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Vintage Bagpipe Archive

Vintage Bagpipe Archive
Photos and descriptions of all instruments sold
from the "Vintage/Remarkable Pipes" since October 2010


 

David Glen, circa 1900, cocuswood, nickel

Circa 1900 Glen, cocuswood

 SOLD - David Glen cocuswood pipes like this circa 1900 set can be a visual delight. The tone is extremely rich, with great locking ability and chanter blend. Glen pipes do not generally give a booming drone sound but are steady and subtle. This set has great character both tonally and visually.

These pipes were on the site a few years ago with visible external whipping on the tenor tops. This has now been augmented to invisible whipping. While it's impossible to hide the whipped combings completely given the variations in cocuswood colouring, the overall effect is excellent, as seen in the photos of the tenor tops.

The blowpipe stock was badly cracked, so a poly-lined cocobolo replica was made. In all other respects the set is in great shape.

The chanter actually plays quite nicely, albeit at a very low pitch. The ivory sole suggests it is not original to the pipes, though it is a more than suitable match. The pipes themselves are free of ivory.


 


 

Circa 1900 Glen, cocuswood Circa 1900 Glen, cocuswood Circa 1900 Glen, cocuswood Circa 1900 Glen, cocuswood
Circa 1900 Glen, cocuswood Circa 1900 Glen, cocuswood Circa 1900 Glen, cocuswood Circa 1900 Glen, cocuswood
 

 

Thow, circa 1910, ebony, ivory, German silver
Ebony, circa early 1900s


SOLD - Kudos to my friend Ron Bowen for identifying this set as Thow of Dundee. Once he gave me the lead I was able to match up the style of projecting mount with a documented 1909 silver and ivory Thow set I sold a few years ago. This set lacks the iconic Thow scribe line on the cord guide, but, as Ron reminded me, Thow "was all over the map" stylistically.

This is a beautifully made bagpipe with lovely overall aesthetics. The pipes were purchased from an estate dealer. Other items in the estate were a hat badge and sash belonging to a warrant officer in the Highland Cyclist Battalion 1908-1918, as well as some literature with connections to the Clan MacRae Pipe Band.

The only notable fault is that the ring caps appear not to be original, though the German silver matches that on the rest of the pipes. The ivory bush inside one of the tenor caps is set slightly askew. The cap could not be removed to fix this without risking damage. Given that this would have no effect on the sound, it was decided to leave it as is.

As is often the case with old ebony pipes, there were slight hairline cracks under a number of the metal ferrules. Though no immediate threat, these can spread years down the road, so the ferrules were removed, the tenons whipped, and the ferrules reaffixed. The mouthpiece bulb doesn't appear to be ivory, and the mouthpiece is almost certainly not original to the pipes. The set will be shipped with this mouthpiece as well as a standard plastic mouthpiece.

The pipes were stripped and refinished and the tuning chambers were reamed slightly to even out the tuning action.

Tonally, this set is much like the 1909 silver and ivory set previously mentioned: full, steady, and with a great blend with the chanter, unlike some Thows I've had that can be quite mellow. The sound reminded me a great deal of a Sinclair set I played during my competitive years in the 1980s, though the set is certainly not Sinclair. I like this bagpipe a lot.

 

 


 

Ebony, circa early 1900s Ebony, circa early 1900s Ebony, circa early 1900s Ebony, circa early 1900s
Ebony, circa early 1900s Ebony, circa early 1900s Ebony, circa early 1900s Ebony, circa early 1900s
 


 

R. G. Hardie, 1970-71, hallmarked engraved Sterling silver, ivory
R. G. Hardie, 1970-71, engraved silver and ivory

SOLD - The original R. G. Hardie firm in Glasgow was the most successful pipemaking company during the 1960s and early 1970s. A great player and pipe major, Bob Hardie's standards were high. The company used superb, well-seasoned wood, and the pipes were steady and easy to reed.

This set came to me in excellent condition. It is common to see hairline cracks begin to form beneath ferrules due to the pressures of swelling hemp. They can be found in most pipes. I prefer to have these fixed to circumvent future trouble, and two such pests were whipped under the ferrules on this set. Aside from that, the pipes were simply cleaned and polished on the lathe and rehemped.

Hardie pipes are sought in many circles for their mellower tone. They are not bold like Hendersons, but they are just as steady. This set fits that pattern and comes with all original pieces, including the chanter, engraved sole, and ivory mouthpiece bulb and silver sleeve. In truth, while it's nice to have, a 1970 Hardie chanter can be difficult to reed. But it can be done if you're a fan of the 1960s pitch.

This is a beautiful set in great condition, perfect for a hobbyist who has always longed for a sparkling and steady high-end bagpipe.

 



 

R. G. Hardie, 1970-71, engraved silver and ivory R. G. Hardie, 1970-71, engraved silver and ivory R. G. Hardie, 1970-71, engraved silver and ivory R. G. Hardie, 1970-71, engraved silver and ivory
R. G. Hardie, 1970-71, engraved silver and ivory R. G. Hardie, 1970-71, engraved silver and ivory R. G. Hardie, 1970-71, engraved silver and ivory R. G. Hardie, 1970-71, engraved silver and ivory

 

Lawrie, circa 1905, ebony, ivory, nickel
Lawrie circa 1905, ebony, nickel, ivory

SOLD - This is one of the oldest Lawries to appear on this site, thought to have been made within a few years of 1900-1905. They are ebony, with ivory projecting mounts and ring caps, and high quality nickel ferrules, Required repairs were relatively few given the age and the wood.

One tenor stock and the tuning pin of the bass middle joint required some invisible whipping to seal hairlines. The blowstick was invisible whipped its entire length. None of these repairs will ever again reopen, such is the effectiveness of invisible whipping. The bead on one projecting mount has a small chip. The finish that was on the set was in fine shape, so the entire set was simply put on the lathe and polished. The nickel in particular came out beautifully.

The set is typical vintage, ebony Lawrie: the drones locked in immeidately with my Ezeedrone set. The bass tuned quite low, as most Lawrie and Henderson of this vintage do. (Some folk think this is problematic; it is not. You want your tenors to tune high. Low-tuning bass is common, perfectly fine, and free of roaring strike-ins.) The tone was full, rich and seamless.

For someone looking for classic, vintage tone at an affordable price, you would do well to consider this set. These old mid-range Lawries in ebony are every bit as good as their expensive silver and ivory cousins!

 

Lawrie circa 1905, ebony, nickel, ivory Lawrie circa 1905, ebony, nickel, ivory Lawrie circa 1905, ebony, nickel, ivory Lawrie circa 1905, ebony, nickel, ivory
Lawrie circa 1905, ebony, nickel, ivory Lawrie circa 1905, ebony, nickel, ivory Lawrie circa 1905, ebony, nickel, ivory Lawrie circa 1905, ebony, nickel, ivory
 

 

Cocuswood, possible Glen, circa 1920s, nickel, artificial ivory
Cocuswood, circa 1920

SOLD - The make of this stunning cocuswood set is a bit of a puzzle, but the caps, tone, wood and workmanship suggest David Glen, sometime after 1920. The wide beads between the combing sections are unlike Glen, and other thoughts range from Henderson to MacRae. The tone is first class cocuswood: rich, buzzy and steady.

The set came with catalin rings on the drone tops, thought to be a later addition. These had turned the usual pumpkin orange, and I had Dunbar Bagpipes replace them with non-chip artificial ivory.

The set also had came with no stocks. Replica stocks have been made from cocobola, and I found superbly matching nickel ferrules from my collection of parts. The cocobola is an excellent match to the original cocuswood, almost undetecatable as replacements.

The bass mid-joint had a hairline crack running an inch or two up from the ferrule, but this has been invisible whipped and you would never guess it was there.

Tonally speaking, this bagpipe is exceptional, and the work is clearly that of a high-end maker. The appearance in person is stunning.

The price is reflective of the unknown make and replacement parts, but not of the tone!



 

Cocuswood, circa 1920 Cocuswood, circa 1920 Cocuswood, circa 1920 Cocuswood, circa 1920
Cocuswood, circa 1920 Cocuswood, circa 1920 Cocuswood, circa 1920 Cocuswood, circa 1920
 


 

Thow, 1893, cocuswood and ebony, full ivory, presentation set
Thows, circa 1894


SOLD - "Presented to Piper Charles Dunbar by Major Campbell, 1st Seaforth High'rs, in remembrance of good piping, good conduct and good fellowship, during the years of 91, 92, 93, at Fort George."

Thus reads the silver shield that was affixed to the chanter stock of this presentation set of Thows. Charles Dunbar (1870-1939) was a prize-winning Halkirk native, Seaforth Highlander and Gordon Highlander, a Boer war and WW1 veteran, who emigrated to Canada and served for many years as Pipe Major of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders in Hamilton, Ontario.

The pipes are certainly Thow, showing the scribe line on each cord guide distinctive to that company. One would expect the pipes were made the year they were presented, though it is also possible that they were Dunbar's regimental set and he was simply allowed to keep them along with the shield when he left the Seaforths for the Gordons in 1893.

The pipes have obviously seen long usage. Both tenor drone stocks are new blackwood replicas with the original ivory ferrules affixed. The blowstick stock is a new poly-lined blackwood stock with the original mount. The chanter stock appears to be an earlier replacement, though pin marks indicated clearly that the shield had been affixed there. The blowpipe is a new, poly-lined, blackwood replacment as well.

The tone of the pipes can best be described as "mellow," in the Glen tradition: steady and rich, benefiting from the mix of early woods: all three drone bottoms are cocuswood, the rest of the pieces are ebony, but for the replacement stocks.

 



 

Presentation Thows, circa 1894 Presentation Thows, circa 1894 Presentation Thows, circa 1894 Presentation Thows, circa 1894
Presentation Thows, circa 1894 Presentation Thows, circa 1894 Presentation Thows, circa 1894 Presentation Thows, circa 1894

 

 

Henderson, circa 1920, blackwood, nickel, ivory
Henderson, circa 1915, blackwood, ivory, nickel

SOLD - This set adds to the plethora of lovely old Henderson pipes that have appeared here in the last couple of months. The set is blackwood, and while it was purchased as a 1930s set, the seamed ferrules and dinner-plate style chanter sole suggest 1920 or even earlier.

The pipes are in fantastic condition. No cracks were found in the wood, and the finish was in fine shape, so the pipes were just put on the lathe and polished.

There is spider cracking on some of the projecting mounts -- another sign of advanced age. The cracking is fairly pronounced on one tenor projecting mount (visible in photos) but the mount is solid and stable and should remain so without a serious knock. There are a couple of inconspicuous chips in the ivory rings that are normal for a set of this age.

The tone on the set is top-drawer vintage Henderson. The drones all tune in the proper positions, the tuning chambers are smooth and even, and the pipes are full, rich and seamless, with a superb chanter blend.

While it's nice to have the original chanter with the pipes, an early 20th century Henderson chanter would probably not fare well at the Glenfiddich Piping Championship -- but the pipes would!

 

 


 

Henderson circa 1915, blackwood, ivory, nickel Henderson circa 1915, blackwood, ivory, nickel Henderson circa 1915, blackwood, ivory, nickel Henderson circa 1915, blackwood, ivory, nickel
Henderson circa 1915, blackwood, ivory, nickel Henderson circa 1915, blackwood, ivory, nickel Henderson circa 1915, blackwood, ivory, nickel Henderson circa 1915, blackwood, ivory, nickel
 

 

Kron Heritage, 2004, artificial ivory, plain silver
Kron Hertiage, 2004

SOLD - The Kron Heritage was created in around 2001 using my own 1912 silver and ivory Hendersons as a model. C. E. Kron in Dobbs Ferry, New York, developed the model, which was made by then Kron employee Dave Atherton. Charley Kron ceased producing this model a few years later after Dave left the company.

The pipes were extremely well crafted, and this model was the standard configuration: plain silver ferrules and artificial ivory projecting mounts and ring caps. The tone is full and steady in the Henderson tradition. This set is in virtually pristine condition. There are a couple of slight scratches on the chanter stock, but aside from that they look like they have hardly been used. The chanter is the original chanter that came with the set, a Kron Medallist, #776.

This would be an excellent work-a-day set for a young competitive player, or an attractive, easy-to-reed and trouble-free pipe for a learner of any age.

 



 

Kron Heritage, 2004 Kron Heritage, 2004 Kron Heritage, 2004 Kron Heritage, 2004
Kron Heritage, 2004 Kron Heritage, 2004 Kron Heritage, 2004 Kron Heritage, 2004
 

 

David Glen, circa 1900, cocuswood, nickel, ivory
Circa 1900 cocuswood Glens


SOLD -This is a great old Glen set is well priced because it are visibly whipped in several places. It was purchased from this site several years ago and has now been repurchased after several years of playing by the owner.

They are cocuswood, with button mounts, nickel ferrules and ivory rings. The bass middle joint is not original to the set, but it is a Glen of the same era in ebony and matches the set perfectly. The tone of this set is classic Glen cocuswood -- not booming, but ample, very rich, and really, really steady. The set has been owned and played by several good competition players over the past few years who have since moved onto higher-end sets.

The whipping is external, and locations can be seen in the photos. This work was done several years ago before the refurbisher developed the invisible whipping technique. The whipping is quite apparent up close. As a result, I was able to acquire the pipes for a very good price and am selling them for a price that might work for someone who can't afford some of the other sets here.

The set plays really well and, in typical Glen fashion, is easy to reed.

There are two blowsticks -- they match, and one is longer than the other. One may be a blackwood reproduction.


 

 

 

Glen drones Glens, circa 1900, cocuswood, ivory rings Glen drones and stocks Glen drone caps
Glen bells, drone tops Stocks Glen drone slides, ferrules Wood close-up
 

 

Alexander Glen, 1865 Presentation set, ebony, ivory

Alexander Glen 1865 presentation set

SOLD - This presentation set of Alexander Glen pipes, was presented to Archibald Forbes as winner of the piobaireachd at Perth Highland Games in 1865. Alex Glen judged the contest. Duncan MacDougall was another judge on the day -- both leading pipemakers of the time. The set was acquired by an Ontario piper in 1984 and played in leading Grade 1 bands trom then until 2014. They were played in the 78th Fraser Highlanders for many years in the late 1980s and 1990s. Research on the set includes the newspaper report of the contest from the Perthshire Courier.

Alexander Glen made pipes in Edinburgh from 1833 until his death in 1873. His son David continued to run the business, which thrived for another century. Alex and David were foremost pipemakers of the time, and modern makers still marvel at the quality of their work. The set has been well used, but the integrity and history of the instrument have survived.

The shield reads, "Perth Hi. Society; 1st Prize for Pibroch to Arch Forbes, Aug 26 1865."

Made in ebony, with marine ivory mounts, the pipes had numerous cracks when they were acquired, though they continued to play well. In 2002 the previous owner undertook a partial restoration by having brass sleeves inserted into all of the tuning chambers and several other bores as well. This work was done beautifully in a traditional style. I had Dunbar Bagpipes strip the pipes, fill all visible cracks, refinish all of the wood and rehemp the joints. Only the blowpipe is a replacement piece with the original projecting mount, about a quarter of which has at some point been broken off and worn smooth. A small piece is broken off the upper bass projecting mount as well.

The chanter, though not playable, is original and shows the A. Glen Edinburgh stamp. 

The pipes are steady, rich, and mellow in the Glen tradition, quite the antithesis of full-volume Hendersons. This is a lovely historic relic and a proven top-level instrument

 

 


Alexander Glen 1865 presentation set Alexander Glen 1865 presentation set Alexander Glen 1865 presentation set Alexander Glen 1865 presentation set
Alexander Glen 1865 presentation set Alexander Glen 1865 presentation set Alexander Glen 1865 presentation set Alexander Glen 1865 presentation set
 

 

Circa 1950s Robertson, full ivory
Circa 1950s Robertson, full ivory


SOLD - James Robertson's Edinburgh pipemaking company is the most consistently superb pipemaker I know of. From the firm's founding in 1908, through Robertson's death in 1948, right to the company's dissolution in 1967, the quality of the instruments remained consistently high, especially tonally. While I test every set of pipes I offer, I've often thought that Robertson is the one make I could actually send out without testing and be fully confident of what my customer receives.

As expected, the tone of this set was full, rich and steady. I removed a set of Ezeedrone reeds from my vintage Henderson set, plugged these drones into the stocks with the same reeds and they locked into tune after 10 seconds of tuning. Typically lovely.

While all drone pieces are original, the set has several compromises. Two tenor stocks and the chanter stock are not original, but the visual match aside from the scribe lines and bead size is excellent. The blowpipe is also not original, but the poly-lined replica and imitation ivory mount made by Dunbar Bagpipes is superb.

The ivory shows signs of a well used set, with some minor chipping and staining here and there. Overall, though, this is a solid and toneful Robertson bagpipe, priced to reflect the slight deficiences.

 

Circa 1950s Robertson, full ivory Circa 1950s Robertson, full ivory Circa 1950s Robertson, full ivory Circa 1950s Robertson, full ivory
Circa 1950s Robertson, full ivory Circa 1950s Robertson, full ivory Circa 1950s Robertson, full ivory Circa 1950s Robertson, full ivory
 

 

Henderson, circa 1905, cocuswod, full ivory
Circa 1905 Henderson cocus, full ivory

SOLD - This remarkable turn-of-the-century Henderson set is in superb shape for its age. It is made in very dark cocuswood -- only apparent when the pipes were stripped for refinishing -- and mounted in full ivory. The ivory is remarkably white for a set of pipes 110 years old, almost as though the pipes were in dark storage for decades.

The only flaw is a few greenish stains in the ivory, likely from long contact with a bag cover. Some of these are apparent in the photos.

The only refurb the set required was stripping and refinishing. They have been played off and on by the previous owner over the last 15 years. The tone is really high-end vintage Henderson of the quality that could win any piping competition on the planet: full, seamless, rich, and with a bass sound that cradles the whole bagpipe.

 


 

Circa 1905 Henderson cocus, full ivory Circa 1905 Henderson cocus, full ivory Circa 1905 Henderson cocus, full ivory Circa 1905 Henderson cocus, full ivory
Circa 1905 Henderson cocus, full ivory Circa 1905 Henderson cocus, full ivory Circa 1905 Henderson cocus, full ivory Circa 1905 Henderson cocus, full ivory
 

 

David Glen, circa 1890s, cocuswood, nickel, ivory, with original practice chanter
David Glen, circa 1890s, cocuswood, ivory, nickel

SOLD - David Glen pipes can be visual gems. This set is made in lovely, striped cocuswood, with ivory projecting mounts and rings, and nickel ferrules.

When the bagpipe was acquired, the bass ring and one tenor ring were missing. Fortunately, in my stock of parts I had almost identical rings from cocuswood Glens of the same era, so these have been added. Photos show that the patina is slightly different on the bass.

The chanter stock and one tenor stock each had a hairline crack, so these were invisible whipped and will not trouble anyone again. There is a small chunk of wood broken off of the bass cord guide. I believe it is visible in one of the photos.

The tone of these pipes is extremely rich and surprisingly full for Glens -- almost as fully as an ebony Henderson set. The chanter blend was magnificent.

This set also came with a mint condition David Glen practice chanter that plays beautifully. Hard to say if it was purchased with the set, but it certainly is a perfect match.

This is quite a stunning and distinctive set of pipes, both tonally and visually.

 

 

David Glen, circa 1890s, cocuswood, ivory, nickel David Glen, circa 1890s, cocuswood, ivory, nickel David Glen, circa 1890s, cocuswood, ivory, nickel David Glen, circa 1890s, cocuswood, ivory, nickel
David Glen, circa 1890s, cocuswood, ivory, nickel David Glen, circa 1890s, cocuswood, ivory, nickel David Glen, circa 1890s, cocuswood, ivory, nickel David Glen, circa 1890s, cocuswood, ivory, nickel
 

 

Stamped William Ross (Queen's Piper), in ebony, full ivory, brass inserts
W. Ross stamped, circa 1880s, ebony, full ivory


SOLD - This is another rare and remarkable set sold on this site some years ago to an owner who for personal reasons is downsizing his collection.

William Ross was a monumental piping figure during the latter half of the 19th-century. He was born in 1823, and died in 1891, having held the position of Queen's Piper to Queen Victoria since Angus Mackay's death in 1854. His 1869 publication of piobaireachd and light music, called "Pipe Music" is one of the most significant collections of the century.

The exact history of his pipemaking business is not clear. He was a very clever businessman and well-to-do. Jeannie Campbell tells us he made the prize pipe at Inverness from 1873 to 1886. Whether he was a turner himself or not we aren't sure, but later on he hired turners to make his pipes for him. From about 1880 onwards, he used Henry Starck, whose family had immigrated to London from Germany many years earlier. This would mark the beginning of the Starck pipemaking business, and the pipes made by the company for the next 30 years would be their best.

After Ross's death, Starck would stamp his pipes "H. Starck/late W. Ross." It is thought that sets stamped only "W. Ross" were the earliest, perhaps even turned while Ross was actively involved in the business.

Starck and Ross were meticulous about stamping instruments, often in several places, and this set is stamped "W. Ross" on each stock. The distinctive projecting mounts are typical of Starck's later wide shapes, though shallower and using a softer, rounded bead rather than the straight cut bead he would use later on. This styling may well have originated with Ross. The tuning chambers have brass slides installed. One drone ferrule has a narrow split that was filled during the orignal restoration some years ago.

All pieces appear to be original, though the blowstick was missing. A new poly-lined blackwood blowstick has been made using an old, matching Starck mount. The chanter with this set a Brian Donaldson chanter with an original W. Ross ivory sole. The original chanter stick was damaged beyond repair.  (Note that these photos are the original photoset, and the chanter is not the same, though the sole is.)

The set had several cracks, only two of which required whipping.  Kudos to Dunbar Bagpipe Maker for a remarkable restoration of this instrument, which now should have another 100 years of life left in it.

The tone of this set is typical of the earliest Starcks: big, robust and buzzy: very much a MacDougall sound. They are as steady as a rock and a joy to play and behold.

 

 

Ross drones, chanter sole W. Ross slides Stocks Ross bells
Tenor projecting mounts Stock projecting mounts Caps Brass inserts
    Combing
 

 

 

 

Lawries, circa 1950, silver and ivory
Circa 1950 Lawries, silver and ivory


SOLD - This set of Lawries is in prime condition and was likely made around 1950.

These pipes came to me in excellent shape. They have been stripped and refinished. A tiny hairline crack was found just around the ferrule on one tenor drone stock and this has been sealed. The blowpipe was bored out to provide a restriction-free modern bore. The original ivory bulb was not present — these crack with moisture and rarely survive — but the engraved metal sleeve was, so the sleeve was fitted to an imitation ivory bulb.

This Lawrie set displays a classic, seamless, steady Lawrie sound that ranks with the best of this make. The set comes with the original chanter and sole. In truth, Lawrie chanters were never among the best made, but it is good to know that the set was cared for well enough that the original chanter is still present along with the sole.

 

Circa 1950 Lawries, silver and ivory Circa 1950 Lawries, silver and ivory Circa 1950 Lawries, silver and ivory Circa 1950 Lawries, silver and ivory
Circa 1950 Lawries, silver and ivory Circa 1950 Lawries, silver and ivory Circa 1950 Lawries, silver and ivory Circa 1950 Lawries, silver and ivory

 

 

 

Robertson, circa 1954, full ivory

Robertson, 1954, full ivory

SOLD - Robertsons continue to be one of the most popular makes on this site. Their consistency in tone and manufacturing standards is legendary, and their distinctive look makes them a sought-after legacy set.

This set is all-original and in superb condition. The original finish has been left as is. There are a few stains on the ivory. One stain on the middle tenor ring cap is green from long storage contact with a bag cover. It is visible in some of the photos.

The set had one owner and was reportedly purchased new in Edinburgh in 1954.

As with all Robertsons that have appeared on this site, the tone is full, rich and steady. With the exception of the blowstick being rebored to modern wide-bore standards, some wear on the finish, and the stains mentioned above, this classic 1950s Robertson bagpipe is exactly as it was when purchased.

 

Robertson, 1954, full ivory Robertson, 1954, full ivory Robertson, 1954, full ivory Robertson, 1954, full ivory
Robertson, 1954, full ivory Robertson, 1954, full ivory Robertson, 1954, full ivory Robertson, 1954, full ivory

 

 

Henderson, circa 1910, blackwood, full ivory

Henderson, circa 1910, full ivory

SOLD - This is a classic, old, full-ivory Henderson with character that matches its age. It is one of the older Hendersons to be on the site in a while. The profiles, ivory patina and pattern of spider lines in the ivory suggest pre-Great War, 1910 or so. That they are blackwood suggests they are not much earlier than that or they would likely be ebony or couswood.

There have been a number of minor repairs. Hairlines under ferrules are common in old pipes (even in newer ones!), but we take no chances and have these whipped. There were four such repairs here. There was small opening -- perhaps just a cut actually -- in the shoulder of the bass middle joint which was filled. The blowpipe stock was invisible whipped. The chanter stock was missing, so a blackwood replica was made and a period Henderson mount installed. One ivory ring crack on a tenor top was filled.

An odd repair was needed on the bass stock. A shield had evidently been placed there at some point, and a gouge was made in the stock to seat the shield flush. This was filled and recombed. It is just visible in the stocks photo.

This is a beautifully toned set: the rich, full, steady, seamless Henderson sound of the early part of the century is very apparent. 

Henderson, circa 1910, full ivory Henderson, circa 1910, full ivory Henderson, circa 1910, full ivory Henderson, circa 1910, full ivory
Henderson, circa 1910, full ivory Henderson, circa 1910, full ivory Henderson, circa 1910, full ivory Henderson, circa 1910, full ivory
 

 

R. G. Hardie, hallmarked 1950 Silver and Ivory
Hardies, 1950 hallmarked silver and ivory


SOLD - This rare set of R. G. Hardie pipes was made the year the company was founded in 1950, and the engraved silver is hallmarked accordingly. The pipes had one owner who bought them new, though they have been in possession of the his son, unplayed since the original owner's passing.

The set was well used during its playing career in both Scotland and Canada, but is still in superb shape. The wood and finish are in excellent condition and required only polishing on the lathe.

The blowstick and blowstick stock were missing and had been replaced with poly pieces and the original mounts. These have now been replaced with a brand new poly-lined blowstick and stock with the original mounts retained. The blowpipe bulb is new artificial ivory with the original engraved silver sleeve. The bottom projecting mount on one tenor bottom has a rice-grain sized nick.

Bob Hardie (who would have turned this set) was renown for using well-aged, high quality blackwood. His pipes are best described as "mellow," not as full as a Henderson or Lawrie, but steady and easy to reed and tune.

While there is no original chanter with this set, I'm quite confident I could provide at added cost an engraved silver sole from my stock that would match the silver pattern, minus the hallmark.

 

 

Hardies, 1950 hallmarked silver and ivory Hardies, 1950 hallmarked silver and ivory Hardies, 1950 hallmarked silver and ivory Hardies, 1950 hallmarked silver and ivory
Hardies, 1950 hallmarked silver and ivory Hardies, 1950 hallmarked silver and ivory Hardies, 1950 hallmarked silver and ivory Hardies, 1950 hallmarked silver and ivory
 
David Glen, circa 1900, cocuswood, ivory caps, nickel ferrules
Cocuswood button mount Glens circa 1900

SOLD - This is a classic button-mount turn-of-the-century David Glen set in cocuswood. The stocks look distinctly unlike cocuswood. The sapwood showing on the chanter stock suggests they might be ebony. Back in the early 1900s it wasn't unsual for makers to mix woods like this, but I've never seen a cocuswood Glen set with stocks that weren't cocuswood. They might be replacements, but certainly made in the Glen style, if not by the company itself.

The pipes are in superb shape, the only visible flaw being some orange staining on the ivory rings of the tenor drones, partly visible in the photos.

In typical Glen fashion, the tone is subdued but rich with the vibrant nature of cocuswood. They are rock steady and easy to reed and tune. The pipes appear to have been refinished at some point fairly recently.

 


 

Cocuswood button mount Glens circa 1900 Cocuswood button mount Glens circa 1900 Cocuswood button mount Glens circa 1900 Cocuswood button mount Glens circa 1900
Cocuswood button mount Glens circa 1900 Cocuswood button mount Glens circa 1900 Cocuswood button mount Glens circa 1900 Cocuswood button mount Glens circa 1900

 

 

R. G. Lawrie, circa 1930, ebony, nickel, celluloid
SOLD - description lost
Lawries, circa 1930, ebony, celluloid, nickel Lawries, circa 1930, ebony, celluloid, nickel Lawries, circa 1930, ebony, celluloid, nickel Lawries, circa 1930, ebony, celluloid, nickel
Lawries, circa 1930, ebony, celluloid, nickel Lawries, circa 1930, ebony, celluloid, nickel Lawries, circa 1930, ebony, celluloid, nickel Lawries, circa 1930, ebony, celluloid, nickel
 

 

 

 

Grainger and Campbell, hallmarked 1962-63 silver and ivory
Grainger and Campbell, hallmarked 1962-63 silver and ivory


SOLD - The Grainger & Campbell shop opened in Glasgow in 1946 and later took over the Duncan MacRae shop on Argyll Street when that firm closed in 1952. The great piper John MacFadyen became a partner in the 1950s, and Donald MacLeod joined the shop in 1962. As a result, the company was making some of the finest pipes available through the 1960s and 1970s.

This set is hallmarked 1962-63, made during the company's tonal prime, and is in superb condition with all original pieces, including the original chanter and sole, and ivory mouthpiece bulb and silver sleeve. The pipes required no major refurbishment. They were cleaned and polished on the lathe, the blowstick was shortened and bored larger, and the tuning chambers were slightly reamed to even-up the tuning action. The silver pattern is gorgeous, and typical of the company.

The drones are full and very steady. I know a number of professional-level players who purchased sets like this new in the 1960s and never found reason to change.

The chanter is quite low-pitched, as one might expect, but still plays well. The set spent most of its life with one owner, a former 48th Highlander. The last owner had them for four years and decided to pass them along after having rarely played them.

 

 

Grainger and Campbell, hallmarked 1962-63 silver and ivory Grainger and Campbell, hallmarked 1962-63 silver and ivory Grainger and Campbell, hallmarked 1962-63 silver and ivory Grainger and Campbell, hallmarked 1962-63 silver and ivory
Grainger and Campbell, hallmarked 1962-63 silver and ivory Grainger and Campbell, hallmarked 1962-63 silver and ivory Grainger and Campbell, hallmarked 1962-63 silver and ivory Grainger and Campbell, hallmarked 1962-63 silver and ivory
 

 

Circa 1890s David Glen, cocuswood, full ivory, brass slides, stamped
David Glen cocuswood, full ivory

SOLD - Full ivory David Glen pipes are not common. These sticks are cocuswood – David Glen's favourite wood. The previous owner of this pipe lived in a dry climate in the US, and after he acquired the instrument several of the ivory ferrules cracked. He worked with an ivory conservator and made quite expert repairs that have held firmly now for many years.

The bass drone stock and the blowpipe also cracked. He inserted a marine glue that remains malleable after it dries, and these repairs have never moved. He also inserted a thin brass tube into the blowstick to further reinforce it. The repairs are visible, but not obivous, and since they have remained stable for decades they have not been altered.

The tuning chambers have brass slides, a fairly common practice for David Glen.

The David Glen stamp is barely visible on each of the tuning pins.

Glen was a meticulous craftsman, and his manufacturing standards were very consistent. As a result, it can be difficult to date his pipes. The age of the ivory and the fact that these pipes are cocuswood suggest that they were made prior to 1900.

David Glen drones are really a treat, and if you're looking for a reliable and remarkably steady set of drones with a rich, buzzy, but not overwhelming tone, you can't go wrong with them. They are easy to reed and blend superbly with the chanter. It's a bright, cheerful drone sound.

These pipes required no additional restoration work.

This set was purchased from this site a few years ago and have come back from a player who has decided to downsize his collection. This is the original listing, but the pipes are exactly ths same. I don't believe they were played much.

 

 


 

 


 

Cocuswood Glens, full ivory Ferrules, slides, projecting mounts Brass slides Stocks
BellsCaps

 

Thow, 1893, cocuswood and ebony, full ivory, presentation set
Thows, circa 1894


SOLD - "Presented to Piper Charles Dunbar by Major Campbell, 1st Seaforth High'rs, in remembrance of good piping, good conduct and good fellowship, during the years of 91, 92, 93, at Fort George."

Thus reads the silver shield that was affixed to the chanter stock of this presentation set of Thows. Charles Dunbar (1870-1939) was a prize-winning Halkirk native, Seaforth Highlander and Gordon Highlander, a Boer war and WW1 veteran, who emigrated to Canada and served for many years as Pipe Major of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders in Hamilton, Ontario.

The pipes are certainly Thow, showing the scribe line on each cord guide distinctive to that company. One would expect the pipes were made the year they were presented, though it is also possible that they were Dunbar's regimental set and he was simply allowed to keep them along with the shield when he left the Seaforths for the Gordons in 1893.

The pipes have obviously seen long usage. Both tenor drone stocks are new blackwood replicas with the original ivory ferrules affixed. The blowstick stock is a new poly-lined blackwood stock with the original mount. The chanter stock appears to be an earlier replacement, though pin marks indicated clearly that the shield had been affixed there. The blowpipe is a new, poly-lined, blackwood replacment as well.

The tone of the pipes can best be described as "mellow," in the Glen tradition: steady and rich, benefiting from the mix of early woods: all three drone bottoms are cocuswood, the rest of the pieces are ebony, but for the replacement stocks.



 

Presentation Thows, circa 1894 Presentation Thows, circa 1894 Presentation Thows, circa 1894 Presentation Thows, circa 1894
Presentation Thows, circa 1894 Presentation Thows, circa 1894 Presentation Thows, circa 1894 Presentation Thows, circa 1894

 

Henderson, circa 1920-1930, ebony, full ivory
Henderson ebony-ivory circa 1925

SOLD - This old Henderson set is in prime shape. All pieces are original, with no cracks or repairs. It looks like one tenor bushing has been replaced with celluloid. The ivory shows some minor staining here and there, but is undamaged but for one small nick in the chanter stock ferrule.

The set is ebony, the tuning slides are perfectly even and the set is really primo vintage Henderson.

The pipes were purchased from Jim McIntosh in the early 1980s as a circa 1920-1930 set. They were purchased from this site a few years ago and have come back from a player who has decided to downsize his collection. This is the original listing, but the pipes are exactly ths same. I don't believe they were played much.

The wood was refinished when the pipes were first offered here.

 



 

Drones, circa 1925 Henderson Drone slides Stock ferrule, projecting mount Stocks
Bells Caps Combing  

 

Henderson, circa 1930, ebony, full ivory
Circa 1930 Henderson, ebony, full ivory


SOLD - This old Henderson set was sold here a number of years ago and has been repurchased from the buyer, who is selling for personal reasons.

It is in lovely shape, both visually and tonally. The set is ebony, with ivory mounts, and the drones are rock steady, robust and seamless in the Henderson tradition.

All pieces are original, and the only visual flaws are some very tiny chips in the ivory that are quite normal in a set of this age.

There was a tiny hairline crack in one tenor top, and another in one tenor stock -- pretty typical of old ebony. I don't like to take any chances with ebony, so these have been invisible whipped and you'd be hard-pressed to tell from the photos where the work was done.

The age of the set has been estimated to be around 1930 by the shapes of the projecting mounts, the use of ebony, and the appearance of a "PH" stamp below the cord guide rather than a "P. Henderson" stamp inside the cord guides. The pipes have aged well. These photos were taken when the pipes were refinished several years ago. The finish is still in excellent shape, though not as pristine as it appears here.

One added feature of this set not pictured: Henderson bass drones tend to tune quite low on the tuning pin. This is not something that has ever bothered me. However, the previous owner had a matching bass piece made with holly mounts and a narrower bore that allows the mid-joint to tune higher on the pin. Both the original and the new piece come with the set, so you can decide which one you wish to play! The previous owner also provided with the pipes a McCallum MCC2 chanter with a matching antique ivory sole.

These are classic ivory Hendersons that will perform well at any level.



 

Henderson drones, 1930s
Henderson drones, circa 1930
Tenor ferrules, slides, projectiong mounts
Henderson stocks
Projecting mounts from bottom
Ivory caps
Bells, drone tops
Wood, combing

 

Duncan MacRae, circa 1930, cocuswood and ebony, nickel and ivory
MacRae, circa 1930


SOLD - Duncan MacRae sets don't come up very often. The company made pipes in Glasgow from 1897 until 1952. The great piper Willie Gray worked closely with the firm for many years, helping them introduce numerous innovations, including hempless metal tuning slides. Many such sets were subsequently converted to hemp but, as with this set, the patent marks and dates (1929) remain on the slides.

This set appears to be a mix of ebony and cocuswood. The ivory projecting mounts are narrow and beautifully styled. Some of the nickel shows dents, including one tenor drone ferrule. Hairline cracks were sealed in the bass stock and two drone tenons -- preventative measures only.

The blowstick stock appears to be a blackwood replacement. It is possible that the bass top is a replacement as well. The two tenor tops are visibly different in external diameter, but such inconsistences were not uncommon with MacRae pipes. McCallum Bagpipes recently decided to maintain a similar inconsistency in their reproduction of Stuart McCallum's silver and ivory MacRae set.

This is the first MacRae set I have ever played, and I was quite struck by the remarkable tone -- very full, engaging and stready. This set is a rare and distinctive find. both visually and tonally.



 

MacRae, circa 1930 MacRae, circa 1930 MacRae, circa 1930 MacRae, circa 1930
MacRae, circa 1930 MacRae, circa 1930 MacRae, circa 1930 MacRae, circa 1930

 

Henderson, hallmarked 1950-51, silver and ivory
Henderson 1950-51 silver and natural


SOLD - Here is a lovely set of silver and ivory Hendersons with a gorgeous silver pattern hallmarked PH 1950-51.

All pieces are original except for the blowpipe, which was missing. The new blowpipe is poly-lined to prevent cracking and the mount is an old ivory Henderson mount taken from some old drone pieces, nearly a perfect match for the set.

The set required no major repairs. Two small hairlines under the ferrule of the bass drone stock have been sealed and are quite invisible. The original finish has been left as is. The set was professionally cleaned and polished on a lathe.

The tone is full, rich and steady. In typical Henderson fashion, the drones are very easy to reed. This great old set would suit any piper at any level, from street-band player to top competitor.

Henderson 1950-51 silver and natural Henderson 1950-51 silver and natural Henderson 1950-51 silver and natural Henderson 1950-51 silver and natural
Henderson 1950-51 silver and natural Henderson 1950-51 silver and natural Henderson 1950-51 silver and natural Henderson 1950-51 silver and natural

 

 


 

MacDougall, suspected Gavin, circa 1905, full ivory, plated brass slides
MacDougalls circa 1905

SOLD - This set is certainly MacDougall, but estimates of its exact age have ranged from early Duncan, circa 1860s, to late Gavin, circa 1910. Several experiened pipers think that it is a Gavin MacDougall set from around 1905, and I tend to concur. Nonetheless, what appear to be two-piece projecting mounts, and the stubby tuning pins do suggest an earlier date.

Whatever their exact origins, the pipes are superb tonally, beautifully made, and display great character.

The mounts are elephant ivory and the metal slides appear to be silver-plated brass. The blowstick stock is two-piece brass lined, though the original watertrap it was made to house is no longer present. The bone mouthpiece may or may not be original to the pipes.


There is no visible stamp anywhere, and all pieces appear to be original.

The pipes were not stripped or refinished as the current finish is in excellent shape. There are no visible repairs. The pipes appear to have lived most recently in Perthshire, Scotland.

The tone is vibrant, rich and full, with a solid bass. The set reeded quickly and was steady from the get-go.

MacDougalls circa 1905 MacDougalls circa 1905 MacDougalls circa 1905 MacDougalls circa 1905
MacDougalls circa 1905 MacDougalls circa 1905 MacDougalls circa 1905 MacDougalls circa 1905

 

R. Gillanders and Son, circa 1956, full natural
Gillanders circa 1956

SOLD - This set came to me as having been made/purchased in 1956. The ivory patina supports that vintage.

The pipes are in great shape and required no repairs or refinishing. The original chanter is a testament to the integrity of the instrument and the care with which it was treated. The pipes have the Gillanders stamp in the cord guides.

The tone is smooth and seamless, not as "mellow" as the Hardie sound, but not as full as the Henderson. The set locked into tune for me very quickly.

Bert Gillanders learned his pipemaking with John Center, the MacDougalls and the Thows around the turn of the century. He set up his own business in Dundee in the late 1920s. His son Robert learned the business in the 1930s, and would have made this set. The company continues to operate today as Gillanders and McLeod.

This is a modestly priced vintage set in great shape, with great style and a sweet tone.

 

Gillanders circa 1956 Gillanders circa 1956 Gillanders circa 1956 Gillanders circa 1956
Gillanders circa 1956 Gillanders circa 1956 Gillanders circa 1956 Gillanders circa 1956

 

Henderson, circa 1920s, ebony, full ivory mounted
Henderson, circa 1920s, ebony, full ivory

SOLD - This old Henderson set was sold to me as circa 1930s, but I think it might be a little earlier than that. The wood is ebony, the mounts are full ivory.

They have been stripped and refinished. A very small hairline crack was invisible whipped on the bass top and a crack in a projecting mount on one of the tenor bottoms has been filled. Aside from that the pipes are in great shape and are all original.

The ivory shows some staining due to age, as well as a slight bit of red staining, perhaps caused by a bag cover while the pipes were in storage.

I put the drones in my own stocks with my normal reeds and chanter as I usually do, and they locked together with the first tuning. I didn't need to play them for more than two minutes to realize how good they were. The sound is bold, vibrant and steady. The drones tune exactly where they should.

I love old sets like this — in great condition, yet full of character from years of use, with a tone that demonstrates exactly why we like vintage instruments.

Henderson, circa 1920s, ebony, full ivory Henderson, circa 1920s, ebony, full ivory Henderson, circa 1920s, ebony, full ivory Henderson, circa 1920s, ebony, full ivory
Henderson, circa 1920s, ebony, full ivory Henderson, circa 1920s, ebony, full ivory Henderson, circa 1920s, ebony, full ivory
Henderson, circa 1920s, ebony, full ivory

 


 

Original MacDougall silver and ivory mounts on Breadalbane reproduction
Original Breadalbane MacDougall silver and ivory on reproduction set


SOLD -This striking set is absolutely unique. Some months ago I purchased a very old bagpipe that was badly cracked and contained several replacement pieces. It was clear that a number of the pieces were Duncan MacDougall's, made during his Breadalbane period in the 1870s, and that all of the original silver and ivory mounts were present and in mint condtion. There was no sense in restoring the original mix of drone parts. So instead I asked Dunbar Bagpipes, my sole and superb refurbisher, to carefully remove all the original mounts and use them on one of the Breadalbane MacDougall reproductions they have been making for me for some years now.

It was a match made in heaven. The Dunbar reproduction is exemplary, both visually and tonally, and it would not be hard to pass this set off as a MacDougall original that had been restored and refinished. To prevent this, the bottom bass drone joint and all stocks have been stamped to identify the pipes as a modern reproduction. (Note that the stamps were added after these photos were taken.)

The deep-cut silver is gorgeous and the ivory is blemish-free but for a couple of age stains. As stated elsewhere in this site, the reproduction drones are an exact copy of a Breadalbane MacDougall set that I acquired from the late Skye piper Allan Beaton. I'm thrilled with the way these pipes turned out tonally — a very steady sound, with a large, cradling bass — and I will be playing my set during my summer foray to Scotland to play with the Inveraray and District Pipe Band. The set pictured here was made from wood that was purchased in 2006 and has been aging ever since.

I doubt very much that I will ever be able to offer another set of pipes quite like ths.

Email me about this set.

As shown, sticks only
CAD $5,550 plus shipping

Set up to play - Ross Bag, 'JMcG' or MCC2 solo blacwood chanter, Kinnaird Evolution or Canning drone reeds, bag cover, cords.
CAD $6,295  plus shipping

Original Breadalbane MacDougall silver and ivory on reproduction set Original Breadalbane MacDougall silver and ivory on reproduction set Original Breadalbane MacDougall silver and ivory on reproduction set Original Breadalbane MacDougall silver and ivory on reproduction set
Original Breadalbane MacDougall silver and ivory on reproduction set Original Breadalbane MacDougall silver and ivory on reproduction set Original Breadalbane MacDougall silver and ivory on reproduction set Original Breadalbane MacDougall silver and ivory on reproduction set

 

 

 

Duncan MacDougall, plain German silver slides, circa 1880s
Duncan MacDougall, circa 1880s


SOLD - It's hard to say if the plain German silver slides on this set are original, but they add a distinct touch of elegance to an already elegant MacDougall bagpipe. It can be difficult to guesstimate the age of a Duncan McDougall set, but this one and appears to be at least partially mounted in marine ivory — almost certainly walrus — although the projecting mounts could be elephant. This would suggest a pre-1890 date of manufacture. The wood is of course ebony.

The pipes were in good shape upon receipt and played well. After the finish was removed some hairline cracks were found on one tenor top and on the middle joint of the bass drone. These have been invisible whipped and are not detectable. The blowpipe stock was badly cracked and has been replaced with a poly-lined blackwood replica that uses the original mount.

The pipes are tonally brilliant a very exceptional set, even by Duncan MacDougall standards. The bass is bold and cradles the perfectly matched and steady tenors. The tuning chambers are smooth and even for ease of tuning. The pipes have been refinished, though the ivory is perfect, and it is clear that the set has been well cared for for more than 120 years.

 

Duncan MacDougall, circa 1880s Duncan MacDougall, circa 1880s Duncan MacDougall, circa 1880s Duncan MacDougall, circa 1880s
Duncan MacDougall, circa 1880s Duncan MacDougall, circa 1880s Duncan MacDougall, circa 1880s Duncan MacDougall, circa 1880s

 

 

Henderson, circa 1905, cocuswood and ebony, nickel ferrules, new artificial ivory caps
Circa 1905 cocuswood and ebony Henderson


SOLD -Mixing ebony and cocuswood in a single set of pipes was common around the turn of the century. With this Henderson set, the bass top and bottom, one tenor top and the blowpipe are all ebony. The rest of the pieces are Caribbean cocus. The tuning pin on the bass middle joint was cracked beyond repair and has been replaced with a perfectly matching cocobola pin.

The set came with well-worn and chalky looking casein drone caps. These have been replaced with high-quality artificial ivory. The nickel ferrules and all other pieces are original and the set is thought to date from the first 10 years of the 1900s. The Henderson name is stamped in the cord guides and the pipes were accompanied by what appears to be the original shipping label from the Henderson shop on Renfrew Street in Glasgow.

The set required a number of repairs, including invisible whipping to the bass top and one tenor top. The blowpipe and stock were also invisible whipped. Hairline cracks were found under a number of the ferrules. These may never have created problems, but we take no chances with old wood on classic pipes and these were whipped under the ferrules as well.

For someone looking for a top-drawer Henderson sound free of ivory, this is your bagpipe. The tone is classic, robust Henderson: steady, with a big, surround-sound bass. The pipes are also very light-weight on the shoulder.

The set was stripped and refinished with our usual natural buffed finish that shows the wood grain nicely.

 

Circa 1905 cocuswood and ebony Henderson Circa 1905 cocuswood and ebony Henderson Circa 1905 cocuswood and ebony Henderson Circa 1905 cocuswood and ebony Henderson
Circa 1905 cocuswood and ebony Henderson Circa 1905 cocuswood and ebony Henderson Circa 1905 cocuswood and ebony Henderson Circa 1905 cocuswood and ebony Henderson

 

Robertson, circa 1930s, full ivory
Robertsons, 1930s, full ivory


SOLD - This classic full ivory Robertson set likely dates from the late 1930s, as demonstrated by the pattern of scribe lines on the ferrules. The distinctive Robertson mushroom-style projecting mounts are in their full glory here as are the conical shaped drone and chanter stocks.

The set was stripped and refinished and found to be completely free of cracks. The pipes sport the usual nicks and knocks that one might expect from a well used 80-year-old set of pipes as well as some normal spider cracking in the ivory projecting mounts. The blowstick stock appears to have been lightly skimmed at some point, perhaps to remove staining, so it is whiter than the rest of the ivory mounts.

The consistency of Robertson manufacturing and tonal quality has been mentioned many times on this page and will be mentioned many more. The set is beautifully made and displays the usual bold, steady, vibrant Robertson drone sound. They are easy to reed and easy to tune.

Robertsons, 1930s, full ivory Robertsons, 1930s, full ivory Robertsons, 1930s, full ivory Robertsons, 1930s, full ivory
Robertsons, 1930s, full ivory Robertsons, 1930s, full ivory Robertsons, 1930s, full ivory Robertsons, 1930s, full ivory

 

Henderson, circa 1930, remounted in engraved nickel and artificial ivory
Henderson, circa 1930, remounted



SOLD - This set came to me just as it is. It was acquired by the previous owner as having been purchased in the late 1920s. Profiles and the shape of the ivory projecting mounts support this.


The ivory mounts were in terrible shape so the owner had the set refurbished — stripped and refinished and remounted with artificial ivory and engraved nickel. The refurbishment was undertaken by McCallum and the set comes with a McCallum poly chanter with a matching engraved sole. The rest of the set is blackwood except for the blowpipe which is polypenco.

The odd nick and chip in the wood again suggest a set that has seen long usage. There are no visible cracks or repairs and all pieces appear to be original.

The tone is typically big Henderson — full, vibrant, steady and easy to reed. For someone looking for a great old set free of ivory fears but with classic old-time tone, this could be the set for you.

Henderson, circa 1930, remount Henderson, circa 1930, remount Henderson, circa 1930, remount Henderson, circa 1930, remount
Henderson, circa 1930, remount Henderson, circa 1930, remount Henderson, circa 1930, remount Henderson, circa 1930, remount

 

 

Duncan MacDougall, circa 1890s, German silver and ivory
Duncan MacDougall, circa 1890s, German silver and ivroy


SOLD - This lovely Duncan MacDougall set appears to date from the 1890s. The pipes are ebony, the mounts engraved German silver and ivory.

The drones are free of cracks. One small crack appeared on the bass drone stock under the ferrule and extended a half-inch below that. It has been invisible whipped. The finish that was on the pipes when they were acquired is in reasonable shape and it was elected to leave it is. The blowstick and blowstick stock are replacements made of polypenco, but with the original mounts affixed.

This set was played extensively in competition during the 1980s and 1990s, and was played to win, among other prizes, the Silver Medal at Inverness.

The tone of this set is classic Duncan: rich, steady, and with a room-filling bass.

There are some minor nicks in the wood as one would expect from a set of this age, but overall it is a magnificent tonal and historic set, made by one of the great bagpipe makers of all time.


Though not pictured, the original chanter sole does come with this set.

Update: this set was sold almost immediately after it was put up on this page. The buyer has opted to have the set stripped and refinished and to have the blowstick stock replaced with a poly-lined blackwood replacement. 



 

Duncan MacDougall, circa 1890s, German silver and ivory Duncan MacDougall, circa 1890s, German silver and ivory Duncan MacDougall, circa 1890s, German silver and ivory Duncan MacDougall, circa 1890s, German silver and ivory
Duncan MacDougall, circa 1890s, German silver and ivory Duncan MacDougall, circa 1890s, German silver and ivory Duncan MacDougall, circa 1890s, German silver and ivory
Duncan MacDougall, circa 1890s, German silver and ivory

 

 

Lawries, silver and ivory, 1952
Silver and ivory Lawries, 1951-52


SOLD - This silver and ivory mounted Lawrie set is in superb shape, with the silver hallmarked 1951-52.

There were no cracks in the wood when they were acquired. They have been stripped and refinished, and there were no cracks under the original finish either. The tuning chambers have been gently reamed to even out the tuning action.

Some of the ivory has turned a cream colour, a little darker than the off-white of the rest, but the overall effect is still quite appealing. The ivory bushing of one tenor drone has some staining that couldn't be removed and is visible in the photo of the drone caps.

The mouthpiece is not original. It is recent imitation ivory and engraved nickel.

The pipes play very nicely, displaying the usual robust and steady sound that Lawrie pipes maintained well into the 1950s. It's a vibrant sound with lots of chanter blend.


 

Silver and ivory Lawries, 1951-52 Silver and ivory Lawries, 1951-52 Silver and ivory Lawries, 1951-52 Silver and ivory Lawries, 1951-52
Silver and ivory Lawries, 1951-52 Silver and ivory Lawries, 1951-52 Silver and ivory Lawries, 1951-52 Silver and ivory Lawries, 1951-52

 

Full ivory Henderson, circa 1905
Circa 1905 Hendersons


SOLD - This Henderson set was purchased as circa 1900-1910. The profiles, and particularly the wide projecting mounts suggest that this is a fairly accurate dating. They are blackwood, and were they any earlier than this they would likely be ebony or cocuswood.

The tone and steadiness are superb, with the deep and cradling bass sound is what one would alway hope for in a classic Henderson set. The pipes locked into tune quickly and solidly.

The finish appears to be original. One tenor stock had a hairline crack running much of its length and this was invisible whipped. A couple of the ferrules had hairlines underneath them and these were whipped as well. These repairs are permanent and you would be hard-pressed to see where any of this work was done. The ivory ferrule on the blowstick stock was a mess. A matching period replacement was found in much better shape, despite a small crack that has been sealed.

There are some minor nicks in the wood, but overall the pipes are in excellent shape for 110 years old.


Though not pictured, the original chanter does come with this set. It's nice to have, but it is not really playable.

 

 

Henderson, circa 1905 Henderson, circa 1905 Henderson, circa 1905 Henderson, circa 1905
Henderson, circa 1905 Henderson, circa 1905 Henderson, circa 1905 Henderson, circa 1905
 

 

Silver and ivory Henderson, circa 1920
Silver and ivory Hendersons circa 1920


SOLD - This set is a real beauty: silver and ivory Hendersons thought to date from the early 1920s. They appear to be blackwood and are free of cracks. The only flaw, as you'll see in the photos, is that one tenor drone projecting mount has a piece broken off the side. Someone with good sense had the break sanded straight and polished, so, while visible, it is not unsightly.

The blowstick is a poly-lined blackwood replica by Dunbar Bagpipes, with an ivory mount that is not original to the set but was taken from the previous cracked blowpipe. The mount matches the rest of the set fairly well; it just doesn't look quite as old. The finish has been left on the set as is, though the wood, silver and ivory were all polished on a lathe. A hairline crack under the ferrule on one tenor stock and the bass stock have been whipped.

The chanter is a Henderson, and the fact that it has an ivory sole would suggest it is not original to the pipes, though it may be.

Like the pipes directly below, this is a first-class old Henderson set. The tone is full and steady, and the pipes went brilliantly with both sets of reeds I tried.

Henderson drones Henderson silver and ivory, circa 1920 Henderson drones, bottom view Tenor drones - ferrules, slides, projecting mounts
Bells and drone tops Silver drone caps Stocks Wood and combing close-up

 

Henderson, cocuswood, 1932, ivory, nickel ferrules
Hendersons 1932

SOLD - This lovely cocuswood Henderson set was made in 1932. We know because it had only one owner, and the widow recorded the year the pipes were bought from the Henderson shop in Glasgow. The Henderson stamp is clearly visible on all four cord guides.

The pipes are in superb shape, save for some slight staining on some of the ivory mounts. The blowstick stock had a couple of slight hairlines under the ferrule. These have been whipped and are not visible. The pipes still have the original Henderson chanter. It is not compatible with modern reeds and probably couldn't be played, but its presence maintains the original integrity of the set.

The tuning chambers required some slight evening out and the tuning action is now smooth and easy. The tone of the pipes is superbly Henderson. They locked into tune immediately in the proper tuning positions and with the bold richness of vintage Henderson in cocuswood.

The original finish was in excellent condition. The wood, ivory and nickel ferrules were professionally polished. The blowstick was rebored to open it up to modern preferred standards.

Hard to beat this classic Henderson for tone and simple elegance....

 

Hendersons 1932
Hendersons 1932
Hendersons 1932
Hendersons 1932
Hendersons 1932 Hendersons 1932
Hendersons 1932
Hendersons 1932

 

MacDougall, circa 1860, full natural, with reproduction bass drone
MacDougall, circa 1860

SOLD - This set was listed a couple of months ago and snapped up very quickly. Unfortunately, the customer could not get the pipes to go steadily. I apologetically took the pipes back for a full refund. Turns out there were some undetected cracks in both tenor turning pins. These were sealed and invisible whipped. I just had 45 minutes on the pipes and they are now as steady as any MacDougall set I've ever played.

The set came to me from my friend Ron Bowen and has been identified as MacDougall, from the years around 1860. It could be Duncan's work, or that of his father John, but the pipe is distinctly MacDougall. It is ebony, except for the bass drone, which is blackwood.

The original bass drone could not be salvaged, and a reproduction was made using the internal specifications of the MacDougalls owned by John Wilson, Edinburgh/Toronto, that were sold on this site some years ago. All mounts are original, with the exception of the bass ivory ring and bushing.

The bass drone stock appears to be cocuswood and may not be original to the pipes, though, again, the mount is. The upper projecting mount on the bass bottom joint has a small chunk out of it. When the pipes were in transit to the customer described above, a piece of the same mount broke away cleanly. This was professionally repaired when the tenor tuning pins were addressed. The blowstick stock may not be original. Both tenor stocks required invisible whipping.

The tone is superb, and while the pipe has some compromises, the tone is clearly MacDougall -- full, rich and seamless, with a powerful bass.

The pipes are priced with its hybrid nature taken into account, and is a great opportunity for a piper to experience the MacDougall tone and style at a very affordable price.

 

MacDougall, circa 1860
MacDougall, circa 1860
MacDougall, circa 1860
MacDougall, circa 1860
MacDougall, circa 1860 MacDougall, circa 1860
MacDougall, circa 1860
MacDougall, circa 1860

 

Robertson, 1962, silver and ivory
Robertson, 1962, silver and ivory

SOLD - This is an outstanding set of Robertson pipes in exceptional condition.

They are hallmarked 1962 and had only one owner, a former member of the 48th Highlanders of Canada. There are no cracks or repairs to the set, and the original finish is still in excellent condition.

Both the original chanter and sole and the original silver sleeved mouthpiece bulb are present and in great shape.

As described often on this page, James Robertson made pipes in Edinburgh through the early and mid-part of the 20th century and is one of the most consistent makers of all time, both in terms of his manufacturing standards and the tone his pipes produced. He began making pipes in 1908 and even after his death in 1948 until the company closed around 1965, the quality of the instruments never declined.

The tone of this set is like that of all Robertson sets: bold and vibrant, with a great chanter blend. Like Hendersons, Robertsons are a very easy set of drones to reed

If you're looking for a great set of Robertsons or simply an exemplary set of silver and ivory pipes with great tone, you would be hard-pressed to do better than this.

 

Robertson, 1962, silver and ivory
Robertson, 1962, silver and ivory
Robertson, 1962, silver and ivory
Robertson, 1962, silver and ivory
Robertson, 1962, silver and ivory Robertson, 1962, silver and ivory
Robertson, 1962, silver and ivory
Robertson, 1962, silver and ivory

 

Silver and ivory Henderson, circa 1920
Silver and ivory Hendersons circa 1920


This set is a real beauty: silver and ivory Hendersons thought to date from the early 1920s. They appear to be blackwood and are free of cracks. The only flaw, as you'll see in the photos, is that one tenor drone projecting mount has a piece broken off the side. Someone with good sense had the break sanded straight and polished, so, while visible, it is not unsightly.

The blowstick is a poly-lined blackwood replica by Dunbar Bagpipes, with an ivory mount that is not original to the set but was taken from the previous cracked blowpipe. The mount matches the rest of the set fairly well; it just doesn't look quite as old. The finish has been left on the set as is, though the wood, silver and ivory were all polished on a lathe.

The chanter is a Henderson, and the fact that it has an ivory sole would suggest it is not original to the pipes, though it may be.

Like the pipes directly below, this is a first-class old Henderson set. The tone is full and steady, and the pipes went brilliantly with both sets of reeds I tried.





 

Henderson drones Henderson silver and ivory, circa 1920 Henderson drones, bottom view Tenor drones - ferrules, slides, projecting mounts
Bells and drone tops Silver drone caps Stocks Wood and combing close-up

 


 

Duncan MacDougall, circa 1880s, full natural
Circa 18802 MacDougall in ebony

SOLD - This is one of the most exceptional sets of MacDougall pipes to appear on this site. Their pedigree is outstanding, having been played by a member of the Strathclyde Police Pipe Band during their glory years in the 1970s and 1980s, winning many World Pipe Band Championships. More recently they were owned by a leading Scottish solo competitor and won many top prizes including the Former Winners MSR at London, the Oban Silver Medal and the Oban Jig and Grade A March.

The pipes are ebony, with full ivory mounts. All pieces are original. When the pipes were stripped for refurbishment a number of hairline cracks were discovered in various pieces. None were close to going through to the bores. However, to guard against serious cracks forming in future all of these hairlines were invisible whipped, and the pipes refinished.

The pipes are classic Duncan MacDougall — rich, steady, and with a big, cradling bass.

This is a really exceptional instrument, both musically and historically, particularly for an established or aspiring competitor.

 

Circa 1880s MacDougall in ebony
Circa 1880s MacDougall in ebony
Circa 1880s MacDougall in ebony
Circa 1880s MacDougall in ebony
Circa 1880s MacDougall in ebony Circa 1880s MacDougall in ebony
Circa 1880s MacDougall in ebony
Circa 1880s MacDougall in ebony
 

 

Robertson, full ivory, circa 1930
Robertson, full ivory, 1930

SOLD - James Robertson was one of the most remarkable and consistent pipe makers of all time. He made pipes in Edinburgh from 1908 until his death in 1948, though the company continued with pretty much the same consistency after his death and until it ceased operations in the mid-1960s.

This set is one of the earlier ones we've had on the site in a while and was likely made around 1930.

The set required no refinishing. The blowstick is not original, and the projecting mount installed onto it was taken from a different Robertson piece.

All other pieces are original, and there are no known repairs. The ring caps on the tenors exhibit a few small chips.

The chanter is a Naill made in the last 10 years. The original Robertson sole has been installed onto it.

The tonal qualities are typical Robertson: bold, steady and easy to reed.
 

Robertson, full ivory, 1930
Robertson, full ivory, 1930
Robertson, full ivory, 1930 Robertson, full ivory, 1930
Robertson, full ivory, 1930 Robertson, full ivory, 1930
Robertson, full ivory, 1930
Robertson, full ivory, 1930

 

 

Robertson, full ivory, circa 1940
Circa 1940s Robertson

SOLD - James Robertson was one of the most remarkable and consistent pipe makers of all time. He made pipes in Edinburgh from 1908 until his death in 1948, though the company continued with pretty much the same consistency after his death and until it ceased operations in the mid-1960s. This set was likely made around 1940, and exhibits the flared stock bores typical of Robertsons made during the founder's lifetime.

Though I would never sell a set of pipes that I haven't thoroughly tested, I have always thought I could send out a set of Robertsons that I had never played and still be confident that they would be good. They always exhibit the same full, rich and steady tone no matter when they were made. The excellent workmanship reflects the stellar tone.

This set came to me from a pupil, Pipe Major Ian McDonald of the Grade 1 Toronto Police. They were originally owned by his father John, also a former Toronto Police Pipe Major. When I taught Ian as an up-and-coming young player in the 1980s these are the pipes he played.

All pieces are original, and there are no repairs or major flaws. There are a few very minor dings in the wood, and some tiny chips in the ivory ring caps, obviously the result of close quarter countermarching at some point in the past.

The pipes required no refinishing, but both the wood and the ivory have been professionally polished on the lathe.

This is a superb set of pipes tonally and visually and they come with a solid pedigree.

This set is being used as the model for a Robertson reproduction bagpipe being produced by myself and Dunbar bagpipes, scheduled for release in May.

 

Circa 1940s Robertson
Circa 1940s Robertson
Circa 1940s Robertson
Circa 1940s Robertson
Circa 1940s Robertson Circa 1940s Robertson
Circa 1940s Robertson
Circa 1940s Robertson

 

R. G. Lawrie, circa 1930, engraved silver slides, remounted in imitation ivory
Lawrie circa 1930, engraved silver slides, remounted in imitation ivory

SOLD - This outstanding Lawrie set has been dated to around 1930. It is blackwood and came to me with a number of chipped and broken ivory mounts, so they have been completely remounted in imitation ivory. The engraved Sterling silver slides were added in the early 1990s. The chanter stock, blowpipe stock and blowpipe were missing. Blackwood replicas were made. The blowpipe and blowpipe stock are poly-lined blackwood to prevent cracking. The set has been refinished.

For someone looking for a classic, vintage Lawrie tone on an ivory-free bagpipe, you could hardly do better than these. They are rich, seamless, full and steady, with a big, cradling bass sound.

They are offered with a brand new Naill chanter with matching imitation ivory sole.

 

Lawrie circa 1930, engraved silver slides, remounted in imitation ivory
Lawrie circa 1930, engraved silver slides, remounted in imitation ivory
Lawrie circa 1930, engraved silver slides, remounted in imitation ivory
Lawrie circa 1930, engraved silver slides, remounted in imitation ivory
Lawrie circa 1930, engraved silver slides, remounted in imitation ivory Lawrie circa 1930, engraved silver slides, remounted in imitation ivory
Lawrie circa 1930, engraved silver slides, remounted in imitation ivory
Lawrie circa 1930, engraved silver slides, remounted in imitation ivory
 

 

 

Robertson, silver and ivory, 1950
Robertson circa 1950 silver and ivory

SOLD - James Robertson was one of the most remarkable and consistent pipe makers of all time. He made pipes in Edinburgh from 1908 until his death in 1948, though the company continued with pretty much the same consistency after his death and until it ceased operations in the mid-1960s. Though not hallmarked, this set had only one owner, and he said it was purchased in 1950.

When I test pipes, some sets require 10 minutes of playing before I can really assess them. This set locked into tune 30 seconds after I struck up and I was mightily impressed by the sound and steadiness. From the maker of remarkably consistent pipes, this set is exceptional.

They are in superb condition, and the finish is original. When I acquired them, the upper bass tuning pin was broken off at the projecting mount. This is the easiest fix on a set of pipes and the old pin was matched and replaced with a new one.

All other pieces are original, including the original Robertson chanter and engraved silver sole. There are a few very minor dings in the wood, and a couple of yellowish stains on the ivory. The original ivory mouthpiece bulb has a barely visible hairline crack. It doesn't leak, but it could open up over time. 

The wood, ivory and silver have been professionally polished on a lathe.

This is as fine a set of Robertson pipes as you will ever play.

 

Robertson circa 1950s
Robertson 1950
Robertson 1950
Robertson 1950
Robertson 1950 Robertson 1950
Robertson 1950
Robertson 1950

 

 

 

R. G. Lawrie, 1950, nickel, imitation ivory
1950 imitation ivory Lawries

SOLD - This set of Lawries came in its original box. The pipes were packed in newspapers from 1950, thus the dating. The pipes have had minimal usage. They look almost brand new -- perhaps owned by a new piper who gave them a short go and decided piping wasn't for them.

They are blackwood, with iconic tapered Lawrie nickel ferrules. The projecting mounts are blackwood; caps and original chanter sole are imitation ivory.

The pipes play very well. Many Lawries from this era maintained a big, classic, seamless Lawrie/Henderson sound from the earlier part of the century, and this set is one of them -- steady, easy to reed, easy to tune, rich and vibrant.

They required no refurb aside from mimimal re-hemping.They have been oiled.

 

1950 Lawrie drones
1950 Lawrie drones
1950 Lawrie drones
Tenor drones
Bells, drone tops Imitation ivory drone caps
Stocks
Original Lawrie box

 

Henderson, cocuswood, circa 1920, wood mounts, nickel ferrules, artificial ivory caps
Circa 1920 cocuswood Henderson

SOLD - This is a remarkable set of Henderson pipes made of cocuswood, likely around 1920. The projecting mounts are wood and the ferrules are nickel.

Sometime in the 1990s the ivory drone caps, which apparently were badly cracked, were replaced with artificial ivory. So the great advantage in this bagpipe, aside from its tone, is that it is free of ivory. All pieces appear to be original except for the blowstick stock which is poly-lined blackwood. The cocuswood It is quite dark so the blackwood stock matches the rest of the set quite nicely.

I actually acquired this bagpipe a year or so ago and have been playing it off and on for the past eight or 10 months as my #2 set, so I can attest to its exemplary tone. While this set would be a beauty for anyone to own, it might be particularly valuable to a top-flight competitor traveling regularly across borders.

It should be noted that the artificial ivory caps are not quite as orange looking as they appear in the photos!

 

Circa 1920 cocuswood Henderson
Circa 1920 cocuswood Henderson
Circa 1920 cocuswood Henderson
Circa 1920 cocuswood Henderson
Circa 1920 cocuswood Henderson Circa 1920 cocuswood Henderson
Circa 1920 cocuswood Henderson
Circa 1920 cocuswood Henderson

Cocuswood, suspected Center, circa 1880, German silver caps, ferrules, button mounts, bone bushes

Cocuswood, circa 1880s

SOLD - These pipes were purchased as Centers, made in the late 1800s. Though they are not stamped, the wide cord quides and the lovely, rich tone and fine craftsmanship support the Center supposition. The tone is very much in the Glen/Center tradition: rich and extremely steady, though not booming like Hendersons.

The set is very finely crafted and light as a feather. They have been stripped and refinished. The blowpipe was cracked but has been invisible whipped. One tenor stock showed a small crack and two beads have been invisible whipped.

This is quite a distinctive and lovely set with great visual and tonal character, a first-class cocuswood tone, and a very affordable price.

 

R. G. Lawrie, silver and ivory, 1970s Lawries, mid-1970s  SOLD - These Lawries came to me as a circa 1940s set with the silver added later. The silver is Lawrie-produced, hallmarked RGL with a date that appears to be 1976. The style of the projecting mounts and other evidence suggest the pipes were actually made when the silver was hallmarked.  The set has been recently refinished. There are some very minor dents in the silver from normal wear, but overall the pipes are beautiful and are in fantastic shape.  The tone is full, though not as booming as the classic old Lawries of 100 years ago, and the pipes are priced appropriately. The pipes are very steady and very easy to reed.  For someone looking for a well-priced, beautiful silver and ivory pipe as a reliable work-a-day instrument, you could hardly do better than this.   Email me about this set.  As shown, sticks only CAD $4,350 plus shipping  Set up to play - Ross Bag, MCC2 or McGillivray 'JMcG' solo poly chanter, Kinnaird Evolution or Canning drone reeds, bag cover, cords. Blackwood chanter: add CAD $180. CAD $4,995  plus shipping Lawrie drones, mid-1970s 	Lawrie drones, end view 	Lawries, mid-1970s 	Lawrie bells Lawrie tenor slides, ferrules, projecting mounts	Silver drone caps 	Stocks 	Wood close-up
Cocuswood, circa 1880s
Cocuswood, circa 1880s
Cocuswood, circa 1880s
Cocuswood, circa 1880s Cocuswood, circa 1880s
Cocuswood, circa 1880s
Cocuswood, circa 1880s

 

 

C. E. Kron "Heritage" model, circa 2004, plain silver ferrules, slides, artificial ivory mounts, caps
Kron Heritage, circa 2004

SOLD - I have a personal connection to this bagpipe. Back around 2001 I worked closely with the C.E. Kron company and then-employee Dave Atherton to help Charley Kron market a set of pipes that used the exact bore measurements of a set of lovely 1912 silver and ivory Hendersons that I was playing at that time. Kron marketed the pipes as its "Heritage" line and they became quite popular.

The line is not made anymore. The manufacturing standards for this bagpipe was extremely high and the tone was superb — a full, rich and seamless Henderson sound — and this has become a desirable bagpipe since that time.

This particular set was actually purchased by a student of mine around 2004. The mounts got quite chipped through various mishaps so around 2006 we had Dunbar bagpipes remount the pipes using their unbreakable artificial ivory. The profiles of the original mounts were retained.

The pipes are in excellent shape, but for a few tiny nicks in the wood. As was the tradition at the Kron company at the time, the blowstick and chanter stocks and the blowstick itself are polypenco plastic. The metal mounts are plain sterling silver.

This is a lovely, full-bodied set for use in competition or as a workaday bagpipe.

 

Kron Heritage, circa 2004
Kron Heritage, circa 2004
Kron Heritage, circa 2004
Kron Heritage, circa 2004
Kron Heritage, circa 2004

 

 

Henderson, 1920s, cocuswood, natural, silver-plated brass
Cocuswood Hendersons 1920s


SOLD - This set of circa 1920s Hendersons is tonally top-drawer, but comes with some visual compromises and is priced accordingly.

At first glance, the metal mounts appear to be engraved silver. However, there are no hallmarks, and it actually looks to be engraved brass, or perhaps German silver, and silver plated. The effect is very much like the real thing.

The pipes are cocuswood, but it appears the bass bottom joint has been stained to look more like blackwood -- perhaps an abandoned effort to make the pipes look like blackwood.

The projecting mounts are in good shape except for the bass mid-joint. About a quarter of this mount has been broken off and subsequently buffed smooth. The blowstock appears to be blackwood, with the original projecting mount. The blowstick has a repaired crack near the mouthpiece.

Tonally, the pipes are excellent -- full and steady in the Henderson cocuswood tradition. The tenors tune a bit lower than my own 1920s cocuswood Henderson.

These pipes are a good opportunity to acquire classic Henderson cocuswood tone without the price tag of a classic silver and ivory set.

 

Henderson drones, side view
Henderson drones end view
Henderson drones, bottom view
Bells and drone tops
Slides, projecting mounts Drone caps
Stocks
Wood, combing close-up

 

David Naill & Co., full plain silver, 2009
2009 David Naill


SOLD - Though not the usual sort of item offered on this page, this particular set came to me for an exceptionally good price and can be offered here at considerable savings.

They were made by David Naill & Co. in 2009, and are hallmarked full plain silver. If they have been played it is hardly apparent from the appearance of the pipes. They are in mint condition and come with a Naill poly chanter.

Naill pipes have ben played at all levels, including the very highest, for close to 40 years.  The company was founded by Les Cowell, who learned the pipemaking trade with the Henry Starck company in the 1940s.

Naill pipes are steady, full, smooth and very reliable. The company has always use the highest quality wood.


 

Naill drones
Naill drones, end view
Naill drones, bottom view
Naill tenor drones
Bells and drone tops Plain silver drone caps
Stocks
Wood close-up
 

 

 

R. G. Lawrie, silver and ivory, 1970s
Lawries, mid-1970s

SOLD - These Lawries came to me as a circa 1940s set with the silver added later. The silver is Lawrie-produced, hallmarked RGL with a date that appears to be 1976. The style of the projecting mounts and other evidence suggest the pipes were actually made when the silver was hallmarked.

The set has been recently refinished. There are some very minor dents in the silver from normal wear, but overall the pipes are beautiful and are in fantastic shape.

The tone is full, though not as booming as the classic old Lawries of 100 years ago, and the pipes are priced appropriately. The pipes are very steady and very easy to reed.

For someone looking for a well-priced, beautiful silver and ivory pipe as a reliable work-a-day instrument, you could hardly do better than this.

Lawrie drones, mid-1970s
Lawrie drones, end view
Lawries, mid-1970s
Lawrie bells
Lawrie tenor slides, ferrules, projecting mounts Silver drone caps
Stocks
Wood close-up

 


 

Lawrie, full ivory, circa 1940s
Lawries, full ivory, circa 1940s



SOLD - This elegant set of Lawries is blackwood, and mounted in full ivory. The large bead on the bottom projecting mounts on the drones suggests a manufacturing date in the 1940s or 1950s, with the ivory patina suggesting early in that era.

The set was free of cracks and has been stripped and refinished. There is some age-staining on the ivory mounts.


The original chanter remains with the pipes, though in truth, old Lawrie chanters were rarely prized for their tonal excellence. However, it is nice to have the complete bagpipe.

The pipes are full-bodied in tone and steady. Like Lawries in general, they are easy to reed. This is a lovely instrument visually, with great lines and character and a good Lawrie tone.

 

 

Lawries, full ivory, circa 1940s Lawries, full ivory, circa 1940s Lawries, full ivory, circa 1940s Lawries,tenor drones
Bells Ivory caps Stocks Wood close-up

 

David Glen circa 1900, cocuswood with nickel ferrules
Glens, circa 1900, cocuswood


SOLD - Here is an ivory-free set of David Glen pipes in cocuswood with button mounts and nickel ferrules and rings. Estimated date of manufacture in 1900-1910. The chanter does have an ivory sole, so it may or may not be original to the pipes.

The pipes are in excellent shape. One hairline crack was invisible whipped in one tenor top. Someone has previously put a brass insert in the blowstick stock. This work has been done very well and there was no reason to remove it.

All pieces are original. The set has been refinished.

David Glen's workmanship is superb and well respected by modern pipemakers. His sets are renown for their steadiness, ease of reeding, and a tone which is very rich and harmonic but a little mellower than the larger bore Hendersons and Lawries.

The pipes are lightweight and suitable for any level of piping, from parade use to professional level competing.

 

Glen drones, side view
Glen cocuswood drones, end view
Glen drones, showing stock bores
Drone slides, nickel ferrules
Bells, drone tops Caps
Stocks

Wood, combing close-up

 

Wm. Sinclair & Son, full ivory, circa 1960
Full ivory Sinclairs, circa 1960


SOLD - This full ivory set by the Edinburgh firm of William Sinclair and Son was purchased new by the previous owner around 1960.

William Sinclair started business in 1931 and still operates today. They have gained a well-earned reputation as the best and most consistent modern pipemaker. The Sinclair sound is full -- not quite as full as Henderson -- but very rich and bright. I played a Sinclair set throughout the 1980s and won most of my major prizes in Scotland with them.

This set was stripped and refinished, including the chanter. There were no cracks or replacement pieces. The ivory ferrule on the chanter stock has a crack that has been filled. Though quite visible, it is stable and will not cause problems. If you look at the photo of the very typical Sinclair ivory drone caps, you'll see that someone has lightly etched a serial number into each. While visible up close, these do not detract from the overall appearance of ivory.

The set comes with its original Sinclair chanter. Unlike Hardie chanters of the same vintage, which age badly, the majority of good Sinclair chanters made from the 1950s to today still play very well with modern reeds, though at a flatter pitch than today's chanters. 

The lines, mount shapes, ivory and tone are all exemplary on this set:  lots of character here from one of the greatest modern pipemakers in their prime!



 

Sinclair drones, full ivory
Sinclair drones, side view
Sinclair drones from bottom
Tenor ferrule, slide, projecting mount
Bells, drone tops
Ivory caps
Stocks
Wood and combing close-up

 

Dave Atherton MD model, MacDougall bores, nickel and imitation ivory, 2009
Atherton MD

SOLD -This set of Athertons was made in 2009 and owned by me until a couple of years ago. They were purchased and have recently come back from a player who has had to sell off his collection due to financial strife. They are blackwood and mounted in nickel and imitation ivory. The blowstick and stock are poly, as was Dave Atherton's usual practice. The chanter stock is blackwood, not Dave's usual practice.

The only visible flaw in this set is a slight nick in the wood just below the hemp on the bass bottom tuning pin. The mark is not visible when the pipes are together and being played.

Dave Atherton is regarded by many to be the best pipemaker of modern times. His attention to detail, quality materials and perfect workmanship are legendary. These pipes were a reproduction of a Duncan MacDougall cocuswood bagpipe previously owned by the late Roddy MacDonald of Wilmington, Delaware, and now owned by his son Calum.


The tone is bold and steady with Canning tenors and a Kinnaird bass and the pipes are as steady as any set you will find.

 

Atherton drones, bottom view
Atherton drones
Atherton tenor drones
Stocks
Bells, drone tops
Drone caps
Tuning chambers
Wood, combing close-up

 

 

Lawrie, circa 1920-1930, engraved silver, ivory
Lawries, circa 1900, silver and ivory


SOLD - This set was purchased as a set of Lawries made around or before 1900, though input I have had suggests they are more likely at 1920-1930s set.

The pipes are ebony and appear ususually free of cracks or blemishes in the wood. The silver engraving is shallow, a Lawrie trait, though the ferrules lack the later conical Lawrie shape. The shallow bells suggest Lawrie, as do the larger ivory beads on the bottom drone projecting mounts.

The ferrule on the bass mid-joint has been replaced with a more recent engraved silver ferrule more in the tapered Lawrie tradition. The plain silver slides are a very recent addition, hallmarked 1999. The metal mouthpiece is also modern, likely engraved nickel. Despite the later additions the visual effect of the pipes is lovely and strong, and none of these pieces detracts from the overall appearance.

The tone is robust though not booming:  seamless, very rich and very steady, and very much characteristic of ebony. The lovely, natural, buffed finish suggests the pipes were refurbished fairly recently -- perhaps when the slides were added.

 

Lawrie drones, end view
Lawrie drones, side view
Lawrie drones, bottom view
Lawrie bells
Lawrie tenors Silver caps, ivory bushes
Stocks
Close-up, wood, combing
 

 

Lawrie, circa 1910 ebony, full ivory
1920s Lawries


SOLD - This is quite a pristine set of Lawries in ebony, mounted in full ivory, and thought to date from the years around 1910. They have been refinished, though it's possible they have had an earlier refurbishment.

The wood is flawless, and the ivory is in superb shape, except for a split in the ferrule on the blowstick stock, which has been repaired. The tuning chambers are perfectly even.

The pipes are rich and steady, thought perhaps not quite as robust as some some Lawries. This can be typical of some ebony pipes which are often not as loud a blackwood sets of the same vintage. It's a stunning visual set with a smooth and seamless tone much in keeping with its appearance.

 

Ebony Lawrie drones
Ebony Lawrie drones
Full ivory Lawries
Lawrie tenor drones
Bells, drone tops Ivory drone caps
Stocks
Wood and combing close-up
 

 

 

Gavin MacDougall, circa 1900, ebony, full ivory, brass inserts, built-in watertrap, original chanter
Circa 1900 Gavin MacDougall, full ivory


SOLD - I've had numerous MacDougall sets on this site, but few as classic or in such great condition as this Gavin MacDougall set. The pipes are ebony, the mounts are ivory, and all tuning chambers are fitted with brass inserts.

While the pipes aren't stamped, the chanter is stamped "G.C. MacDougall, Aberfeldy," and appears to be a perfect match with the set. The cord guides are in Duncan MacDougall's wide style, suggesting that this set was made early in his son's career. Gavin took the business over when his father died in 1898, though he had been making pipes with Duncan for many years. Lots of pipes stamped with Duncan's name in the late 1890s were almost certainly made by Gavin.

The blowstick stock is uniquely Gavin: split, and fitted with a brass watertrap. This seems to be a special feature he offered, and I've seen only two others like this.

The pipes were stripped and refinished some months ago, and a hairline crack was lightly invisible whipped in one tenor top at that time. I've been enjoying playing this set for the past three months. It's a beauty, both visually and tonally -- seamless, with a lovely bass sound.

 

Gavin MacDougall drones
Gavin MacDougall drones, circa 1900
MacDougall, showing brass insert in bass mid-joint
MacDougall tenors
MacDougall bells and drone tops Ivory caps and chanter sole
Stocks, showing split-stock blowstick stock with built-in brass watertrap
Ebony close-up
 

 


 

Dunbars, circa 1970, engraved silver with holly projecting mounts
Circa 1970s Dunbar, engraved silver, holly


SOLD - This is the first older Dunbar set we've had on the site. This set was almost certainly made by Jack Dunbar himself, who served his apprenticeship in the Peter Henderson shop in the 1930s when the firm was at the peak of its pipemaking powers. He brought that expertise to Canada when he founded Dunbar Bagpipe Makers in the 1960s.

Jack's pipes were all made in the Henderson tradition. He was the first pipemaker to create instruments out of polypenco plastic. Perhaps as a result of this, his blackwood pipes were for many years underrated. But they are superbly made instruments with a bold and steady Henderson sound. Their manufacturing standards are very high, which is why I've chosen the company for all my vintage refurb work.

This set was originally mounted in the engraved silver pictured here as well as catalin. The previous owner had the orange catalin replaced with holly, giving a great set of pipes new visual life. Only the original catalin bushes remain.

The finish is original, and this 40-year-old set plays with a bold and steady tone that displays a rich, dominating bass.


 


 

Dunbar drones
Dunbars, circa 1970s
Dunbar drones, bottom view
Bells, drone tops
Tenor drones showing engraved silver
Drone caps
Stocks
 


 

Duncan MacDougall, ebony, natural mounts, circa 1880s
MacDougalls, ebony, circa 1880s


SOLD - I have been playing this ebony Duncan MacDougall set for about 8 months, and it is one of the finest MacDougalls I have played. The bass tunes higher than most, but it is one of the richest, most voluminous MacDougall basses I've heard: a real joy to play.

Though not stamped, it is clearly Duncan MacDougall, with full natural mounts. When the pipes were stripped we found there were cracks beginning in both tenor tops, the bass mid-joint and the bass stock. These have been invisibly whipped and the pipes have been refinished.

One odd feature of this set is the tuning pins, which look as though they are made of a different wood from the rest of the pipes. It is possible that they are replacements, though it would be odd of have four replacement pins on a set that is in otherwise good shape.

The blowpipe stock may be a replacement. There are spider lines and tiny nicks on some of the mounts, but the wear and tear on this workhorse did not detract from my pleasure in playing them.

I am replacing them with a lovely Gavin MacDougall set in mint condition and with its own special sound, but this set is a tonal masterpiece.

 

MacDougall drones
MacDougall drones
MacDougall drones
Bells, cord guides
Tenor drones Drone caps
Stocks
Wood, combing, ivory close-up

 

Henderson, silver and ivory, circa 1910
Henderson, circa 1910 silver and ivory


SOLD - This old silver and ivory Henderson set is in excellent condition. It appears to be blackwood, though the finish that was on the pipes was in good shape so I didn't have it removed. The silver on the stocks is hallmarked 1910. The matching silver on the pipes has a different hallmark that I couldn't trace but is clearly the same pattern and vintage.

The bass top is a Henderson replacement that may be older than the rest of the pipes. The silver pattern is different but equally lovely and in no way stands out. It is hallmarked 19
09.

I played this set for a week and it is robust and steady in a fashion typical of blackwood Hendersons of this era: really a first class instrument. 

If there have been any repairs done they are invisible to me.

 

 

Henderson, circa 1910 silver and ivory
Henderson, circa 1910 silver and ivory
Henderson, circa 1910 silver and ivory
Bells
Henderson, circa 1910 silver and ivory - tenor drones Silver caps
Stocks
Wood, combing close-up

 



 
R. G. Lawrie, circa 1925, ebony, full ivory mounts
Circa 1925 full ivory Lawries in ebony


SOLD - This set of Lawries was purchased by the previous owner from Jim McIntosh some years ago. Jimmy identified them as circa 1925 Lawries, and I concur.

The are in ebony with immaculate full ivory mounts. There is no evidence of any repairs to the drones or stocks -- rare for ebony pipes nearly 100 years old. There is no staining on the ivory, and the patina of the ivory is lovely, with the grain showing beautifully. The pipes were stripped, checked for cracks, and beautifully refinished by Dunbar Bagpipes, who, I am confident, do the best refurb work on the planet.

The set plays beautifully, as nearly all old Lawries do -- they are full and balanced, steady and vibrant, and lock into tune in a way old ebony seems to do. They went well with both Ezeedrone and Canning reeds. I doubt you'll find many vintage, fully ivory Lawries in ebony as lovely as this one.

 

Lawrie drones, 1925
Ebony Lawrie, full ivory, 1925
Lawrie drones, bottom view
Lawrie tenor drones
Lawrie bells Ivory caps
Stocks Wood, combing close-up

 

 

R. G. Hardie, engraved silver and ivory, hallmarked 1964
!964 Hardies, silver and ivory


SOLD - This silver and ivory Hardie bagpipe is hallmarked 1964. Except for some minor chipping on the bottom of one tenor drone bell, the set looks like it was played very little. The original finish is almost perfect. All original ivory hempstops and intact.

The original mouthpiece is missing, but aside from that, all other pieces are original. The only flaw is a crack in the ivory projecting mount on the blowstick, which has been filled. The blowstick has been rebored, since blowsticks of this era tended to be narrow and restrictive.

While the original chanter (not pictured) comes with the set, the silver sole was installed on a 1990s poly Dunbar chanter. This was and is an excellent chanter -- a little lower pitched than today's -- and I saw no reason to change it.

Bob Hardie kept a large cache of well aged wood, and the quality of this wood is reflected in the tuning chambers of these drones, which are perfectly even and required no reaming.

In classic Hardie fashion, the set is steady and easy to reed. The drone sound is mellow, with a nice bass/tenor balance. Though the more subdued drone sound keeps Hardies from being played at the highest solo levels, I find these pipes perfect for a middle-age hobbyist looking for a reliable drone sound that won't overpower the chanter, particularly if the piper's tuning skills are not  yet at a high level.

 


 

1964 Hardies
1964 Hardie drones
1964 Hardie drones
Hardie bells and drone tops
Tenor ferrules, slides, projecting mounts
Stocks
Silver caps, chanter sole
Wood and combing close-up

 

Circa 1900 David Glen & Sons, cocuswood, nickel, ivory caps
1900 David Glen, cocuswood


SOLD - This is a lovely example of David Glen's work, likely from around the turn of the 20th century. The pipes are cocuswood, the ferrules are nickel, and the stylish drone caps are ivory.

This set did not require any refinishing or major refurb work when I acquired them, except to invisible whip a crack in the chanter stock.

David Glen's craftsmanship -- inherited from his meticulous father Alexander -- is still admired by pipemakers today, and his drones are known for their rich, subdued tone and steadiness.

He began making pipes with his father in the 1860s and took the business over after Alex's death in 1873. Around 1900 he added "& Sons" to the business name of David Glen. He died in 1910, leaving a voluminous legacy of high quality instruments and collections of pipe music. The business continued for many decades after his passing.

David appears to have favoured cocuswood over ebony or blackwood right up until his death.

 

 

David Glen drones and end caps Glen cocuswood drones Circa 1900 Glens Glen tenor drone slides, ferrules, button mounts
Bells and drone tops Ivory drone caps Glen stocks Wood and combing close-up

 

Dave Atherton, MacDougall bores, 2007, mounted in palm ivory
Atherton, 2007, palm ivory

SOLD - This is one of Dave Atherton's earlier MacDougall-bored sets, and has had only one owner, who purchased it new in 2007. It is mounted in "palm ivory," a tropical nut. Very few sets were mounted in palm ivory due to reasons of efficiency: often flaws would appear in the nut only after considerable work had been done making the mount and the nearly-finished mount would have to be discarded. These mounts have turned a rich honey brown. Combined with Dave's great eye for lines, this is one of the most visually beautiful bagpipes I've had on the site in a long time. The photos don't do it complete justice. I have long contended that Dave Atherton is the premier pipemaker of the last 50 years, and this set does nothing to dissuade my belief.

The tone is full and seamless, with a rich, dominant bass and excellent blend with the chanter. The blowstick is lined with stainless steel to prevent cracking.

There are no cracks or flaws. Besides being an outstanding musical instrument, the mounts and its distinction as one of Dave Atherton's earlier bagpipes make it somewhat of a collector's item.

 

Atherton drones, palm ivory mounted Atherton drones Atherton stocks and drones Bells, cord guides
Atherton tenor drones Palm ivory drone caps Stocks Wood close-up

 

Henderson, silver and ivory, hallmarked 1935
Silver and ivory Hendersons, 1935

SOLD - This set is a gem, physcially, tonally and historically: silver and ivory Henderson, hallmarked 1935-36. All pieces are original. There are no repairs to the wood. Several of the ivory projecting mounts had small cracks opening in them. These have been glued, and while they show when you get close, they in no way detract from the overall appearance of the pipes, and no further cracking should occur.

The finish is in good shape and appears to be original.

The original chanter has cracked near the bottom and has had extermal whipping done to it. The sole is in magnificent shape and can be moved onto a modern chanter.

The pipes are exceptional tonally, even for Hendersons -- a big bold sound, very steady, and with a very forgiving tuning range that makes the old Hendersons one of the steadiest makes ever.

The pipes were first purchased for a grandson of Andrew Carnegie. Carnegie had a strong piping connection as he owned a castle in Scotland and for many years employed as his personal piper Angus MacPherson of Invershin, son on Calum Piobaire and wife of Mrs. MacPherson of Inveran. The pipes were sold out of the Carnegie family some years ago.

As the photos show, the silver is exquisite. No recent work has been done to these pipes.

 

 

Silver and ivory Henderson drones Ferrules, slides, projecting mounts Silver ferrules Stocks
Henderson bells Caps Ferrule bottoms, sole  

 

 

Circa 1949 Robertsons, full ivory, engraved silver slides
1949 Robertsons with silver slids

SOLD - This set of Robertson pipes came to me with a brass plate on the bass drone giving the owner's name and the words "Christmas, 1949." I have taken this as the date of manufacture. The plate did not compliment the look of the pipes and has been removed, though it will be included with the pipes.

The pipes are full ivory mounted. They were in storage for some time, so some of the ivory has slight stain marks, though the overall patina is a lovely honey colour. The original finish was in very good condition and has been left.

The engraved slides lack hallmarking and were most likely added later. The hand-engraving is deeply cut and beautifully done. While the original chanter is missing, the sole remains.

The pipes were free of any cracking and the bores are straight and true. The drones play with typical Robertson power and steadiness and were easy to reed.

The stock bores are slightly tapered, as was Robertson's practice in earlier days. The sole can be taken as is or added to a chanter for CAD $95.

 

 

Robertson drones, full ivory, silver slides Robertson drones, side view Robertson drones, stocks Tenor drones and slides
Bells Ivory caps Stocks Wood close-up


Circa 1900 David Glen & Sons, cocuswood, nickel ferrules, ivory caps

Circa 1900 cocuswood Glens


SOLD - This is a great old Glen set that I've priced well because they are visibly whipped in several places.

They are cocuswood, with button mounts, nickel ferrules and ivory rings. The bass middle joint is not original to the set, but it is a Glen of the same era in ebony and matches the set perfectly. The tone of this set is classic Glen cocuswood -- not booming, but ample, very rich, and really, really steady. The set has been owned and played by several good competition players over the past few years who have since moved onto higher-end sets.

The whipping is external, and locations can be seen in the photos. This work was done several years ago before the refurbisher developed the invisible whipping technique. The whipping is quite apparent up close. As a result, I was able to acquire the pipes for a very good price and am selling them for a price that might work for someone who can't afford some of the other sets here.

The set plays really well and, in typical Glen fashion, is easy to reed.

There are two blowsticks -- they match, and one is longer than the other. One may be a blackwood reproduction.

Glen drones
Glens, circa 1900, cocuswood, ivory rings
Glen drones and stocks
Glen drone caps
Glen bells, drone tops Stocks
Glen drone slides, ferrules
Wood close-up

 

 

 

Robertson, 1956, silver and ivory
1956 Robertson


SOLD - This hallmarked silver and ivory Robertson set was made in 1956 and shows the distinctive ivory projecting mounts this maker was so famous for.

The set has been refinished, but had no cracks or flaws in the wood. A number of the ivory mounts show some spider cracks, one large one in particular, but these are not unusual and they threaten the mounts in no way.

The original ivory mouthpiece bulb is not present, so the original engraved silver sleeve has been fitted to a new mouthpiece.

The stocks show bore flaring that is typical of many of the higher-end Robertson sets, said to enhance tone and steadiness. (This means any canister system used will need to employ sleeves rather than inserts.)

I've never played a set of silver and ivory Robertsons that weren't absolutely superb, and this set is just the same:  a robust, seamless, steady tone. It's a great old set and quite lovely.

While there was no original chanter or sole with this set, I do have a matching sole made in the same pattern by the same Birmingham engraver. The only difference is that it is hallmarked for RG Hardie, 1968. It has been installed onto a McCallum MCC2 blackwood chanter.

 


 


 

Robertson drones
Drones from bottom
Tenor drone ferrules, slides, projecting mounts
Bells
Stocks
Silver caps
Flared stock bores
Wood, combing

 

 



Lawrie, circa 1920s, in ebony, nickel
Ebony, nickel Lawries

SOLD - Lawrie drones of this type in ebony may be one of the most common vintage pipes available today. They are steady and tuneful. This set was likely made in the 1920s, though this dating could vary by a decade either way. The bells, cord guides, projecting mounts and tapered nickel ferrules are classic Lawrie.

This set was refinished three years ago, and at that time there was invisible whipping done beneath the top three combs of the bass drone stock. A couple of the ferrule tenons showed some slight checking, so these were whipped under the ferrules at that time as well. One new visible whip now appears at the top of the chanter stock, though this will not be visible until the neck of your bag cover. Blackwood hemp stops were added to all four tuning pins.

This very affordable set has a big Henderson/Lawrie wall of sound. The ebony material provides a level of steadiness and richness unequalled by blackwood of the same era.

This set was sold on this site in 2010. The photos were taken then. The finish on the pipes is slightly worn since then as the pipes were played continuously over the past three years.

Lawrie drones Ferrules, slides, projecting mounts Projecting mounts Stocks
 Bells Caps Combing

 


 

Dave Atherton "MD" MacDougall reproduction, 2012, blackwood, full holly-mounted, engraved silver slides
Dave Atherton, 2012, blackwood, holly, silver slides


SOLD - With all due respect to the rest of today's craftsmen, Dave Atherton was the finest modern bagpipe maker I've ever seen. His acoustical knowledge and his obsessive attention to detail resulted in a remarkable instrument that holds its own against some of the great vintage bagpipes.

Though he made many instruments for C. E. Kron during the early 2000s, the Duncan MacDougall reproduction he created once he went into business for himself in Chicago is his masterpiece. I was fortunate enough to work closely with Dave during the development of this model and can attest to the care and knowledge that went into every set. This set, made this year in African blackwood with full holly mounts and engraved silver slides, is a superb example of his work.

The blowpipe stock is poly (as was Dave's style) and the blowpipe is a brass-lined, blackwood stick.
 
The tone of this set is full and all-encompassing. It is more aggressive than Henderson pipes, and belies the myth that Duncan MacDougall pipes were subdued, a myth perhaps resulting from so many David Glen sets being mis-identified as MacDougalls.

As an aside, when I played in the Spirit of Scotland Pipe Band at the World Pipe Band Championship in 2008, I played an early Atherton MD set. The band's drone tuners -- both prominent pipers -- came to me at one point asking what drones I was playing. I told them and they remarked that they were the steadiest in the band and the most vibrant to the touch. "I can feel the wood shaking in my hands as I'm tuning," said one. I thought that was a remarkable thing to hear, given the calibre of player and bagpipes in that remarkable band.

Atherton drones won the Gold Medal at Oban this year, as well as the M/S/R at the Glenfiddich Championship.

 

Atherton drones
Atherton ferrules, silver slides
Stocks
Bells, drone tops
Projecting mounts on lower drones Caps
Wood, combing close-up
 


 

Hallmarked 1954-55 silver and ivory Robertsons
1954-55 Robertson


SOLD - I love these old Robertson sets! When I see/buy them, I know exactly what I'm getting, and I've never been disappointed. So much faith do I have in them that it is the only bagpipe that I would ever think of selling to someone without having tried them. (It would have to be exceptional circumstances for me to do that!)

This set is hallmarked 1954-55. The wood, ivory and silver are all in immaculate shape. The original finish has been left intact as it is still in very good shape. The original ivory blowpipe bulb and engraved silver sleeve were missing, but I have one with a matching silver pattern, so it has been added to the set. The original Robertson chanter was not present, nor the sole. I do have a matching engraved silver sole that can be added to the set for CAD $350.

Robertson sometimes tapered his drone stocks. These are tapered. This means that if a moisture control system were used, it would need to employ cups, not inserts.

The pipes are the usual Robertson rock-steady, bold, rich sound. I put a set of Kinnaird Evolution reeds in the drones, struck up, and they were perfectly in tune in 30 seconds.

Classic Robertson.

 


 

Drones, 1954-55 Robertson
Robertson, silver and ivory
Robertson drones and stocks
Silver caps
Robertson silver slides, ferrules, mushroom projecting mounts Stocks
Robertson bells, drone tops
Close-up of wood


 


 

Henderson, mid- to late-1950s, full ivory with engraved silver slides
Henderson, circa mid-1950s


SOLD - This lovely Henderson set is pristine. It would appear to date from the mid-to late 1950s. My friend Ron (Ringo) Bowen tells me Henderson had some questionable years in the '50s after some of the firm's legendary turners left after the war. Some sets from this time of transition are of dubious quality. However, this is not one of them. The set is beautifully made, and the tone is full and seamless in the vintage Henderson tradition.

The engraved silver slides were added in recent years, and the pipes were refinished at that time. My guess is that the work was done by Dunbar Bagpipes, Henderson specialists who undertake all of my refurb work.


Though the pipes were not made during the great Henderson years to prior to WW2, you wouldn't know it from the tone.


 


 

Henderson drones
1950s Henderson
Henderson drones from the bottom
Henderson tenor drones showing engraved silver slides
Bells, drone tops
Stocks
Ivory caps
Wood, combing close-up

 


 

Silver and ivory Henderson, circa 1920
Silver and ivory Hendersons circa 1920


SOLD - This set is a real beauty:  silver and ivory Hendersons thought to date from the early 1920s. They appear to be blackwood and are free of cracks. The only flaw, as you'll see in the photos, is that one tenor drone projecting mount has a piece broken off the side. Someone with good sense had the break sanded straight and polished, so, while visible, it is not unsightly.

The blowstick is a poly-lined blackwood replica by Dunbar Bagpipes, with an ivory mount that is not original to the set and was taken from the previous cracked blowpipe. The mount matches the rest of the set fairly well; it just doesn't look quite as old. The finish has been left on the set as is, though the wood, silver and ivory were all polished on a lathe.

The chanter is a Henderson, and the fact that it has an ivory sole would suggest it is not original to the pipes, though it may be.

Like the full ivory set directly below, this set is a first-class old Henderson set. The tone is full and steady, and the pipes went brilliantly with both sets of reeds I tried.



 

Henderson drones Henderson silver and ivory, circa 1920 Henderson drones, bottom view Tenor drones - ferrules, slides, projecting mounts
Bells and drone tops Silver drone caps Stocks Wood and combing close-up

 

R.G. Lawrie presentation set, full silver, hallmarked 1949
Full silver Lawries, 1949


SOLD - This is a visually stunning set of Lawries that were presented in 1950 to a retiring pipe major. Three shields on the drone stocks all state, "Presented to Pipe Major G. J. Pate, 1950, The Irish Regiment of Canada."

The pipes are in superb condition. They were refinished, and no cracks were found, except for the blowstick, which has been replaced with a poly-lined blackwood replica. One nice feature of the pipes is that while they are full silver, the projecting mounts aren't solid. so they don't weigh a ton the way some full silvers do.

The chanter that came with the pipes is an old Hardie, and the engraving pattern on the sole is not a match for the pipes.

During this period, Lawrie was still producing some vintage classics, and this set seems to be one of them -- bold and steady much like the great pre-1945 Hendersons.

If you like bling, it's hard to beat this set, and the tone certainly supports the visuals!

Full silver Lawrie drones
Full silver Lawries, 1949
Lawrie drones, bottom view
Tenor drones - ferrules, slides, projecting mounts
Lawrie Bells, drone tops Lawries stocks with silver shields
Silver drone caps and sole
Wood and combing close-up

 

Donald MacPhee, circa 1870s, silver and ivory
Donald MacPhee pipes


This is one of the most remarkable sets to be exhibited on this site and may well remain part of the permanent collection.

Donald MacPhee lived a brief but significant piping life from 1841 to 1880. He was a seminal piping figure in the 1860s and 1870s as one of the first great non-Gaelic speaking players. Robert Meldrum thought him one of the best players in Scotland, and his playing inspired a teenage John MacColl to save up enough money for a year to move from Oban to Glasgow for lessons from him. He published four important collections of music and ran a very successful bagpipe making business during the 1870s, though examples of his pipes are rare today. When he died at age 38 in 1880, Peter Henderson took over his shop. 

The drones, chanter and blowstick are ebony and appear to be orignal. The combing and beading on the stocks match the pipes, but the stocks themselves don't all match. The silver pattern on the stocks and mouthpiece bulb roughly match the pipes, but is a deeper cut and is hallmarked Peter Henderson 1951. It appears likely the stock ferrules and bulb and perhaps some of the stocks were made by Henderson as replacements to match the pipes at the time of the hallmark. The chanter is almost certainly the original with its barely visible "D McPHEE" stamped across the top. It is low-pitched but remarkably true.

The pipes were owned for many years by Hector MacLean, a pupil of Willie MacLean and John MacDonald of Inverness, and a prominent member of the Scottish Pipers' Association during the 1940s and 1950s.

The tone is full, but smooth and refined, and the overall visual effect of this set is elegant and distinctive. Ongoing research is being conducted on this set.

THIS SET NOT CURRENTLY OFFERED FOR SALE.


 

Donald MacPhee drones Drone slides Stocks Bells
Drone caps Drone bottoms Chanter sole, caps from the side Ferrules
Chanter sole top Tenor slides  
 

 

Robertson, 1939, full ivory mounts, with original chanter
1939 Robertson full ivory with original chanter


SOLD - This iconic Robertson set displays all the classic Robertson traits, including the massive mushroom-shaped projecting mounts, square bells and robust, rich, steady sound.

The previous owner knew the history of these pipes and dated them to 1939, and the pattern of scribe lines on the ferrules would attest to 1930s manufacture.

The pipes are in superb condition with no replacement pieces or cracks, and the finish is original. The set comes with its original chanter.

Robertson is one of the most consistent makers I know of, both in terms of manufacturing standards and tone. They are easy to reed, and produce an exemplary tone with great chanter blend. If you're looking for a classic full-ivory Robertson bagpipe, you won't do better than this one.



 

Robertson drones, end view
Robertson 1939 side view
Robertson drones, bottom view
Tenor drone ferrules, slides, projecting mounts
Bells, drone tops Ivory caps
Stocks
Wood, combing close-up

 

R. G. Lawrie, 1920s, ivory, nickel
1920s Lawrie


SOLD - Most Lawries of this ilk from the 1920s are in ebony, but this set is blackwood. As such, the drones are crack-free, but for one invisible repair to the tuning pin on the bass mid-joint.

The ivory is in great shape except for some minor staining, and the nickel ferrules are free of dings and dents.

The set has been refinished. The drones display the usual full and steady tone Lawries from this era are famous for. They played beautifully with both Ezeedrone reeds and Cannings, so they will certainly take a wide variety of drone reeds. They locked into tune nicely with both makes. If you're looking for a very affordable instrument with the same tone of high-end vintage Lawries, this may be your set....

 

Lawrie, 1920s, ivory and nickel
circa 1920s Lawries
Lawrie drones, 1920s
Lawrie tenor drones
Bells, drone tops Ivory caps
Stocks
Wood and combing close-up

 

Hendersons, pre-WW1, ebony, full ivory
Henderson, circa 1910-15


SOLD - This is one of the earliest Henderson sets we've had on the site. The mounts, profiles and ivory patina suggest they are pre-WW1, likely 1910-1915 vintage.

All pieces are original except the blowstick, which has been replaced with a replica stick and the original mount. The pipes were refurbished and refinished by David Naill & Company just before I acquired them. There is some staining in the ivory and the odd wood chip typical of 100-year-old instruments.

There is not much more to say about this set. It is as fine a set of ivory-mounted classic vintage Hendersons as you'll find. Tonally they are top-drawer: robust and steady, with a locked-in seamlessness unique to Henderson.



 

Henderson drones Henderson drones, side view Henderson drones, bottom view Bells, drone tops
Tenor drones - ferrules,slides, projecting mounts Ivory caps Stocks Wood and combing close-up

 

Henderson, 1912, cocuswood, engraved silver, ivory
Circa 1912 Henderson, cocuswood


SOLD - I acquired this Henderson set as "1920s" era, the previous owner having gone on various estimates from previous owners. However, the fact that the pipes are cocuswood suggests that the 1912 hallmark on the plain silver slides could in fact date the pipes.

The silver ferrules are engraved, though none are closed at the bottom. Oddly, the silver ferrule on the bass top lacks a bead wire, though it is almost certainly original to the rest of the engraved silver. This is barely noticeable, and I only found it as I checked how secure each mount was. The silver cap on the bass has a small dent on the corner.

All pieces are crack-free and original, except the blowpipe, which is not original to the set, but is quite a nice match nonetheless. As you can see in the photo below, the sole may or may not be original. It is not glued to the Henderson chanter as the previous owner had it on a different chanter.

The tone of this set is as good as Hendersons get -- bold, seamless and steady in a way only old cocuswood can give.

The wood was not refinished.



 

Henderson drones, silver and ivory, cocuswood
Henderson drones, side view
Henderson drones, bottom view
Tenor ferrules, slides, projecting mounts
Bells, drone tops Silver drone caps, chanter sole
Stocks
Wood, combing close-up

 

 

 

David Glen, circa 1890s, cocuswood, nickel, with original chanter and extra bass bottom
David Glen, cocsuwood, circa 1890s


SOLD - These old Glen pipes are tonal classics. Though known for their "mellow" sound, David Glen drones in cocuswood are extremely rich in harmonics, steady as a rock, and very air efficient.

This set was likely made in the 1890s and comes with the original ivory-soled chanter. Unusually, for David Glen sets, there is no stamp on either the drones or the chanter, but the pipes appear to have been lightly sanded and refinished at some point, and this often erases the maker's stamp. (Shame on any refurbisher who lets this happen!) The previous owner thought one tenor top might have been from another set from the same period, but I'm hard-pressed to see evidence of that.

The bass drone tunes quite low. This is not something I have ever considered a problem (my MacPhee bass tunes an inch above the mount), but the previous owner had a matching replica bass bottom made in stained mopane but with a narrower bore so that the bass would tune higher. Both pieces work very well.

These old cocuswood pipes have a visual appeal all their own, and David Glen's attention to the details of craftsmanship and the nuances of tone make them classics


 


 

Glen drones
Glens in cocuswood, circa 1890s
Bottom view of Glen drones
Drone ferrules, slides, button mounts
Bells and drone tops
Drone caps
Stocks
Wood and combing close-up

 



 

Duncan MacDougall, Aberfeldy (stamped), in ebony, full ivory, circa 1890s
Duncan MacDougall, Aberfeldy


SOLD - This set is stamped "Dn MacDougall Aberfeldy" under the projecting mount on the bass bottom, dating the set to between 1888 and 1898. The pipes are ebony with what appear to be elephant ivory mounts, though the bushes display the translucence of marine ivory.

The finish is superb, suggesting they have been refinished in recent times. The chanter stock had a hairline crack that has been invisible whipped. There are no other visible cracks in the pipes.

There are several small chips in the ivory. On the upper projecting mount on the bass bottom in particular there is a chattering patch for an inch or so on each side of the mount, like it got sandwiched between something abrasive. It's more apparent to the hand than the eye.

The blowstick is quite short, and with the longest mouthpiece will only extend to 9.5." A longer poly Walsh extendable with an imitation ivory mount that matches quite well can be provided if a longer blowpipe is needed.

The pipes are quite bold, even by MacDougall standards. They are steady and seamless with a great bass. With a set of Canning reeds the tenors tuned just below the hemp. This 120-year-old MacDougall set is really a lovely find.



 

MacDougall ebony drones
Duncan MacDougall circa 1890
Duncan MacDougall drones, bottom view
Tenor ferrules, slides, projecting mounts
Bells, drone tops Stocks
Ivory drone caps
Wood and combing close-up

 

 

Atherton, 2011, MacDougall bores, engraved silver ferrules, ivory ring caps
Dave Atherton, 2011


SOLD - This Atherton set was made in 2011 of blackwood, with engraved silver ferrules, legal ivory ring caps and blackwood projecting mounts.

They are in pristine condition and feature Dave's brass-lined blowpipe. The zoomorphic silver pattern is elegant and beautifully excecuted. The reclaimed ivory is of exceptional quality.

Dave Atherton captured the Duncan MacDougall sound better than any other reproduction maker, then retired from bagpipe making with around 170 sets to his credit. This is one of his less common designs, #50 on Dave's website gallery.

The tone is bold and rich, with a big, dominating bass sound, and great chanter blend.



 

Atherton drones, end view
Atherton drones, side view
Atherton drones, bottom view
Atherton tenor drone ferrules, slides, blackwood projecting mounts
Drone tops, bells Ivory ring caps
Stocks
Wood, combing close-up

 

Robertson, silver and ivory, circa 1962, with original chanter and practice chanter
Robertson, circa 1962


SOLD - These Robertsons were thought to have been purchased new in 1962. They are in superb condition and come with the original chanter and sole, as well as the original owner's ivory-mounted Robertson practice chanter.

This set was owned by a gentleman whose wife owned a set of Robertsons as well. One of the sets was much, much older. At some point it's possible that a couple of the pieces got switched around. The silver ferrule on one tenor stock is the same pattern, but much older, though the stock appears to be original. The bass stock is a Robertson, but with a tapered bore typical of older Robertsons. However, the silver ferrule on the bass is orignal to the set. Suffice to say that all parts are Robertson and the set suffers no tonal or visual ill effects from the switcharoo!

The pipes have been refinished and the ivory and silver are all in immaculate condition. The pipes play with typically bold Robertson timbre -- rich, steady and with a dominant bass sound.

This is really a gorgeous and exceptional pipe, free of cracks or blemishes, though missing the original engraved mouthpiece and ivory bulb.

 



 

Robertson silver and ivory, circa 1962
Robertson, circa 1962
Robertson drones, chanter, practice chanter
Robertson tenor drones
Bells, drone tops Silver caps, chanter sole
Robertson stocks
Close-up of wood, combing

 

Atherton, 2011, MacDougall bores, engraved silver ferrules, ivory ring caps
Dave Atherton, 2011


SOLD - This Atherton set was made in 2011 of blackwood, with engraved silver ferrules, legal ivory ring caps and blackwood projecting mounts.

They are in pristine condition and feature Dave's brass-lined blowpipe. The zoomorphic silver pattern is elegant and beautifully excecuted. The reclaimed ivory is of exceptional quality.

Dave Atherton captured the Duncan MacDougall sound better than any other reproduction maker, then retired from bagpipe making with around 170 sets to his credit. This is one of his less common designs, #50 on Dave's website gallery.

The tone is bold and rich, with a big, dominating bass sound, and great chanter blend.



 

Atherton drones, end view
Atherton drones, side view
Atherton drones, bottom view
Atherton tenor drone ferrules, slides, blackwood projecting mounts
Drone tops, bells Ivory ring caps
Stocks
Wood, combing close-up

 

Dave Atherton MD model, MacDougall bores, nickel and imitation ivory, 2009
Atherton MD

SOLD - We've had a run of Atherton MD's in the past month. This is the third set to come up, and coincidentally, all three were made in 2009. The photos here are of the first set. The only differences with the current set is that the blowpipe is brass lined blackwood and the chanter stock is blackwood as well. The blowstick stock is poly, as was Dave Atherton's usual practice. The current set also comes with the original Rocket reeds and a nickel-sleeved mouthpiece

Dave Atherton is regarded by many to be the best pipemaker of modern times. His attention to detail, quality materials and perfect workmanship are legendary. He recently quit making pipes to pursue other ventures, leaving a legacy of around 170 sets, mostly reproductions of a Duncan MacDougall cocuswood bagpipe previously owned by the late Roddy MacDonald of Wilmington, Delaware, and now owned by his son Calum.


The tone is bold and steady with Canning tenors and a Kinnaird bass and the pipes are as steady as any set you will find.

This a collector's item that plays beautifully, by a modern maker who will be remembered long after many others are forgotten.



 


 

Atherton drones, bottom view
Atherton drones
Atherton tenor drones
Stocks
Bells, drone tops
Drone caps
Tuning chambers
Wood, combing close-up

 

William Sinclar & Son, silver and ivory, hallmarked 1956
Sinclair, 1956


SOLD - We've had a bit of a run on Sinclair pipes on the site recently, and I'm always pleased to have them. William Sinclair & Sons have been the most long-standing and consistent modern pipemaker on record, dating from the early 1930s and still making superb pipes in Edinburgh today. Their pipes have won major prizes at all levels.

This set is silver and ivory, hallmarked 1956. When I struck this set up and played it, it reminded me very much of the circa 1950 Sinclair set I played all through the 1980s and with which I won a Gold Medal and the Clasp at Inverness -- same silver pattern, same steady, rich, bright sound.

The pipes are original and complete except for the blowpipe stock, which is a new poly-lined, blackwood reproduction with the original silver mount, and the blowpipe bulb, which is an imitation ivory reproduction with the original silver sleeve.

Aside from this, there are no repairs to the drones; even the original finish was in excellent shape and has been left as is. There is some chipping to the wood at the bottoms of the bells, and to the thin ivory ridge below the beads on some projecting mounts, but I would class all of these as normal wear rather than damage.

While the matching silver sole is no longer present, I do have a stock of engraved silver soles and might be able to find one with a pattern close enough to suit.


 

Sinclair drones, hallmarked 1956
Sinclair drones, 1956
Sinclair silver and ivory pipes, hallmarked 1956
Sinclair tenor drone ferrules, slides, projecting mounts
Sinclair bells, drone tops
Sinclair stocks
Silver caps
Wood and combing close-up


Circa 1920s Robertson, silver and ivory, in Brazilwood/cocuswood mix
1920s silver and ivory Robertson


SOLD - This unusual set of Robertsons was long thought to be ebony or cocuswood, and played with a rich and steady tone typical of these woods. However, after the pipes were stripped, the wood was discovered to be a mixture of cocuswood and Pernambuco Brazilwood, a superb musical wood used for the highest quality violin bows. The heartwood of this wood is quite red, thus the different coloured stocks.

The silver is hallmarked 1938. However the wood used, the shapes of the projecting mounts, and the slight ballooning in the shape of the stocks are evidence of a much earlier Robertson set -- likely the 1920s or even earlier.

The bass drone top was cracked and has been whipped. This repair is undetectable. The tuning pin on the middle joint of the bass drone had an immense bore that was almost certainly a replacement. It left the bass slightly unsteady and difficult to reed. A blackwood replacement bored to proper specs eliminated this problem and the pipes play beautifully.

The Robertson drone sound is bold and steady, particularly with this wood, and this distinctive set could be played at the highest levels.


I've never seen another set of old Robertsons quite like this one. This is a superb and unique instrument

Email me about this set.

 

Robertson drones
Circa 1920s Robertson drones
Robertson tenor ferrules, slides, projecting mounts
Robertson stocks
Robertson bells Silver caps
Classic Robertson ivory projecting mount
Wood and combing close-up


David Thow, pre-1916, ebony, ivory, plain silver slides set #1
Pre-1916 David Thow, ebony, full ivory, plain silver slides


SOLD - This is first of twin Thow sets acquired at the same time, and clearly made at the same time.

The Thow pipemaking company made instruments from 1861-1953, starting with the patriarch, John, and followed by his son David, who took the company over when John died in 1879. The chanter is labelled "David Thow, Dundee." David died in 1916, so these pipes could have been made anytime between 1879 and 1916. David and John Thow were superb pipemakers, contempory with the MacDougalls and Centers, and made pipes of comparable quality.

Both sets of pipes appear to have been in storage for quite some time, as evidenced by the very uneven staining on the ivory. The pipes are ebony with full ivory mounts and plain silver slides, unhallmarked.

There were no cracks in the pipes themselves, though the chanter had cracked and has now been restored. The drones required no work at all, not even refinishing. There is some spider-cracking on the ivory, but this is cosmetic, and none of the pieces is threatened. One tenor stock had a hairline crack and has been invisible whipped. As seen in the photos, the cord guides and the sleeved ivory ferrules on the tuning chambers are quite distinctive, the latter being adopted later by William Sinclair.

The pipes are not as full as a MacDougall set, but not as mellow as most David Glen pipes. The tone is rich, refined and steady without being overpowering. The drones tune slightly lower on the pins that some other sets, so this set would be particularly suited to someone playing a flatter pitch. The chanter plays, but would be a challenge to reed consistently.

Thow pipes are rare, and are should be viewed as one of the prime pipes made in their day. Of the twin sets listed here, while both play equally as well, this set has more consistent ivory colouring and would be the most desirable.


 

Thow drones Tenor drone ferrules, slides and projecting mounts Thow projecting mounts Stocks
Tuning chambers Bells, drone tops Caps, chanter sole
Combing


"Hello Jim, the 1890s 'Unknown' set came in on Wednesday.  So finally last night I got to open up the box!  The pictures online can't compare to actually holding the pipes in my hands; they are absolutely stunning. The tone quality is like nothing I've ever heard before, at least not out of a pipe I was playing.  I don't really know how to describe it, maybe its overtones, or balance, but it's simply a "better" tone than that of my modern set. I am very pleased, the look, the sound, the history, it's all amazing.  I can't wait to see what the following weeks brings and I get to play them more and more."
David Flaherty, Erie, PA
(Unknown ebony, full ivory, circa 1890s)

 

Silver and ivory unknown, hallmarked 1962-63
Silver and ivory, 1962-63


SOLD - I acquired this set thinking it was quite a lovely Hardie set. It is hallmarked 1962-63 and all pieces are original except for the blowstick, which appears to be an older Lawrie.

When I struck the pipes up to try them, I was absolutely blown away by the tone: they were big, full, rich and just filled the room. "Hendersons!" I thought.

But the visuals didn't say Henderson. I shared pictures with knowledgeable colleagues and all agreed: they look like several prominant makes of the time, but aren't obviously one or the other. The hallmarks give the "PN" engraver:  a common bagpipe engraver in Birmingham, but not the standard Hardie or Henderson silversmith.

I have to leave it at that and just reiterate that the tone of these pipes is remarkable, and the set is beautiful. The original sole is currently on a poly chanter of unknown make. If anyone thinks they can identify this set I'd love to hear from you.

If you're looking for a set of silver and ivories that are stunning both tonally and visually, don't let the lack of a maker's name put you off this set. You could call them "Henderson" and the minute you struck up, everyone would believe you!

 


 

Drones
Tenor drones
Tuning pins
Stocks
Bells
Caps, sole
Wood, combing
 


"Have just taken possesion of the Robertsons.  They are both acoustically and visually stunning.  I have been asked by many people why someone in Scotland would buy a bagpipe, unheard and virtually unseen from the other side of the world.  A difficult question to answer but it definately had to do with the available selelction of quality instruments coupled with an absolute openess and transparcency about the extent and nature of any refurbishment and repair.  Add to that the first class customer service by Jim himself and it all intuitively seemed right. The pipe is singing and I hope it is glad to be back home!"
Stewart Gaudin, Ayshire, Scotland

(cocobola-remounted 1940s Robertsons)
 

Grainger and Campbell, circa early 1960s, remounted in cocobola,
with original practice chanter
Grainger and Campbell, 1960s, cocobola mounts


SOLD - This complete set of Grainger & Campbell pipes dates from the early 1960s, and comes with the original pipe chanter and practice chanter.

The set is in great shape, but was mounted in pumpkin-orange imitation ivory, which has been replaced with cocobola mounts modelled after the Grainger originals.

The tuning pin of the middle joint of the bass drone was broken and has been replaced. Hairline cracks in the bass top and one tenor top have been sealed.

The set has a full sound, quite rich, with a robust bass. They were steady with the first set of reeds used. The chanter and the practice chanter are both in good condition and will go well with modern reeds.

According to Jeannie Campbell's book "Highland Bagpipe Makers" (an invaluable resource), Grainger & Campbell made pipes in Glasgow from 1946-1989 after taking over the Duncan MacRae shop. During the 1960s and early 1970s, premier pipers Donald MacLeod and John MacFadyen were very involved in the firm. I remember as a young piper during these days not being very impressed with "modern" pipemakers' pipes -- except for Graingers, which I'd heard played by several good piobaireachd players on the Ontario solo circuit.

 



 

Grainger and Campbell drones Grainger tenor drones Tenor drone projecting mounts Stocks
Bells, drone tops Caps Chanter soles
Wood close-up

"I will take great care with this amazing set of pipes and I hope that our piping paths will cross in the future. If I will ever be so lucky with my financial means, I would look no further than your website for another great set of vintage bagpipes!"
Aaron Yeung, Hong Kong

R.G. Lawrie, hallmarked 1900, in ebony, silver and ivory
1900 Hallmarked Lawries, ebony, silver and ivory


SOLD - This silver and ivory R. G. Lawrie set is hallmarked 1900 and is in remarkable shape for its age. One tenor drone bottom was replaced many years ago by Charley Kron, ivory and all. It is a nearly perfect replacment, and the ivory has aged nicely so that it is very close to an ideal blend with the older ivory. The mouthpiece bulb is not original. These rarely survive. Pictured is an imitation ivory replacement that is just about perfect.

The other tenor drone top had a hairline crack that has been whipped and is completely invisible. Some of the ivory projecting mount plates show spider lines typical of old ivory.

The wood has a few nicks and chips commensurate with 113 years of age. The pipes were stripped and refinished.

The set plays beautifully -- steady, big, rich, and with a seamless bass/tenor blend typical of the old Lawrie and Henderson sets. Despite the replacement piece -- executed by one of the great modern pipemakers -- this set remains classic Lawrie from the firm's golden age.



 


 

Lawrie ebony drones, 1900
1900 Lawrie Drones
Tenor drone ferrules, slides, projecting mounts
Lawrie stocks
Stock ferrule showing hallmark
Bells and drone tops
Silver drone caps
Wood and combing close-up


"As we both know, these pipes were not inexpensive, yet your reputation, attention to detail and friendly demeanor created trust and confidence in the process. I could not imagine making this type of purchase without your assistance and quiet assurance. Your customer service was impeccable; truly outstanding."
Gregg Sylvester, Wilmington, Deleware

 

J & R Glen, circa 1880, cocuswood, ivory, button mounts
J & R Glen, circa 1880, cocuswood, ivory


SOLD -  This unassuming looking instrument was one of the more exciting suprises of my career. I purchased them as a David Glen set, which I duly thought they were. I reeded them, plugged them into my own stocks and played them, as I do all sets here. I expected the rich but "mellow" (quieter) sound David Glen's pipes are renown for. Instead, I was greeted with an incredibly robust set of drones. I was shocked and taken with them immediately, both by their rich volume and blend with the chanter, as well as their incredible steadiness. 

Further research finally determined them -- most likely -- to have been made by the Edinburgh firm of J & R Glen, likely around 1880.

John and Robert Glen were the sons of Thomas Glen. Thomas was the brother of Alexander, who was David's father. It was with Thomas and Alexander that the Glen family branched into two very different firms, each with their distinct strengths, but with one common element:  exceptional craftsmanship. Thomas Glen's pipes were very much on a par with, Duncan MacDougall's. They are rare and high prized by knowledgeable vintage aficionados. John and Robert also made exceptional pipes, quite different from their cousin David. John and Robert took over Thomas's firm in 1867, while David took over Alexander's in 1873.

After John and Robert died (in 1904 and 1911 respectively) the company continued, but the pipes of that time and later never exhibited the robust and remarkble tonal quality of the earlier J & R sets.

When one tenor stock cracked shortly after I acquired these pipes, I replaced all three drone stocks with blackwood Glen stocks that date from roughly the same period.

This was my #1 bagpipe until I acquired the Donald MacPhee silver and ivory set also shown on this page.  So taken was I with its quality that McGillivray Piping now produces a reproduction of this instrument in collaboration with Thomas Doucet of Thomas Pipe Works.

Glen drones Tenor drone ferrules, slides, button mounts Stocks Bells, drone tops
Drone caps Tuning chambers Stock bottoms Wood, combing


Duncan MacDougall, Breadalbane, circa 1870s-80s, ebony, ivory, engraved silver
Duncan MacDougall, Breadalbane

SOLD - I've only seen one other MacDougall bagpipe configured quite like this one. It was thought that the metal mounts might be a retrofit, but a careful examination indicates they are original. It is in keeping with Duncan MacDougall's trend before the 1890s of virtually custom-building every bagpipe.

The set is ebony and mounted in ivory and engraved silver. The tuning chambers are fitted with brass slides, a practice particularly associated with the MacDougall family, though it was done by others as well.

The stamp "Dn McDougall Breadalbane" appears in three places: on the top and bottom of the chanter stick and on the top of the bass drone bottom joint, just below the ivory projecting mount. Breadalbane was the MacDougall home before the family moved to Aberfeldy, and dates the pipes between 1873 and 1887.

As is often the case with ebony pipes that contain brass inserts, each drone piece was cracked adjacent to the brass insert. As is also the case, none of the cracks leaked, and the pipes were being played in this condition by the owner on the isle of Skye until fairly recently with no issues. However, all cracks have been sealed and invisible whipped by Dunbar Bagpipes. The repairs are marvellous, as seen in the bottom right photo where the two left drone pieces have been repaired, while the right piece has not. You would be hard-pressed to detect the whipped pieces in the photos below without first knowing they were there. The blowpipe stock is a poly-lined blackwood replica. The engraving on the metal sleeve on the blowpipe does not match the rest of the pipes.

The tone is full (not quite Henderson full) and rich, with a fabulous, rich bass and a steadiness typical of the great old MacDougalls. Tuning positions are excellent.

This set has now been reprodcued as "The Breadalbane" offered by McGillivray Piping as part of the attractive, toneful and affordable "Victorian Line" of nineteenth-century replicas. The Breadalbane reproductions ae made by Dunbar Bagpipe Maker to the exact specifications of this set. The previous owner of this set was well known piper Allan Beaton of London/Skye, who played them for 30 years until 2012.

 

Duncan MacDougall drones, circa 1890s Tenor slides, ferrules MacDougall stocks MacDougall bells, drone tops
Tenor drone projecting mounts Bottom joint projecting mounts Drone caps, chanter sole Drone ferrules
Stamp, chanter bottom Brass inserts Stock bottoms Wood close-up
 

"The vintage pipes have arrived! I have unwrapped them and they seem to be in perfect condition. I also assembled them and played them for a few seconds. Everything is working perfectly and you seem to have done a splendid job of setting them up."
Tommy Farnqvist, Linkoping, Sweden
(1911-1919 Gillander/MacDougalls)

Silver and ivory Grainger and Campbell, hallmarked 1977, with John Kidd bore and stock alterations
Grainger and Campbell, 1977, John Kidd alterations


SOLD - This set of Grainger and Campbell silver and ivories are hallmarked as having been made in 1977 and are in pristine condition.

This firm took over the Duncan  MacRae shop in Glasgow in 1946, and made pipes until 1989. Both Donald MacLeod and John MacFadyen were involved with the firm in the 1960s and 1970s and their influence on the instruments resulted in a well respected bagpipe being made for many years.

The sound is quite full, and might best be described as being similar to modern Naill pipes, though the bass in this set is particularly full.

This set had extra attention paid to it when the last owner sent them to John Kidd, an American refurbisher and student of the tonal properties of columns. John had a well-earned reputation for improving the tone of pipes by flaring stock bottoms, tuing pins and adjusting bores so that they matched one another perfectly within the bagpipe. The previous owner reports: "Once I put some playing time on them, I had John Kidd match the tenor drones, and had him do his famous flaring of the stocks and tapering of the joints. The tone really locked in after these modifications."


The finish on the pipes was superb when I received them and has not been touched. There is some dark staining on a portion of two of the lower projecting mounts. The original silver sole had been installed onto a Kron Medallist blackwood solo chanter. The previous owner found the blowpipe too long and had John Kidd provide a cast silver replacement. The original silver and ivory mouthpiece and Grainger chanter are provided with the pipes. This is really a beautiful silver and ivory set, and the tonal alterations have upgraded its sound to "exceptional."

Invoices documenting Mr. Kidd's work are provided. Sad to report that John Kidd passed away in October this year.

 


 

Grainger silver and ivory drones
Grainger tenor drone ferrules, slides, projecting mounts
Grainger stocks
Bells
Silver drone caps, chanter sole
John Kidd flared stock bores
Wood combing
 

 

I'm pretty floored by this beautiful set!!!!  The fantastic details on the Lawries surprised me, but even more so with this set. My Lord, Jim!!!  Unreal... "
Victor Estorga, El Paso, Texas
(circa 1850 William Gunn)

Atherton MD, 2009, nickel, imitation ivory
2009 Athertons


SOLD - Dave Atherton is regarded by many to be the best pipemaker of modern times. His attention to detail, quality materials and perfectist workmanship were obsessive. He recently quit making pipes to pursue other ventures, leaving a legacy of around 170 sets, mostly reproductions of a Duncan MacDougall cocuswood bagpipe previously owned by the late Roddy MacDonald of Wilmington, Delaware, and now owned by his son Calum.

This set was made in 2009 and has hardly been played. It is in absolutely pristine, virtually as-new condition. The mounts are nickel and imitation ivory. The blowstick and blowstick stock are poly.

The tone is bold and steady with Canning tenors and a Kinnaird bass and the pipes are as steady as any set you will find.

Consider this a collector's item that plays beautifully, by a modern maker who will be remembered long after many others are forgotten.


 


 


 

Atherton drones
Atherton drones
Tenor drones
Bells
Stocks
Drone caps
Drone chambers
Wood, combing


Wm. Sinclair & Son, full silver, hallmarked 1972
1972 Sinclair, full silver


SOLD - Here is a rare full silver set of pipes made by the Edinburgh firm of William Sinclair and Son. The pipes are hallmarked 1972.

William Sinclair started business in 1931 and still operates today. They have gained a well-earned reputation as the best and most consistent modern pipemaker. This set was likely made by William Sinclair junior. The tone is full and I was very impressed by how steady they were from the second I pulled the middle tenor into tune. This is a great high-end Sinclair set that comes with the original Sinclair chanter and silver sole.

The pipes did not need refinishing. The tenor stocks have had each had a very minor hairline crack sealed as a proactive setup. It was only when I was hemping the pipes that I realized the blowstick is a matching poly replacement, thought the projecting mount is original. The bass stock appears to be a replacement, but still has the original ferrule. The only deficiency in the set otherwise is that there is no full silver mouthpiece and bulb, though it's possible the set was not made with one.

A nice attribute of this set is that the silver projecting mounts are formed, not solid, so the set is not much heavier than a standard silver and ivory set.

The are lots of of Sinclair bagpipe devotees out there, and if you're one of them you'll hardly do better than this set.


 

Sinclair drones
Silver projecting mounts showing hallmarks
Tenor ferrules, slides, projecting mounts
Bells, drone tops
Stocks
Silver caps, chanter sole
Chanter sole
Wood, combing


1952 R. G. Hardie, full ivory
Full ivory Hardie, 1952


SOLD - A gem of a man, and one of the great piping icons of the last 75 years, Bob Hardie made pipes beginning in 1950, and his company was one of the most prolific in the 20th century. He was an excellent craftsman, and the quality and seasoning of the wood the company used is exemplified by how many sets today still have perfectly true tuning chambers that don't bind on the hemp.

This bagpipe had one owner who purchased it new in 1952. One tenor top had a hairline crack that has been stopped in its tracks, and the bagpipe has been refinished. The blowpipe appears to be a Lawrie with an ivory mount, and while it's not a perfect match, neither is it distracting.

Hardie pipes are known for their subdued tone, a "mellow" sound many pipers favour. Elsewhere on this page, you will see Hardie pipes that have been rebored to Henderson specs, but the tone of this set was surprisingly rich and buzzy -- much like some old Glen sets -- so these bores have been left alone. Hardie pipes are well known for being steady and easy to reed.

The ivory is in absolutely immaculate condition, the tuning chambers are perfect, and the pipe is attractive and tuneful.

 


 

Hardie drones Hardie projecting mounts Ivory caps Wood, combing
Drone ferrules, slides, projecting mounts Drone bells Stocks
 


Circa 1960s R. G. Lawrie in blackwood, imitation ivory, nickel
Lawries, 1960s

SOLD - Though not the typical high-end vintage fare usually offered on this page, this set came to me out of the blue in good condition and played nicely, so I thought I would offer it as a very affordable 'semi-vintage' set. The set was likely made in the 1960s, and while some might call that vintage, to me, a set of pipes is not vintage unless it's older than me!

This Lawrie set is typical of the firm's offerings in the 1960s and 1970s, with the most recognizable feature being the drone ferrules with a thick bead an no scribe lines. The nickel ferrules on the stocks only are unusual, but the stocks appear to be original. They add a nice bit of variety to the appearance of the pipes. The drone bushes are ivory, which is quite common among imitation ivory pipes prior to the 1970s. I have no idea why they put ivory bushes on imitation ivory pipes, but you see it all the time.

This set is all original except for the blowpipe and mount, which were missing. No other work was required. The finish is original.

Though not the bold and magical sound of the true vintage Lawries made prior to the mid-1950s, the tone from these drones is nonetheless full and steady:  a solid, work-a-day pipe, easily reeded and nicely made with well seasoned wood.


 

Lawrie drones Tenor slides, ferrules, projecting mounts Bells
Stocks Caps Wood and combing


Henderson, cocuswood, silver and ivory, circa 1890s
Cocuswood Hendersons, circa 1890s


SOLD - This is one of the old sets of Hendersons we've had on the vintage page.

The pipes are cocuswood, mounted in ivory and elegantly engraved silver. The silver is not hallmarked, and the silver ferrules have seams, both evidence of the pipes having been made around or before the turn of the century.

The engraving is light and tasteful, and the silver shines up beautifully. The ivory is in spectacular shape.

The tone is vintage Henderson -- full, rich, and, unlike the ferrules, seamless.

There were hairine cracks in one tenor top, one tenor stock, the blowstick stock, and at the very bottom of the bass stock. These have been invisible whipped. Cocuswood is more difficult to match than blackwood or ebony, so the recombed sections show the repairs slightly, though I like to think it has been tastefully done.

The original chanter stock was too badly split to salvage, so the mount was put on a blackwood replica stock. The seam on one tenor ferrule has separated slightly, but this is visible only up close.

This is a pretty special set. Perhaps that should go without saying.

 


 

1890s cocuswood Henderson
Silver and ivory cocuswood Henderson
Henderson drones, silver and ivory
Henderson tenor drone
Bells, drone tops
Henderson stocks
Engraved silver caps
Wood, combing


Henry Starck, full ivory, 1923
Starcks, full ivory, 1923


SOLD - Henry Starck was a descendant of a long line of 19th-century German woodwind makers. He emigrated to London in the 1880s where the Queen's Piper, William Ross, convinced him to begin making pipes for him. Making bagpipes proved lucrative, and several generations of Starcks continued the business into the 1960s, still using Ross's name on their pipes.

Henry and his son, also Henry, were marvellous makers, and pipemakers today still hold Starck pipes up as icons of craftsmanship. Listeners are often surprised to discover that a full and rich set of Henderson-like pipes they are hearing is in fact a Starck.

This set is blackwood, mounted in full ivory. According to a previous owner who knows the history, they were made in 1923. The pipes are in pristine condition, and the ivory is immaculate. They were likely refinished at some point, but there is no evidence of a crack or repair anywhere. The two tenors don't appear perfectly identical. They certainly look like the same maker from the same time period. The reedseats were threaded at some point in the recent past.

Each tuning pin is stamped "H. Starck, Late W. Ross, London." The stamps are visible in some of the photos.

The tone of these pipes is big and buzzy -- Starck hallmarks. They are steady. They tune in the right places. They are superb.


 


 

Starck drones
Starck drones, 1923
Drones from bottom
Tenor drones showing stamp
Bells, drone tops
Ivory caps
Stocks
Wood, combing


David Thow, pre-1916, ebony, ivory, plain silver slides, set #2
Thow, ebony, full ivory


SOLD - The Thow pipemaking company made instruments from 1861-1953, starting with the patriarch, John, and followed by his son David, who took the company over when John died in 1879. The chanter is labelled "David Thow, Dundee." David died in 1916, so these pipes could have been made anytime between 1879 and 1916. David and John Thow were superb pipemakers, contempory with the MacDougalls and Centers, and made pipes of comparable quality.

These pipes have been in storage for who knows how long, as evidenced by the very uneven staining on the ivory. The pipes are ebony with full ivory mounts and plain silver slides, unhallmarked.

There were no cracks in the pipes themselves, though the chanter had been broken and primitively whipped. This has been completely restored, but the drones required no work at all, not even refinishing. There is some spider-cracking on the ivory, but this is cosmetic, and none of the pieces is threatened. As seen in the photos, the cord guides and the sleeved ivory ferrules on the tuning chambers are quite distinctive, the latter being adopted by William Sinclair.

The pipes are not as full as a MacDougall set, but not as mellow as most David Glen pipes. The tone is rich, refined and steady without being overpowering. The drones tune slightly lower on the pins that some other sets, so this set would be particularly suited to someone playing a flatter pitch. The chanter plays, but would be a challenge to reed consistently.

Thow pipes are rare, and are should be viewed as one of the prime pipes made in their day.


 

Thow drones, ebony Tenor ferrule, slide, projecting mount Thow projecting mounts Thow stocks
Bells, drone tops Caps and ivory chanter sole Tuning chambers Wood and combing
 


Silver and ivory R. G Hardie, hallmarked 1967
Hardie silver and ivory, 1962


SOLD - This Hardie set was made in 1967 and came to me in excellent shape, so I have left the original finish intact. Though there was no original chanter sole, all other pieces, including the mouthpiece bulb and sleeve, are original

This set was fairly robust as Hardie pipes go. While I find Hardie pipes a bit "mellow" for my taste, I quite liked this set. It was certainly not a booming old Lawrie, but it was rich and locked nicely into tune.

There are a couple of very minor dings in the silver that can just be seen in the photos of the caps, and a couple of scuffs in the finish, so I've tried to make this set as affordable as possible for someone who might like a nice silver and ivory set without the usual price tag. I often find Hardie sets like this suit adult pipers looking for an attractive instrument that is easy to reed, easy to tune, and steady.

The silver pattern on this set is quite unusual for Hardie pipes: hand engraved rather than machine.


 



 

Hardie drones
Hardie drone tops, bells
Tenor drones
Stocks
Stock ferrules, lower projecting mounts
Drone caps
Mouthpiece and bulb
Wood, combing



 

Circa 1890s, unknown ebony, ivory mounts, new engraved silver slides
Unknown ebony, circa 1910's, ivory, new engraved slides


SOLD - This set is a bit mysterious and with a rich, deep tone. They are ebony, and mounted in full ivory. The profiles and the ivory patina, slim stocks and slender beads suggest a date in the 1890s. The original slides were plain silver but badly dented and marked, so they have been replaced by new engraved slides with a Runic pattern.

A visible crack in the bass top has been invisible whipped and is undetectable. A hairline crack in on tenor top was similarly whipped, as was the chanter stock. The blowpipe stock is new and poly lined. The ferrule on the chanter stock was missing, so a similar ivory ferrule was found, and the bead turned down slightly to match. There is a crack in the blowpipe ferrule that has been crudely filled, but left in order not to damage the mount.

The set has some Henderson and Lawrie visual characteristics, but the tone is not as full as these makes. These are not quiet pipes but the tone and steadiness is exceptional, and typical of old ebony pipes in the Center or MacDougall tradition.

The pipes have been refinished. There is lots of character and tonal excellence in this set. They have everything -- except a name.

 


 

Ebony drones Tenor slides, ferrules, promounts Stocks
Bells Caps Combing


Circa 1920s Lawrie, ebony, full ivory, engraved silver slides
Full ivory Lawries, circa 1920s, engraved silver slides


SOLD - This set of circa 1920s Lawries in ebony has full ivory mounts and engraved Sterling silver tuning slides. Though the slides display the typical "RGL" maker's mark, there are no date marks. However, the previous owner had the pipes pegged at the 1920s, and the use of ebony and the patina of the ivory along with a few spider lines on the projecting mounts would easily support this.

The bass top section had a very visible crack that has been sealed and whipped, and while it can still just barely be seen up very close, it will pose no problems. The chanter stock and one tenor stock exhibited hairline cracks and have also been whipped. However, the wood is of exceptional quality and in exceptional condition and all pieces ran true on the lathe. The cracking is very typical of an ebony set of this age -- almost impossible to avoid, but worth the added tonal qualities of ebony.

The blowstick stock is a poly-lined reproduction with the orignal mount. The remaining stocks may or may not be original -- they are ebony and a perfect match to the set -- but the ivory mounts are not original, with three in one style and two slightly different. However, the patina matches the mounts on the drones perfectly, and the overall effect is pretty seamless. The entire set has been refinished.

The tone matches the elegant look of the pipes -- rich and full, though not booming. They are steady, they tune in the right places, and they blend well with the chanter. It's a well used but beautiful set with classic Lawrie tonal character.

 

1920s ebony Lawrie drones Lawrie tenor ferrules, slides, projecting mounts Lawrie stocks Bells, drone tops
Ivory projecting mounts Drone caps Ebony wood, combing
 


Duncan MacDougall,  Edinburgh, circa 1860s, ebony, full ivory
Duncan MacDougall, Edinburgh, c1869


SOLD - This Duncan MacDougall bagpipe is in remarkable condition, given its age. The middle bass drone joint is stamped "D. McDougall Edinr" just below the projecting mount. The "Edinr" is actually upside down below the maker's name, a typical trait of this period. The stamp is clearly visible in the enlarged photo of the upper projecting mounts, bottom left. While it is difficult to know exactly where Duncan MacDougall lived at all times during the 1860s and early 1870s, a bagpipe stamped 'Edinburgh' can generally be thought of as having been made in the mid to late 1860s. This set was in the possession of the previous owner since 1978. Before that, they were part of the estate of Brodie Castle in Forres, Scotland.

The bagpipe is ebony and fully mounted in lovely ivory. All pieces are original except for the blowstick and blowstick stock. The stock has its original ferrule, and the blowstick has an almost perfect replica mount in ivory. You would not guess these pieces are not original without knowing.

As is typical of pipes with brass linings in the drone tuning chambers, hairline cracks have appeared adjacent to them on the tenor drone tops. There is no leakage, and these have been invisible whipped to prevent future problems.

The pipes were refinished by the previous owner.

The tone is classic Duncan. Though it is not a booming sound, the richness, the blend, and the timbre of the bass drone result in a sound that fills the room.

 


 

Duncan MacDougall drones
Tenor drone ferrules, slides, projecting mounts
MacDougall stocks
MacDougall Bells
Upper projecting mounts
Ivory drone caps
Lower projecting mounts
Brass tuning chamber inserts



 

Circa 1960 R. G. Hardie with Henderson bores, full ivory, set #1
c 1960 Hardies, Henderson bores


SOLD - This set of circa 1960 Hardie full-ivories has been rebored with pre-1940s Henderson bores.

Bob Hardie's pipes were well crafted and he used superb wood. They are favoured by pipers wanting a quieter pipe, and as a result aren't as popular as pipes with a fuller sound. I asked the Henderson experts at Dunbar Bagpipes (Jack Dunbar worked at the Henderson shop in the 1940s) to rebore these Hardies according to the old Henderson specs. Only the internal specs of the bells were untouched. The bass bottom joint is a slightly smaller diameter than Henderson so it tunes a bit higher on the pin. The result has been as I'd hoped, with a much fuller drone sound, but still steady and easy to reed.

The set is mounted in full ivory that is in excellent shape but for a bit of staining and chipping on the caps. The sticks were were excellent condition and have been refinished. The blowpipe was missing, so a replica was made in poly-lined blackwood with an old matching ivory mount.

I'm pleased with how this rebore experiment has turned out, and will replicate it with other Hardie sets. It matches excellent aged wood with the resonating Henderson internal specifications.


 

Hardie Drones, Henderson bores Tenor ferrules, slides, projecting mounts Stocks
Bells Ivory caps Wood, combing


Robertson, circa 1940, ebony and blackwood, ivory and nickel
Robertson, ebony and blackwood, nickel and ivory


SOLD - This is an interesting James Robertson set, in that it is a mix of ebony and blackwood, suggesting a date of manufacture of around 1940 or a bit earlier. The ivory projecting mounts are Robertson's distinctive design; the ferrules are nickel. The chanter is likely original to the set.

The bass and blowpipe stock match the set, while the chanter and tenor stocks may be replacements, though not readily apparent to the untrained eye.

All other pieces are original. There are no cracks or repairs, and just a couple of tiny age chips in the ivory. The pipes have been refinished.

The sound is typical of Robertson consistency: big, bold and steady.



 

Robertson drones Tenor drones Ivory projecting mounts Stocks
Bells Caps Chanter sole
 Combing


WW1-era Lawries, ebony, full ivory
WW1 era Lawries in ebony, ivory


SOLD - What I was struck by more than anything with these pipes was the steadiness. The first set of reeds I tried in them locked in right away, and even though the chanter reed sharpened up and I eased off to compensate, the drones stayed locked. The tone was full and smooth: typical Lawrie/Henderson of this vintage.

The pipes are lovely dark ebony that has been beautifully refinished. The ivory is lovely, though slightly stained and spider-lined here and there. It is in good condition but for one chip on the blowpipe projecting mount. The chanter stock had slight a slight crack that became apparent after the finish was removed, and has been invisible whipped.
The ivory ferrule from the chanter stock was missing. Another old ivory Lawrie ferrule has been installed to replace it.

There is not much more to say about this set. It is an elegant full ivory set in ebony, beautifully restored by Dunbar Bagpipe Makers. The sound and steadiness would win prizes at the highest levels, or suit the hobby piper who just wants trouble-free tone!

 


 

Ebony Lawrie drones Tenor slides, ferrules. projecting mounts Bells Combing, wood close-up
Stocks Ivory caps Stock projecting mounts  


Circa 1900 John Center, ebony, ivory mounts, nickel ferrules
Ebony Center circa 1900


SOLD - John Center was initially a professional photographer with a keen eye who began making pipes in Edinburgh in 1869. His son James joined him in the business later. The family moved to Melbourne, Australia in 1908 where they continued to make pipes. John died in 1913, and James died a young man in 1919 of the Spanish flu epidemic. A leading player, Jimmy Center was commemorated in Willie Ross's superb jig, "Center's Bonnet."

John Center was renown for his workmanship and refined sound. This set is typical, with meticulous turning, lovely ivory mounts, and a tone which is steady and seamless, but not booming -- not as quiet as David Glen's pipes, and not quite as big as Duncan MacDougall's best sets, but similar in timbre and steadiness.

All drone pieces in this set are in excellent condition. The bass stock had fine cracks that have been sealed and invisible whipped. The blowstick stock is a reproduction in blackwood with a poly lining and the original mount. The blowpipe appears to be an old Henderson, and the chanter stock is an old replacement with a slightly different combing pattern.

This is a pleasing old piece of history, both aesthetically and tonally.

Center drones Center ferrules, slides, projecting mounts Stocks Drones tops, bells
Bottom projecting mounts Ivory caps Wood, combing
 


Dave Atherton "MD" MacDougall reproduction, 2012, blackwood, full holly-mounted, engraved silver slides
Dave Atherton, 2012, blackwood, holly, silver slides


SOLD - With all due respect to the rest of today's craftsmen, Dave Atherton was the finest modern bagpipe maker I've ever seen. His acoustical knowledge and his obsessive attention to detail resulted in a remarkable instrument that holds its own against some of the great vintage bagpipes. His brief career, which ended this past summer for personal reasons, has left around 170 instruments worldwide that have immediately become collectors' items.

Though he made many instruments for C. E. Kron during the early 2000s, the Duncan MacDougall reproduction he created when he was in business for himself in Chicago is his masterpiece. I was fortunate enough to work closely with Dave during the development of this model and can attest to the care and knowledge that went into every set. This set, made this year in African blackwood with full holly mounts and engraved silver slides, is a superb example of his work.

The blowpipe stock is poly (as was Dave's style) and the blowpipe is a brass-lined, blackwood stick.
 
The tone of this set is full and all-encompassing. It is more aggressive than Henderson pipes, and belies the myth that Duncan MacDougall pipes were subdued, a myth perhaps resulting from so many David Glen sets being mis-identified as MacDougalls, likely for fraudulent reasons.

As an aside, when I played in the Spirit of Scotland Pipe Band at the World Pipe Band Championship in 2008, I played an early Atherton MD set. The band's drone tuners -- both prominent pipers -- came to me at one point asking what drones I was playing. I told them and they remarked that they were the steadiest in the band and the most vibrant to the touch. "I can feel the wood shaking in my hands as I'm tuning," said one. I thought that was a remarkable thing to hear, given the calibre of player and bagpipes in that remarkable band.

 


 

Atherton drones
Atherton ferrules, silver slides
Stocks
Bells, drone tops
Bottom projecting mounts
Caps
Wood, combing close-up
 


Suspected William Gunn, circa 1850, cocuswood, full ivory
Gunn circa 1850s


SOLD - William Gunn lived from 1789 to 1867 and, according to Jeannie Campbell, he made pipes in Edinburgh from 1834 to 1866. He was a competing piper and published The Caledonian Repository of Bagpipe Music in Edinburgh in 1848, a significant book republished by the National Piping Centre quite recenlty. He also composed the piobaireachd "The Gunn's Salute," which was published by William Ross and has been set for the piobiareachd competitions at Oban and Inverness in recent years.

This gorgeous cocuswood and ivory set was purchased as a Donald MacDonald set, but after consulting several expert colleagues, the possibility of Gunn as the maker was raised. The barely visible remnants of a stamp on one tuning pin clearly show a "W" at the start of the first line -- and not much else -- confirming the possibility that William Gunn may be the maker.

The pipes have been meticulously refurbished at some point in recent decades. The wood may have been slightly sanded to remove imperfections, and the ivory lightly buffed. All pieces are original, except for the bass ring, which has just been replaced with an ivory reproduction. One projecting mount has at some point been chipped, but the original piece has been glued back in place. This and a small gap in one other ring are the only imperfections on the set.

UPDATE: In late June and early July I spent three weeks playing these pipes with a variety of reeds and found them tonally exceptional: robust, rich and buzzy, and extremely steady, very much in the Duncan MacDougall tradition. It is tonally almost identical to my #2 bagpipe, a cocuswood J&R Glen set circa 1870s (soon to be pictured on this page), so I have decided to pass this one on. My #1 bagpipe remains the silver and ivory Donald MacPhee set, also shown on this page.



 

William Gunn drones Tenor slides Bells, drone tops Drone tuning pins
Drone ferrules Stocks Stock mounts Bells
Caps Tuning chambers Wood, combing
 


1903 Henderson, hallmarked plain silver, ivory
1903 Hendersons, plain silver, ivory


SOLD - This is a tremendous Henderson set, but unusual in that plain silver Hendersons of this era are uncommon.

The pipes are in spectacular shape for their age. One tenor tuning pin had a hairline crack that has been sealed. The original blowpipe bulb had been butchered to create a hack extendable contraption, but the blowpipe stick was able to be perfectly restored. The ivory is nicely aged and in immaculate condition.

The tuning chambers were gently reamed to even up the tuning action and the pipes were stripped and refinished.

The tone is that great old robust, smooth-as-silk Henderson sound with their legendary steadiness and dominant bass. Classic.

This combination of age, tone, condition and character is hard to come by.

 


 

1903 Henderson drones Henderson tenor ferrules, slides, projecting mounts Bottom projecting mounts Henderson stocks
Bells, drone tops Silver drone caps Wood, combing, ivory
 


1979 R. G. Hardie, hallmarked engraved silver, ivory, rebored to Henderson specs
R. G. Hardie, 1979 engraved silver and ivory, rebored to Henderson specs


SOLD - This set of circa 1979 silver and ivory Hardies has been rebored to pre-1940s Henderson bores.

Bob Hardie's pipes were well crafted and he used superb wood. They are known for being steady but quiet, which some pipers prefer. However, in keeping with the current trend toward fuller sounding drones, I asked the Henderson experts at Dunbar Bagpipes (Jack Dunbar worked at the Henderson shop in the 1940s) to rebore these Hardies according to the old Henderson specs. Only the internal specs of the bells were untouched. The bass bottom joint is a slightly smaller diameter than Henderson so it will tune a bit higher on the pin. The result has been a much fuller drone sound, still steady and easy to reed.

This bagpipe is in almost perfect condition, though the blowpipe is new blackwood (poly-lined), with a Lawrie mount turned down slightly to match the Hardie.

Reboring to Henderson specs gave this lovely set a robust and steady Henderson sound -- it's a different bagpipe. Here's your chance to own a large bore silver and ivory bagpipe at a great price.

 


 

Hardie Drones Tenor ferrules, slides, projecting mounts Silver Ivory projecting mounts
Hardie bells Caps Stocks Wood, combing
 


Stamped William Ross (Queen's Piper), in ebony, full ivory, brass inserts, cocuswood chanter
W. Ross stamped, circa 1880s, ebony, full ivory


SOLD - Hot on the heels of the historic silver and ivory Donald MacPhee set shown below is this marvellous set by William Ross, the Queen's Piper. This is another remarkable set that will likely remain part of the permanent collection.

William Ross was a monumental piping figure during the latter half of the 19th-century. He was born in 1823, and died in 1891, having held the position of Queen's Piper to Queen Victoria since Angus Mackay's death in 1854. His 1869 publication of piobaireachd and light music, called "Pipe Music" is one of the most significant collections of the century.

The exact history of his pipemaking business is not clear. He was a very clever businessman and very well-to-do as a result. Jeannie Campbell tells us he made the prize pipe at Inverness from 1873 to 1886. However, it is thought that he was not a turner himself and hired turners to make his pipes for him. From about 1880 onwards, he used Henry Starck, whose family had immigrated to London from Germany many years earlier. This would mark the beginning of the Starck pipemaking business, and the pipes made by the company for the next 30 years would be their best.

After Ross's death, Starck would stamp his pipes "H. Starck/late W. Ross." It is thought that sets stamped only "W. Ross" were the earliest, turned while Ross was actively involved in the business.

Starck was meticulous about stamping his instruments, often in several places, and this set is stamped "W. Ross" on each stock. The distinctive projecting mounts are typical of Starck's wide shapes, though shallower and using a softer, rounded bead rather than the straight cut bead he would use later on. The tuning chambers have brass slides installed.

All pieces appear to be original, though the blowstick is missing. The chanter is cocuswood, and while it may not be original to the set, it too is stamped "W. Ross."

The set had several cracks, only two of which required whipping. The chanter was a mess, but is now immaculate. Kudos to Dunbar Bagpipe Maker for a remarkable restoration of this instrument, which now should have another 100 years of life left in it.

The tone of this set is typical of the earliest Starcks: big, robust and buzzy. They are as steady as a rock and a joy to play and behold.

Ross drones, chanter sole W. Ross slides Stocks Ross bells
Tenor projecting mounts Stock projecting mounts Caps Brass inserts
Ross chanter Chanter sole Combing
 


Unknown ebony set, full ivory, circa 1890s
Unknown ebony pipes circa 1900


SOLD - This set was sold to me by a Scottish pipemaker as an 1880s cocuswood set, "possibly MacDougall." One would expect a pipemaker to know wood, but in fact they are ebony, likely circa 1890s, and, if anything, possibly early Lawries. The Lawrie moniker is an educated guess, by a fellow vintage afficionado who has a great eye for shapes and lines. In fact, the tone is quite similar to a circa-1900 ebony/celluloid Lawrie set that was once owned by Captain John MacLellan and sold on this site a few months ago. The sound is rich and very steady, but not the big, full Lawrie/Henderson sound. If you like a mid-range volume set of drones with old Lawrie quality, this set is a good candidate.

Being ebony, there were some hairline cracks, and, being ebony, I take no chances with these. Ebony does not glue as well as blackwood, so both tenor tops and the blowpipe have been invisible whipped. The ebony stocks have been replaced by blackwood, with the orignal ivory mounts. The ivory mount on the chanter stock was reclaimed from another stock. The blowpipe stock was missing; the new stock is poly lined and has an imitation ivory mount.

This is not an unusual amount of restoration for a pre-1900 ebony set of pipes, and the end result is a distinctive old pipe with a lovely, steady tone. A piobaireachd player would like this set.


 

Unknown ebony drones Tenor drones Stocks Bells
Drone caps Tenor bottoms Tuning pins, projecting mounts Combing, wood


Thow of Dundee, 1909, silver and ivory, ebony
Silver and ivory Thow, Dundee, 1909


SOLD - Here is another set of old ebony pipes that comes to the site with some repaired flaws but a brilliant, steady tone. Made by David Thow of Dundee, the pipes are ebony with silver and ivory mounts. The silver is not hallmarked, but the last owner said he purchased the pipes as having been made in 1909, and the aged look of the ivory and the use of ebony would support that.

John Thow and his son David were remarkable pipemakers in the 50 years on either side of 1900. Their pipes are often mistaken for Gavin MacDougall for various reasons, including the superb tone and the wide cord guides; however, the stylings around the cord guides and on the ivory work on the end caps are distinct Thow traits. Robert Gillanders worked for both MacDougall and Thow (as well as for Center) in the years after 1900, so there are common elements in some of these makers' pipes. For some reason -- perhaps the consistent lack of makers' stamps -- Thow gets short shrift and his pipes are given other well known names, like MacDougall. In short, the three ebony Thow sets on this site at present are gems being sadly ignored for want of a bigger name.

One tenor top on this set was a hack replacement, but both original mounts were in the box, so a replica tenor top has been made in ebony, matching the second original top and using the original mounts. One tenor bottom and the bass stock had hairline cracks, so these were invisible whipped since they are ebony (ebony doesn't glue as reliably as blackwood). The chanter stock is a replacement, and the blowpipe stock was also whipped. The ivory is lovely. The silver is not of the highest grade and the ferrules are open rather than closed, but the overall effect is quite nice.

The drones play beautifully -- steady, robust, and with a wide tuning range that keeps pipes steady.


 

Thow drones Tenor ferrules, slides, projecting mounts Ivory projecting mounts Stock projecting mounts
Thow Bells Ivory caps Stocks Tuning chambers


Circa 1960 R. G. Hardie, rebored to Henderson specs, full ivory, set #2
Circa 1960 Hardies, full ivory, rebored to Henderson specs


SOLD - This set of circa 1960 Hardie full-ivories has been rebored with pre-1940s Henderson bores.

Bob Hardie's pipes were well crafted and he used superb wood. They are favoured by pipers wanting a quieter pipe, and as a result aren't as popular as pipes with a fuller sound. I asked the Henderson experts at Dunbar Bagpipes (Jack Dunbar worked at the Henderson shop in the 1940s) to rebore these Hardies according to the old Henderson specs. Only the internal specs of the bells were untouched. The bass bottom joint is a slightly smaller diameter than Henderson so it tunes a bit higher on the pin. The result has been as I'd hoped, with a much fuller drone sound, but still steady and easy to reed.

This bagpipe was in almost perfect condition, and appears to have been played for only a short time. There are some almost imperceptible chips on a couple of the projecting mounts. The finish is original. The blowpipe was missing, so a polypenco-lined blackwood blowpipe was made to match and an old ivory projecting mount turned down a bit to match.

Since reboring, this pristine pipe is robust and much more Henderson-like than the orginal, mellow tone.

Email me about this set.



 

Hardie drones Hardie tenor drone slides Drone ivory, chanter sole Stocks
Bells Ivory drone caps Wood, combing
 


1925 Henderson, full ivory, engraved silver slides
Henderson, circa 1925, full ivory, engraved silver slides


SOLD - This is a tonally spectacular set of full ivory Henderson pipes with engraved silver slides.

The slides are not hallmarked; however, the mouthpiece tube is hallmarked 1925. The mouthpiece tube is well worn, and it's hard to tell if it matches the slides. It's possible that the slides were added later, but the pipes themselves are certainly of the same vintage as the mouthpiece tube: easily 1920s or earlier.

Because the pipes didn't need to be refinished, the identity of the wood couldn't be determined for sure. They aren't ebony. They appear to be blackwood, but in good light they have a distinct reddish cocuswood tinge.

The pipes are in superb condition, showing no cracks or repairs and only some very normal, minor chipping to the mounts.

The tone is big and bold, rich and locked-in steady: really classic Henderson.
 


 

Henderson Drones Henderson tenor ferrules, silver slides, projecting mounts Ivory projecting mounts Stocks
Henderson bells, drone tops Ivory drone caps Silver Wood, combing


John Center, circa 1890s, cocuswood, ivory
Cocuswood John Center


SOLD - Many vintage aficionados consider John Center one of the greatest pipemakers, ranking in both tone and craftsmanship along with Duncan MacDougall, David Glen and Henry Starck. He made pipes in Edinburgh from 1869 to 1908, moving with his son James to Melbourne in the last few years of his life.

He favoured cocuswood as the material of choice for his sticks. His pipes are superbly crafted, and display a refined, buzzy tone about half way been the more robust MacDougall and the subdued Glen. The bass is full and dominant, and the pipes are very steady.

This set is pristine but for the blowstick, which was missing and has been replaced with an ebony replica. While the set has been refinished, there are no cracks or repairs. The mounts are ivory, and the pipes come with the original chanter displaying maker's the name as "J Center Edinburgh."

The set is a gorgeous artifact and a lovely instrument.

Email me about this set.

As shown, sticks only, with original chanter
CAD $3,250, plus shipping

Set up to play - Ross Bag, MCC2 solo blackwood chanter, Canning drone reeds, bag cover, cords.
CAD $3,900 plus shipping

 

Center drones Centre ferrules, slides, projecting mounts Bells, drone tops Ivory caps
Stocks Tuning chambers Combing, wood Maker's name on chanter

 

The pre-WW1 ebony Henderson pipes I purchased from you recently are a real treat to play. The tone is outstanding. The tenors have a nice ring and tune about a quarter inch on the hemp. The bass is deep and vibrant. It is about three fingers off the bottom mount. The overall effect is a wall of sound. The pipes are very comfortable and easy to play. I had never owned a vintage set of Hendersons but they truly capture the classic bagpipe sound. I couldn't be more pleased."
Tom Bauman, Fallbrook, CA
(WW1 ebony Hendersons, and 1909 silver and ivory Thows)


 

William Sinclair & Son, 1976, fully mounted in boxwood
Sinclair 1976, boxwood mounts


SOLD - William Sinclair began making pipes in the 1930s, and the firm is still going strong in Edinburgh under the direction of old Willie's grandson. The company is renown for the quality of its pipes and chanters, and has long owned a position as one of the great modern pipemakers.

This set was made in 1976, and was remounted in boxwood several years ago by pipemaker Tim Gellaitry, who in fact made pipes for Sinclair for many years. You could hardly make a better choice for reproducing Sinclair mounts. Tim also refinished the pipes at that time.

The pipes are in immaculate condition, with no cracks or repairs. All pieces are original

Sinclair tone is robust and steady. This set was easy to reed and behaved as expected. i've not encountered another boxwood-mounted Sinclar set. There may be others, but they are rare.

This is a great "all-natural" pipe with a strong predigree.

Sinclair drones, 1976, boxwood mounts Ferrules, slides, projecting mounts Sinclair bells Stocks
Drone caps Boxwood projecting mount Wood, combing
 


Circa 1930 Starcks in cocuswood, full ivory
Starck, circa 1920s

SOLD - Though not stamped, this set shows the very distinctive half-circle beading typical of Starck. It doesn't show the large, rounded, billiard-ball projecting mounts. This and the use of cocuswood, suggest a manufacturing date ten years on either side of 1930.

All drone pieces are original. The bass stock and the chanter stock are replacements, with two old ivory ferrules slightly turned to match the originals. The blowstick is not original to the set, but has been turned in a matching colour and with an ivory mount. Some ivory gaps have been patched. The ferrule on one tenor drone appears to have had a large piece broken off cleanly at some point and glued back into place. Though the join is quite visible, it is solid and should not come loose with normal use.

The pipes have been stripped and refinished.

The pipes are full and steady in the Starck tradition, with a lovely blend with the chanter typical of cocuswood.
 


 

Starck drones Drone slides, ferrules, projecting mounts Stocks Bells
Stock mounts Drone caps Wood, combing  


John Center, circa 1890, cocuswood, full ivory
Center cocuswood, full ivory


SOLD - John Center pipes are uncommon, but this is the second coccuswood Center set to became available here in recent months. Many vintage aficionados consider John Center one of the greatest pipemakers, ranking in both tone and craftsmanship along with Duncan MacDougall, David Glen and Henry Starck. He made pipes in Edinburgh from 1869 to 1908, moving with his son James to Melbourne in the last few years of his life.

He favoured cocuswood as the material of choice for his sticks. His pipes are superbly crafted, and display a refined, buzzy tone about half way been the more robust MacDougall and the subdued Glen. The bass is full and dominant, and the pipes are very steady.

This set is all original and has no major damage to the wood. There is some spider cracking in a couple of the ivory pieces, and one ring and one projecting mount are cracked slightly open, but are still solid and unmoving. The set needed no work or refinishing. The two pieces of cracked ivory could be filled, but there was no reason to, and the fill would likely be more visible than the cracks.

This set is a great example of the work of one of the 19th-centuries great pipemakers..
 



 

Center drones Ferrules, slides, projecting mounts Center projecting mounts Center stocks
Bells Caps Combing  


Unknown silver and ivory, circa 1930
Silver and ivory unknown


SOLD - This silver and ivory bagpipe has a brilliant Henderson-like tone: bold, rich and steady, with a wide tuning range that holds the drones in tune for long periods.

I was pleasantly surprised by this, because the visuals left me not knowing what to expect. Looking at the combing, the tenor drones appear to match. The bass top and bottom match, but are different from the tenors, and the bass middle is different again. The ivory projecting mounts are all similar but not identical. (One tenor projecting mount was replaced by a larger mount turned down to match when the pipes were refurbished.)

The patina of the ivory suggests the 1930s or earlier. The silver all matches, but is not hallmarked. Seams are visible in some of the ferrules, and one stock ferrule has a noticeable gap in the seam. The fit of a couple of the silver pieces is not perfect and suggests it was added later.

The mouthpiece bulb is imitation ivory, but is a reasonable match for the aged ivory. A hairline crack in the bass top has been repaired and is not visible. All stocks have been replaced and the original mounts affixed.

However, the bottom line, tonally speaking. is that the pipes are absolutely superb. If this pipe looked as good as it sounds, it would be priced at $7,500 -- the price of a high-end silver and ivory Henderson or Lawrie.

But, the flaws don't allow that, and the price below reflects this.

If you have always wanted a brilliant silver and ivory Henderson or Lawrie pipe, but can't afford the price tag, this is the bagpipe for you.
 


 

Silver and ivory drones Drone slides Lower projecting mounts Stocks
Bells Drone caps Silver Wood, combing


Henderson, circa 1930, blackwood projecting mounts, new silver ferrules, slides, caps
Circa 1930 Henderson, half silver


SOLD - This Henderson set is thought to date from around 1930, give or take 10 years. The ring caps were very old catalin, and the ferrules were nickel, neither of which did justice to the pristine wood and tone of this set. I don't very often mess with original Hendersons, but this set needed an aesthetic makeover, so they were 'half-silvered' with lovely Ancient Celtic. The bushes are blackwood.

The chanter is original but has no sole. A matching silver sole can be acquired for this chanter, or whatever chanter is selected for the pipes. The sticks were in immaculate condition, well cared for and played until recently by a friend of mine in New York state. The wood required no refinishing.

The pipes are full and rich Henderson: steady and easily reeded. A great old set, done up beautifully, if I do say so myself.
 


 

Henderson, c 1930 Tenor drone slides, ferrules, promounts Stocks
Bells Silver slide Henderson combing


Circa 1940s flat-combed Lawrie, nickel ferrules, holly caps
1940s flat-combed Lawries


SOLD - This is a very sweet little R. G. Lawrie set with lines and ferrules typical of the firm's 1940s products. The nickel ferrules are more rounded and aesthetically pleasing than other Lawrie nickel mounts.

The drone caps were orange catalin, which nobody likes, especially me. These have been replaced with holly.

The pipes are crack free, and have been refinished. The tone is very steady, and while not as full as the Lawries of the earlier part of the century, they are still fairly robust. They are very light to carry.

I got these for a great price, and they were in great shape, so the refurb was not costly. I'm often asked about affordable vintage pipes for young people looking for good quality for competition, or for a lightweight, low-maintenance set for older hobby pipers.

Well, this here is the set!
 


 

1940s Lawrie drones Drone slides, ferrules, mounts Bells
Holly caps Stocks Wood


R. G. Lawrie, hallmarked 1951, silver and ivory

1952 Lawries


SOLD - This is a lovely Lawrie set that was a bit unusual when I acquired it. The tenor tuning pins (including the silver slides) were extremely long. The bores of the bottom joints were quite narrow, like Hardies. When I played the pipes, it was clear that they could play quite close to concert A. I had the pins shortened and the tenor bottoms opened out, and it became a normal bagpipe, though the tenors still want to tune fairly low on the tuning pins. In all other tonal respects it is a solid, steady set of Lawries, though, because of the tenors, perhaps most suitable for someone who likes to play a flatter pitch -- 466-472.

The bushes were catalin, which was unusual given that the rest of the mounts are ivory. The catalin bushes have been replaced by holly. The wood above the projecting mounts on the three bottom pieces was quite narrow -- not the usual comb or bead -- so this has been built up for a more traditional appearance.

There were no cracks in the wood. The ivory blowpipe bulb is cracked but has been visibly sealed. All other ivory and silver is in excellent condition.

 


 

Lawrie drones Lawrie slides, ferrules, pro-mounts Lawrie Ivory projecitng mounts Silver ferrules
Bells Caps Stocks Combing

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