• Unknown silver and ivory, circa 1930

    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.