Bagpipe chanter for a set of Scottish small-pipes

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by William Gunn, George Square, Glasgow, c. 1840

Postcard of Bagpipe chanter for a set of Scottish small-pipes.
© National Museums Scotland

Bagpipe chanter for a set of Scottish small-pipes

Bagpipe chanter for a set of small-pipes, Scottish, by William Gunn of George Square, Glasgow, c. 1840. Cocus wood, mounted with a bone sole; marked 'W. GUNN / GLASGOW' three times on the front of the chanter. The E hole shows signs of having been enlarged. Formerly stock of J. and R. Glen, Edinburgh, or from the collection of the firm's proprietors.

William Gunn (1795 - 1867) was born in Kildonan, Scotland, and learned the trade of weaving. He began playing in the Highland Society's piping competitions, winning the 5th Prize in Edinburgh in 1824, having moved to Glasgow in about 1823. He set up business as a bagpipe maker about 1834 and, until 1850, he lived and worked at 48 Gallowgate in Glasgow. Latterly (until 1866), he lived and ran his business from 273 George Street. He died on 14 February 1867 aged 72.

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.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-000-579-999-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0869: The Bagpipe Collection
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  K.2003.803
Date: c.1840 (date of manufacture)
Material: Cocus wood and bone
Dimensions: 208 mm L
Who: Andrew Ross (successor to John and Robert Glen)
Glen and Ross Collection (musical instrument collection)
John and Robert Glen, Highland Bagpipe Makers
Reid School of Music, University of Edinburgh (place of display)
William Gunn (manufacturer)
Where: Scotland, Glasgow, George Square (place of manufacture)
Description: Cocus wood and bone mounted bagpipe chanter for a set of Scottish small-pipes.
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