Mouthpiece for a set of Highland bagpipes

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possibly made by John Bàn Mackenzie, Breadalbane, early 19th century

Postcard of Mouthpiece for a set of Highland bagpipes.
© National Museums Scotland

Mouthpiece for a set of Highland bagpipes

Mouthpiece of turned ivory for a set of Highland bagpipes, possibly made by John Bàn Mackenzie, Breadalbane, early 19th century. The mouthpiece was purchased by the National Museums of Scotland in 1988 from the grandson of John R Mackenzie of the Liverpool Scottish, who was the son of Pipe Major Ronald Mackenzie of the 78th (Seaforth) Highlanders, the nephew of John Bàn Mackenzie.

John Bàn Mackenzie (1796-1864), piper, composer and pipemaker, was born in Achilty, Contin, Strathpeffer, and was taught piping by Donald Mòr MacLennan, John Beag MacRae and John Mackay of Raasay. He competed and was awarded the special gold medal for former winners when first issued in 1835; he was then styled 'King of Pipers' or Rìgh nam Piobairean. He is a key figure in the transmission of traditional piobaireachd or 'classical' bagpipe music from the MacCrimmons to the present day, John Mackay of Raasay having been taught by Iain Dubh and Domhnall Ruadh, the last of the MacCrimmons of Skye.

As a professional piper of the 19th century, he was successively piper to Mackenzie of Allangrange, Davidson of Tulloch and the Marquis of Breadalbane with whom he remained for 28 years. He earned a place in piping tradition, not only for his skills and achievements, but also for turning down an invitation to join the Royal Household by becoming Queen Victoria's Piper.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-000-579-658-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0869: The Bagpipe Collection
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  H.1995.788 C
Date: Early 19th century (date of manufacture)
Material: Ivory
Dimensions: 92 mm L x 18 mm Dia
What: Mouthpiece for set of Highland bagpipes
Who: John Ban Mackenzie (possible maker of mouth piece)
Where: Scotland, Breadalbane (place of manufacture)
Description: Mouthpiece of turned ivory.
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