Chanter from a set of two-drone Highland bagpipes

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attributed to Robert Glen, Edinburgh

Postcard of Chanter from a set of two-drone Highland bagpipes.
© National Museums Scotland

Chanter from a set of two-drone Highland bagpipes

Chanter from a set of two-drone bagpipes with a common stock as shown in the portrait of the 'Piper to the Laird of Grant' of 1714. It has been decoratively carved with the initials 'RMcD', heraldic detail of a Highland gallery, and 'MCCCCIX' for 1409. The bagpipe is depicted in C.N. MacIntyre North's folio Leabhar Comunn nam fior Ghael, or the 'Book of the Club of True Highlanders' published in 1881.

Generally considered as the oldest surviving set of Highland bagpipes, this instrument was gifted to the former National Museum of Antiquities (now part of the National Museums of Scotland) in 1911 but is now considered to have been made by Robert Glen (1835 - 1911).

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.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-000-579-719-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0869: The Bagpipe Collection
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  H.LT 28 (3)
What: Chanter from a set of Highland bagpipes
Who: Andrew Ross (successor to John and Robert Glen)
John and Robert Glen, Highland Bagpipe Makers (manufacturers and collectors of musical instruments)
Robert Glen (attributed manufacturer)
The Museum of Piping, Glasgow (place of display)
Where: Scotland, Edinburgh (place of manufacture)
Description: Chanter from a set of decoratively carved two-drone Highland bagpipes with a common stock.
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