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Technique & Instrument Related to techniques, to the instrument, to the components, to maintenance.

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Old 11-03-2020, 03:19 PM   #1
NDLaw2009
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Default My "new" old set of bagpipes

Hello all,

Haven't posted in awhile. I'm still slowly learning the pipes, though COVID and the birth of my first child have conspired to make it difficult to practice consistently. Amazingly, a new born baby does not find loud music relaxing...

Anyways, last week I saw an old set of bagpipes on Craigslist back in Virginia -- perhaps some of you saw the ad. I liked the look of them, so I picked them up for $500.

The pipes appear to be McCullough pipes. The ivory-soled chanter has a very, very faint McCullough marking. Additionally, the seller (who bought these decades ago) says that person he bought them from indicated that they were McCulloughs. I emailed pictures to Mr. Bowen and then spoke to him on the phone and he thought that was accurate.

The pipes seem to be in very nice condition. The obvious condition issues include (1) a cracked stock, (2) a mismatched ferule, and (3) a cracked drone top (I think the drone tops are casein). The pipes also came in a nice old box that has some names and numbers written on the inside lid. I am going to have to research some of the names. McCullough was very involved in the Irish independence movement and, as an individual of Irish descent, I am happy to have an Irish made set of pipes.

Mr. Bowen suggested I send this set to Dunbar for restoration and I think I will do that when finances allow. Until then, I will take them out periodically to admire the great Irish craftsmanship.

Anyways, just wanted to share my new acquisition. Pictures attached!

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ESt...ew?usp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/file/d/14w-...ew?usp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/file/d/19zF...ew?usp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1DyD...ew?usp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Z59...ew?usp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1vD_...ew?usp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1QIA...ew?usp=sharing
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Old 11-03-2020, 03:25 PM   #2
NDLaw2009
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Default Re: My "new" old set of bagpipes

Oh and here are the photos of the writing inside the box. It seems like they involve a group of some kind (do the numbers maybe refer to positions in a formation or something?) Would love to hear if anyone has theories as to what they mean!

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1uR_...ew?usp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1kha...ew?usp=sharing
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Old 11-03-2020, 03:42 PM   #3
will103
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Default Re: My "new" old set of bagpipes

Hi, they are a great set. I like the shape of them - very elegant, with deep combing and beading. Look forward to hearing how they sound. Enjoy your pipes


will
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Old 11-04-2020, 08:22 AM   #4
Pip01
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Default Re: My "new" old set of bagpipes




Ah... Ye Lucky Fella!! :)

A good eye!!... and a good call... on your part!! :)

Perhaps... a proper restoration... soon to come??

Any road... enjoy them!! :)


(I've been fortunate to have two such sets... and the
trouble... and the wait... have been more than well
worth it... as such secures... a set's place... in that
further... Time to Come... being but... The Stewards
of these... as we are...)






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Last edited by Pip01; 11-04-2020 at 08:31 AM.
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Old 11-05-2020, 12:21 PM   #5
pancelticpiper
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Default Re: My "new" old set of bagpipes

Very interesting!

My first edition of Highland Bagpipe Makers has very little on McCullough, only saying c1900 Belfast and that they made Highland pipes "under the direction" of David Glen.

Does that mean that Glen gave them a set to copy? Or gave them specs?

In any case your drone bottoms look very much like my old Starcks, except for the number of beads.



One thing about sending pipes over the border to Dunbar, unless the international restrictions on ABW have been lifted, you will have to pay a considerable fee due to Dunbar having to acquire and fill out forms, and pay fees, to ship your parts to you.

It happened when I sent some parts there to have repairs done.
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Last edited by pancelticpiper; 11-05-2020 at 12:24 PM.
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Old 11-05-2020, 05:26 PM   #6
NDLaw2009
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Default Re: My "new" old set of bagpipes

Quote:
Originally Posted by pancelticpiper View Post
One thing about sending pipes over the border to Dunbar, unless the international restrictions on ABW have been lifted, you will have to pay a considerable fee due to Dunbar having to acquire and fill out forms, and pay fees, to ship your parts to you.

It happened when I sent some parts there to have repairs done.
Yes, I am anticipating needing to do that. Well worth it, I think.

Here is what Ringo has on McCullough:

https://www.thebagpipemuseum.com/the-makers/mccullough/
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Old 11-05-2020, 05:38 PM   #7
pancelticpiper
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Default Re: My "new" old set of bagpipes

Thanks! Hopefully the newer editions of Highland Bagpipe Makers have included that information.

They look so much like my Starcks, which in turn resemble Glens.

My Starck drones, by the way, have a tone unique in my experience, on the quiet side, lower-pitched, but dark and rich and nuanced.

So far I haven't found reeds that can get the tenors up to modern pitch, so I've been playing them at 466, where they sound amazing.

And update about CITES for African Blackwood, I had forgot about the announcement that Irish flute maker Casey Burns (who makes ABW flutes) made a while back:

I heard from my friendly CITES examiner. The new Exemption for musical instruments made from blackwood and most rosewoods except Brazilian Rosewood sent across international boundaries goes into effect November 26 2019. Until then permits are required. After then these will no longer be necessary.

So Dunbar won't have to hassle with all that any more.
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Last edited by pancelticpiper; 11-05-2020 at 05:45 PM.
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