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Walking stick practice chanter

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by Peter Henderson, Glasgow, c. 1900

Walking stick practice chanter
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Walking stick practice chanter by Peter Henderson of Glasgow, c.1900. Tropical hardwood, mounted with small flush fitting ivory sole on the chanter. Made in four sections; the top section with round knob head covers the fingerholes and slides off, brass-lined; the top section is placed on the bottom end for playing to give a stopped drone. Mouthpiece with blowhole through side of section and lining of the centre, brass-lined throughout its length; drone section with single cane reed; chanter marked 'P. HENDERSON / GLASGOW' on the neck; probably missing a tip for the bottom end. Formerly stock of J. and R. Glen, Edinburgh, or from the collection of the firm's proprietors.

Peter Henderson (1851-1903) came from Inverkeithing though his family was originally from Latheronwheel in Caithness. He took over the bagpipe-making shop in Glasgow of Robert MacKinnon who had earlier taken over the premises of Donald Macphee. Henderson had set up business in 1868, was himself a very good piper and became Pipe Major of the Glasgow Volunteers. His bagpipes have always had a very high reputation.

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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