Carved wooden figure, The Bagpipe of Brittany

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Postcard of Carved wooden figure, The Bagpipe of Brittany.
© National Museums Scotland

Carved wooden figure, The Bagpipe of Brittany

Piper playing the biniou or traditional small bagpipe of Brittany. The instrument, often played in concert with the bombarde, has always been in demand for social gatherings such as weddings and public festivals. This statuette is part of the Duncan Fraser Collection.

Dr Alexander Duncan Fraser MD (1849-1920), born in Lochgilphead of an Inverness-shire family, graduated in medicine from Edinburgh University in 1874 and subsequently practised in Northumberland, Skye and Falkirk. His lifelong hobby was playing the pipes, studying the history of the bagpipe and its music, and collecting ancient and modern bagpipes 'of all nations'. In 1906 he published a book, Some Reminiscences and the Bagpipe, in which many of the instruments in his collection were illustrated. Some of his collection was donated to the Royal Scottish Museum in 1947. His collection forms an important part of the piping collection of the National Museums of Scotland and of the displays in the Museum of Piping.

The Museum of Piping was opened in the National Piping Centre in Glasgow in 1995. The Centre acts as a national and international centre of excellence for the bagpipe and its music and offers tuition at all levels within a purpose-built school. It is housed in a former church and manse in McPhater Street, Cowcaddens, in the centre of the city, next to the Theatre Royal, the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. The Centre has its piping school with rehearsal, practice and tuition rooms, a performance hall, reference library, hotel accommodation and restaurant as well as the Museum of Piping itself. The Museum of Piping has been assembled by the National Museums of Scotland from their collections of bagpipes and related material. The Museum describes and illustrates principally the Great Highland Bagpipe and some of its history. Drawing on the collections of the former Royal Scottish Museum, the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland and the Scottish United Services Museum, the displays also look at the richness and variety of the piping traditions of Britain and Europe. Open storage in drawers below the display cases adds more examples and information to the sequence of instruments in the exhibition.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-000-579-586-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0869: The Bagpipe Collection
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  Bagpipe Archive 3.2
Material: Wood
What: The Bagpipe of Brittany
Who: Duncan Fraser (collector)
Where: France (place of manufacture)
Description: The Bagpipe of Brittany.
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