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History, Tradition, Heritage As related to the subjects of piping, drumming and pipe bands.

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Old 05-22-2018, 04:36 PM   #1
piper909
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Default Repro horseshair sporrrans (Pakistan); worth it or not?

Horsehair sporrans are inexplicably expensive. Has anyone seen firsthand any of the reproduction military horsehair sporrans being sold from Pakistan via eBay and various reenactor suppliers? Example here:



https://www.ebay.com/itm/SI-SCOTTISH...d682%7Ciid%3A1



I'm aware of how sellers often use non-representative images to hawk their wares. But are these items any kind of decent value for money? Actual vintage items are too costly to risk in the field and commissioning a replica from a Highland outfitter would be nearly as expensive. If I wanted a respectable Cameron Highlanders sporran that I wouldn't worry so much about in rain or dirt, as a "costume" item, would these fit the bill? Or just a poorly made waste of money? How hard can it be to work with leather and horsehair, compared to bagpipes? (On the other hand, I had a plain leather sporran once that probably was made in Pakistan or India, and the leather was hard, the strap rigid and buckle very cheap, and the dye rubbed off.) Opinions and counsel welcome!

Last edited by piper909; 05-22-2018 at 04:39 PM.
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Old 05-22-2018, 06:51 PM   #2
el gaitero
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Default Re: Repro horseshair sporrrans (Pakistan); worth it or not?

Run away....run away...save your money for a rainy day.

Buying one direct is a pig in a poke. At least on eBay and PayPal you have a bit of protection....
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Old 05-23-2018, 07:22 AM   #3
Pip01
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Default Re: Repro horseshair sporrrans (Pakistan); worth it or not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by el gaitero


Run away....run away...save your money for a rainy day.

Buying one direct is a pig in a poke.



At least on eBay and PayPal you have a bit of protection....



... And... there is no guarantee... that any horse...
was even... or ever... involved!! :)


(A rather large poke to fit a horse... but they got 'em!! :)



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Old 05-23-2018, 09:45 AM   #4
moderntraditional
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Default Re: Repro horseshair sporrrans (Pakistan); worth it or not?

I wonder why it is assumed that Pakistani wares must be bad. I bought a rosewood chanter from Pakistan and it lasted forever, was perfectly in tune, and quite pretty.

Havenít had a need to get horsehair sporran, as I never wear Reg No 1 uniforms. So, I canít speak to that.

But in these forums, people seem quite quick to dismiss goods from that area.


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Old 05-23-2018, 09:50 AM   #5
el gaitero
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Default Re: Repro horseshair sporrrans (Pakistan); worth it or not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by moderntraditional;132738

But in these forums, people seem quite quick to dismiss goods from that area.


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.....yep....with a consensus reason imo.
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Old 05-23-2018, 11:57 AM   #6
piper909
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Default Re: Repro horseshair sporrrans (Pakistan); worth it or not?

It's a contentious topic, for sure, so I am curious to collect input from all viewpoints, esp. if someone else has already bought one of these and can judge in comparison with the alternatives.
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Old 05-23-2018, 12:13 PM   #7
Paul M Burke
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Default Re: Repro horseshair sporrrans (Pakistan); worth it or not?

You would be amazed at the quality of some of the work coming out of Pakistan. Like everything else it comes down to what you pay.

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Old 05-24-2018, 04:19 AM   #8
CalumII
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Default Re: Repro horseshair sporrrans (Pakistan); worth it or not?

There are certainly plenty bands walking around with bits of kit made in that part of the world. When you're outfitting a band of thirty and you're comparing a £15 sporran to a £120 one from a Scottish supplier, it's a tough decision for any quartermaster.
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Old 05-24-2018, 06:33 PM   #9
pancelticpiper
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Default Re: Repro horseshair sporrrans (Pakistan); worth it or not?

Back to the OP, are we talking "military sporrans" in the sense of horsehair sporrans in general, or specifically speaking of reproductions of the exact patterns worn by specific Scottish regiments?

I've seen a wide range of quality in Pakistani horsehair sporrans.

With the bodies I've seen real horsehair and enough of it for the sporran to have a fairly high-quality feel.

I've also seen horrid fake horsehair, thin and incredibly cheap-looking.

With the cantles I've seen nice-quality cast tops.

I've also seen cast tops which are obviously re-casts made from heavily-worn originals, thus lacking much detail.

Now specifically about reproduction military sporrans, I have a reproduction Black Watch sporran that's made of real horsehair, fairly full, with high-quality tassels that look exactly like the originals.

The cantle, though, was re-cast from a worn original; I'd like more detail, personally.

Here it is

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Old 05-24-2018, 06:46 PM   #10
pancelticpiper
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Default Re: Repro horseshair sporrrans (Pakistan); worth it or not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by piper909 View Post
The quality on that one looks pretty good, but be warned that that is NOT a Cameron Highlanders pattern sporran.

The cantle looks sort of like the shape of the old OR Black Watch sporrans, and it has a Black Watch badge. The body does resemble old OR Cameron sporrans.

For those who haven't seen them, here's an actual OR's Cameron Highlanders sporran



And here's an actual Black Watch OR's sporran. Note the distinctive shape of the cantle, quite different than the shape of the Camerons' style.

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