Practice chanter

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by John and Robert Glen, Edinburgh, 1880

Postcard of Practice chanter.
© National Museums Scotland

Practice chanter

Practice chanter by John and Robert Glen of Edinburgh, 1880. Ivory and silver mounted. The chanter top is inscribed with bog myrtle motif, the crest of the Duke of Atholl and the words 'CUIMHNEACHAN AIR LATHA BREITH 1880' ('A Remembrance of a Birthday'). Presented by the Duke of Atholl to his piper Sandy Stewart, Senior. Formerly stock of J. and R. Glen, Edinburgh, or from the collection of the firm's proprietors.

John and Robert Glen were the proprietors of a bagpipe-making and musical instrument repair business in Edinburgh in the late 19th century. The business was founded in 1827 in the Cowgate, moving later to North Bank Street, Edinburgh, by their father, Thomas McBean Glen (1804-1873), who in 1833 described himself in the business directories of the city as 'pipe and flute maker'. His sons, John (1833-1904) and Robert (1835-1911), took over the business in 1866. In 1911, the premises moved to 497 Lawnmarket where it survived as 'J & R Glen, Highland Bagpipe Makers' until 1978.

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: 000-000-579-654-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0869: The Bagpipe Collection
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  H.1995.787
Date: 1880 (date of manufacture)
Material: Ivory and silver
Dimensions: 270 mm L; 487 mm L over chanter top
Who: Andrew Ross (successor to John and Robert Glen)
Duke of Atholl (presenter of chanter to his piper Sandy Stewart, Senior)
Glen and Ross Collection (musical instrument collection)
John and Robert Glen, Highland Bagpipe Makers (manufacturer)
Museum of Piping, Glasgow (place of display)
Sandy Stewart, Senior (recipient of chanter and piper of the Duke of Atholl)
Where: Scotland, Edinburgh (place of manufacture)
Event: Galpin Society Exhibition, 1968
Description: Inscribed ivory and silver mounted practice chanter.
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