Chanter for half size set of Highland bagpipes

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made in Edinburgh, c. 1910

Postcard of Chanter for half size set of Highland bagpipes.
© National Museums Scotland

Chanter for half size set of Highland bagpipes

A pipe chanter for a half size set of pipes, stamped "JN. CENTER / EDINBURGH" on the neck and has an ivory sole. Made c. 1910.

Highland bagpipes were made in different sizes to generally recognised patterns, particularly from the early 19th century. This reflects that in earlier years there was little standardisation and bagpipes were made in different shapes and sizes according to the purpose for which they were intended, whether it was military, orchestral, chanter music or town and country 'folk' music. By the 1850s, the Highland bagpipe makers in Edinburgh and Glasgow had standardised their products for the market as Great Highland Bagpipe, Half-size Bagpipe, Reel Pipe and Highland Miniature Bagpipe.

James A Center (1879-1919) was a pipe maker in Edinburgh. He was the son of John Center from Dundee who started a bagpipe making business at 64 Grove Street in 1867. James was a good piper, having been taught piobaireachd by John MacDougall Gillies, and a Highland dancer. He joined his father in the business and together they made a considerable reputation with their products. In 1908 father and son emigrated to Australia where they continued as pipe makers. James also taught piping and dancing and he died in Melbourne.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-000-579-738-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 68
Date: c.1910 (date of manufacture)
Material: Ivory
Dimensions: 349 mm L; sole 53 mm Dia
What: Chanter
Who: The Museum of Piping, Glasgow (place of display)
Where: Scotland, Edinburgh (possible place of manufacture)
Description: Chanter with an ivory sole for a set of half size set of Highland bagpipes.
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