Highland bagpipe chanter

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by James Robertson, Grove Street, Edinburgh, 1920s

Postcard of Highland bagpipe chanter.
© National Museums Scotland

Highland bagpipe chanter

Highland bagpipe chanter by James Robertson of Grove Street, Edinburgh, 1920s. African blackwood; marked 'J. ROBERTSON / EDINBURGH' on the neck. The sole piece is missing. Formerly stock of J. and R. Glen, Edinburgh, or from the collection of the firm's proprietors.

James Robertson (1893-1948) took over the bagpipe making business of John and James Center in Grove Street, Edinburgh, when they emigrated to Australia in 1908. As bagpipe maker he made Highland bagpipes and, in the 1920s, began to make Northumbrian Half-long pipes in collaboration with William Cocks of Ryton-on-Tyne. The business closed in 1964.

This piece comes from the Glen and Ross Collection of musical instruments which were preserved in the shop of 'J & R Glen, Highland Bagpipe Makers' until it closed about 1978. This was the business founded in 1827 by Thomas McBean Glen in the Cowgate in Edinburgh, dealing in and repairing musical instruments. His brother, Alexander Glen, specialized in bagpipe-making and was succeeded by his son David. Thomas' sons, John and Robert Glen, succeeding to the business in 1866, probably did most to collect instruments and their antiquarian interests were carried on by Andrew Ross who acquired the business from the Glens in 1947. The National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland purchased the bagpipe collections from the family in 1983.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-000-579-971-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0869: The Bagpipe Collection
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  K.2003.764
Date: 1920s (date of manufacture)
Material: African blackwood
Dimensions: 360 mm L
Who: Andrew Ross (successor to John and Robert Glen)
Glen and Ross Collection (musical instrument collection)
James Robertson (manufacturer)
John and Robert Glen, Highland Bagpipe Makers
Reid School of Music, University of Edinburgh (place of display)
Where: Scotland, Edinburgh, Grove Street (place of manufacture)
Description: African blackwood Highland bagpipe chanter.
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