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Highland bagpipe chanter

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by Duncan MacDougall, Aberfeldy, c. 1890

Highland bagpipe chanter
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Highland bagpipe chanter by Duncan MacDougall of Aberfeldy, c. 1890. Elder, mounted with a bulb of ivory between the neck and the tenon and with an engraved silver sole; marked 'DN. MCDOUGALL / BREADALBANE' on the neck and above the sound holes. Formerly stock of J. and R. Glen, Edinburgh, or from the collection of the firm's proprietors.

The bagpipe making firm of MacDougall of Aberfeldy was a family who by tradition had been pipers to the MacDougalls of Dunollie in Lorne, Argyll. Allan MacDougall, born in 1864, opened a shop in Perth in 1792 making bagpipes and including Union pipes, and he was succeeded by his son John MacDougall in Aberfeldy in 1834. John's son Duncan (1837-1898) took over his father's business in 1857 and, after a move to Edinburgh about 1861, he returned to Perthshire and set up shop in Aberfeldy in 1872. His son, Gavin MacDougall, carried on bagpipe making, also with a Royal Warrant as Bagpipe Maker to Edward VII, from about 1900 until his death in 1928 when the business closed.

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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