himself, said the heritage of the city could be used as soft power during negotiations on the likes of trade deals.
He said: “I think most of what’s here would be more of emotional value rather than financial, items worth a lot of money are kept at the city archives.
“I think it really shows the value and importance of the city and the wider north-east to foreign visitors.
“I have always thought that Aberdeen must be the city with one of the closest connections with its heritage – in the archives there are letters to the council dating from the time of Robert the Bruce.
“I’m keen to use the history of the city to bring Aberdeen to a bigger stage in the modern world.”
Another item locked away in the room is a valuable-looking gold plated bowl, which was given to the lord provost in 1876 from the other councillors of all parties.
Mr Crockett joked: “That would be unimaginable now. Maybe I should try and bring it back.”
Mr Crockett added that the council’s own gifts to visiting dignitaries tended to be “modest”.
He said: “We are well aware of the financial implications of giving gifts to visitors so we ensure what we do give is sentimental and modest.
“It tends to be a local bottle of whisky or a book with connections to the area or something like that.”