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Back of bagpipe chanter for the Uilleann pipes

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early 19th century

Back of bagpipe chanter for the Uilleann pipes
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Bagpipe chanter for the Uilleann pipes, early 19th century. Single closed-standing brass key. Slots have been cut for two more keys but they are unfinished. Boxwood, ivory ferrule on the foot. The top and bottom fingerholes are drilled obliquely to accommodate the stretch of the fingers. The chanter is in two sections with a brass ferrule over the join, turning the line of the lower four fingerholes either to right or left; the ferrule has two fingerholes side by side, the one to the left which is out of line is closed off with a piece of cork. 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.

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