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Go Back   Bob Dunsire Bagpipe Forums > General Discussion > History, Tradition, Heritage
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History, Tradition, Heritage As related to the subjects of piping, drumming and pipe bands.

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Old 11-14-2014, 08:57 AM   #1
CalumII
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Default A rather special set of bagpipes

One of the joys (and horrors) of teaching music is you never know what will walk through the door next.

Today a new pupil walked in bearing an old wooden box and a stately, though battered set of ivory-mounted pipes. I asked where they came from.

"Well, they were my Dad's, but he doesn't play now. They were originally my Grandad's - he got them from a great pal of his, a guy called Donald MacLeod - have you heard of him?"

Indeed I have.

I wonder if it's the same set shown here?





The set is mostly intact, apart from one bass drone mount which has been replaced. And it sounds fabulous. I'm rehemping and fettling reeds over the next few days and then I'll see if I can get a recording up.

In the meantime, if anyone happens to know anything about this set or can supply speculation, I (and my pupil, I'm sure) would love to hear it.
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Old 11-14-2014, 09:25 AM   #2
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Default Re: A rather special set of bagpipes

Being in the presence of such venerable pipes could give one chills!! Lucky fellow to have them.
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Old 11-14-2014, 10:15 PM   #3
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Default Re: A rather special set of bagpipes

Sometimes... Life... is simply grand! :)
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Old 11-17-2014, 05:50 AM   #4
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Default Re: A rather special set of bagpipes

What a great find!!
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Old 11-27-2014, 06:09 AM   #5
Ciotóg
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Default Re: A rather special set of bagpipes

Hmm. Without wanting to rain on anyone's parade, but the pipes in the photos don't seem to be a good match: both the LCPL and the PM have "square" fluted drone tops, while the DMcL boxed set have two with chaliced tops and one squared? Can't tell from the DMcL photo which, if any, are old or originals. Also, looks like silver / nickel slides on the PM's slides, while the DMcL set are Blackwood.
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Old 11-27-2014, 07:10 AM   #6
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Default Re: A rather special set of bagpipes

I see the lower set has a nickel blowpipe stock, while the drone stocks are ivory
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Old 11-27-2014, 11:21 AM   #7
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Default Re: A rather special set of bagpipes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ciotóg View Post
Hmm. Without wanting to rain on anyone's parade, but the pipes in the photos don't seem to be a good match: both the LCPL and the PM have "square" fluted drone tops, while the DMcL boxed set have two with chaliced tops and one squared? Can't tell from the DMcL photo which, if any, are old or originals. Also, looks like silver / nickel slides on the PM's slides, while the DMcL set are Blackwood.
I think the shadows are at play in the posted picture. These obviously have a replacement blowpipe stock, which wouldn't be uncommon in a set of this age, nor would it detract from the value. The pictured set owned by the student do not have chaliced tops, but the standard Henderson/Lawrie styled "squared off" tops (all three, I see no evidence of replacement). Fine detail to completely establish a maker would require better, true profile shots of tops and mounts, but I would put my money on Henderson first.

The set held by DMcL in the picture have exposed blackwood slides, as does this set.

Although it is possible it isn't the same set, I see no obvious evidence based on the level of detail possible in the old picture that these couldn't be the same set. I would think that if this set were to be sold, I would think few would have a problem associating them with DMcL based on provenance provided.

-Burt
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Old 11-28-2014, 06:35 AM   #8
Ciotóg
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Default Re: A rather special set of bagpipes

Very good call Burt. Not yet convinced on the Blackwood slides. The PM has the only set of pipes in the whole picture that are reflecting the light differently. My misery bet is still on nickel, or maybe ivory, given the ivory blowpipe. Have a look on the web at this photo - the whole band have bog standard British Army issue pips, all except PM MacLeod. But in essence I agree - likely to be the same pipes.

It would also be interesting to know the name of the LCPL beside him. Two off the cuff guesses: his namesake (the other Piper Donald MacLeod), or maybe the LCPL from who he later borrowed the chanter to compose on while the Stalag? Its a fairly well known photos - any of the guru's able to fill in the names?
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Old 11-28-2014, 07:42 AM   #9
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Default Re: A rather special set of bagpipes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ciotóg View Post
Very good call Burt. Not yet convinced on the Blackwood slides. The PM has the only set of pipes in the whole picture that are reflecting the light differently. My misery bet is still on nickel, or maybe ivory, given the ivory blowpipe. Have a look on the web at this photo - the whole band have bog standard British Army issue pips, all except PM MacLeod. But in essence I agree - likely to be the same pipes.

It would also be interesting to know the name of the LCPL beside him. Two off the cuff guesses: his namesake (the other Piper Donald MacLeod), or maybe the LCPL from who he later borrowed the chanter to compose on while the Stalag? Its a fairly well known photos - any of the guru's able to fill in the names?
You seem to be confused - the PM is Donald MacLean of Lewis (for whom Donald wrote the 6/8 march) and the L/Cpl is Donald MacLeod (also from Lewis).
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Old 11-28-2014, 01:31 PM   #10
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Default Re: A rather special set of bagpipes

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Originally Posted by Neill Mulvie View Post
You seem to be confused - the PM is Donald MacLean of Lewis (for whom Donald wrote the 6/8 march) and the L/Cpl is Donald MacLeod (also from Lewis).
The pipes in question are being held not by the PM, but by the great Donald MacLeod, the man next to the PM. Donald MacLeod is holding a full ivory set with blackwood slides and a black mouthpiece. The students pipes belonged to Donald MacLeod. I agree, I think there is some confusion as to which set is being discussed. The L/Cpl in the picture is Donald MacLeod.

-Burt
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