X Marks the Scot - An on-line community of kilt wearers.

   X Marks Partners - (Go to the Partners Dedicated Forums )
USA Kilts website Freedom Kilts website Scotweb websiten Burnetts and Struth website Celtic Croft website
Xmarks advertising information Celtic Corner website Xmarks advertising information Houston Kiltmakers Xmarks advertising information

User Tag List

Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 11 to 19 of 19
  1. #11
    Join Date
    18th October 09
    Location
    Orange County California
    Posts
    8,509
    Mentioned
    12 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    How was the "early 18th century" date determined?

    Iconography?
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

  2. #12
    Join Date
    19th October 09
    Location
    South Queensferry, Scotland
    Posts
    612
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by OC Richard View Post
    How was the "early 18th century" date determined?

    Iconography?
    Good question and a real concern when I was deciding my maximum bid! Was I about to buy a replica?

    Design: Certainly the dot-and-ring marks are common and consistent with the era. However, similar designs are to be found on earlier Anglo-Saxon artifacts and in other cultures, including Jordan for example. Later sporrans also sometimes have these decorations, especially when they are designed to look like those made in the late 17th or first half of the 18th Centuries. The MOD cantles for the 1953 coronation being a good example. What I think is more telling is the additional sliding bolt to lock the catch mechanism. These only seem to turn up on sporrans from the first half of the 18th Century, such as a couple in the Glasgow Museums’ collection (one of which, incidentally, also lacks evidence of a central tassel). Additional knobs (other than the hinges and central opening knob) tend to be purely aesthetic on later cantles but functional on the earlier ones. These sporrans were for the secure transport of ‘siller’ rather than just a fashion accessory. Early 18th Century cantles also tended to have the bags laced or riveted to the outside, rather than the inside. Not conclusive evidence as this one has a replacement bag but consistent if the replacement bag seeks to replicate the original.

    Construction: On this cantle, all the brass components have been cast. The top, sides and back plate have been cast as a single unit. The front plate with its hinges and dot-and-ring decoration has all been cast. Dot-and-ring marks on later cantles tend to be machined or stamped, these were integral to the mould. Most later cantles were constructed of industrially-produced sheet brass from a rolling mill and soldered together. This one has no soldered joints. Every knob appears to have been cast and hand finished so, although visually similar, no two are identical. The central knob appears to have been cast using the lost-wax method. Three knobs have threaded shanks but quite unlike any industrialised version; made when threads were called ‘worms’.

    A very similar cantle (below), somewhat ambiguously described as “dating to the first half of the 18th Century” and “mid 18th Century” and “early 18th Century” is currently advertised by Alban Arms and Armour. The similarities are so striking that I am confident it was made by the same craftsman. We will be doing a better comparison later.
    Similar Cantle.jpg
    It's coming yet for a' that,
    That Man to Man, the world o'er,
    Shall brothers be for a' that. - RB

  3. The Following 2 Users say 'Aye' to MacRobert's Reply For This Useful Post:


  4. #13
    Join Date
    7th March 20
    Location
    Oakland, California, US
    Posts
    12
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Thanks for sharing those details

    That's quite fascinating. It's a shame that something vaguely like this mechanism isn't still employed. I can't tell you how many times my leather-with-a-snap thing has popped open on my sporrans, and one of them actually ripped loose (the snap base tore through the back of the sporran eventually, from all the repeated stresses of pulling the snap apart to open it).

  5. #14
    Join Date
    18th October 09
    Location
    Orange County California
    Posts
    8,509
    Mentioned
    12 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by MacRobert's Reply View Post
    sporrans from the first half of the 18th Century, such as a couple in the Glasgow Museums’ collection
    I wonder how the dates of those were arrived at.

    Hugh Cheape, former curator at the National Museums Scotland, in his book Bagpipes: A National Collection Of A National Instrument got me to question the dates and assumptions about the things on display in museums.

    He writes

    To consider the material culture of the bagpipe is to shift the perspective away from books and conventional sources to objects...with objects we can include descriptions...even with part or all of an old instrument it is difficult to achieve answers...difficult to date them. Tradition has identified antique bagpipes (as) The Bannockburn Pipes, The Flodden Pipes, The MacCrimmon Pipes, and several Culloden Pipes but serious doubt has to be cast on all or most of these. One notable set of pipes...the so-called 1409 Pipes...has been shown to be a fake or imaginative reconstruction.

    A reputedly old Great Highland Bagpipe, quoted as being early 19th century or 18th century, rarely survives intact... therefore makes it difficult to define and date the instrument with precision, and certainly difficult to draw inferences on styles and techniques of manufacture of particular localities and periods.


    In other words there are stories attached to artifacts but rarely actual provenance.

    If bagpipe silver or sporran cantles are hallmarked with date codes we have provenance, if not there's really no way of establishing even an approximate date.

    With Highland Dress I always look to imagery, because an oil portrait signed and dated by a known artist tells us what the sitter was probably wearing at that time. Off the top of my head all the sporrans in the iconography are plain leather bags until in the 1740s one sees what appears to be a leather flap on some sporrans. I just now looked at a couple engravings of Highland soldiers from the 1740s which appear to show simple curved metal cantles.

    All this being the case I would love to find out how dates of surviving sporrans in museums are arrived at.

    About the so-called Goddess Eye decoration, that goes back to Neolithic times if not earlier (they're a common petroglyph) and they're pan-European at the very least- here's an old set of Bulgarian bagpipes with them



    Here they are on a 5,000 year old rock in Ireland

    Last edited by OC Richard; 18th March 20 at 05:01 PM.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

  6. #15
    Join Date
    2nd January 10
    Location
    Crieff, Perthshire
    Posts
    3,877
    Mentioned
    7 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by OC Richard View Post
    I wonder how the dates of those were arrived at.


    In other words there are stories attached to artifacts but rarely actual provenance.

    If bagpipe silver or sporran cantles are hallmarked with date codes we have provenance, if not there's really no way of establishing even an approximate date.

    With Highland Dress I always look to imagery, because an oil portrait signed and dated by a known artist tells us what the sitter was probably wearing at that time. Off the top of my head all the sporrans in the iconography are plain leather bags until in the 1740s one sees what appears to be a leather flap on some sporrans. I just now looked at a couple engravings of Highland soldiers from the 1740s which appear to show simple curved metal cantles.

    All this being the case I would love to find out how dates of surviving sporrans in museums are arrived at.
    Richard, you raise a good point. I don't know the answer but would imagine it is based on comparing style and construction against one or two reference examples that have a known provenance. How that provenance was determined probably includes a fair amount of ‘family tradition’.

    I know from examining a number of pieces of tartan that have similar stories attached to them, generally that they were given to an ancestor by Bonnie Prince Charlie, just how mistaken some of the dating can be. Often the pieces are very obviously specimens of Wilsons’ cloth for example rather than mid-18th century.

    In the case of sporrans, the earliest portrait evidence I can think of is the c1748-50 wall painting at Loevestein Castle in the Netherlands.

    Schotsekamer (Dancer1).jpg

    Gregor MacGregor of Glengyle c1750-60 and Pryse Campbell by Francis Cotes 1762 are also early examples.

    Gregor MacGregor of Glengyle 1689-1777.jpg Pryse Campbell by Francis Cotes 1762.jpg

    Carbon Dating is not accurate enough to give any dating evidence but construction techniques might. This sporran for example has (I’m told) a sand-cast bronze cantle which may well be considerably older than the bag which itself is old. The cantle lugs have broken off at some point and a belt hanger made from the same deer-skin leather as the bag was added when the cantle was presumably re-bagged. The original sinew used to attach the bag is still present but I have no idea how late this was still a common technique and therefore the date at which the bag could have been added. Even it that could be determined, it would not date the cantle.

    P1000359a.jpg P1030738.jpg P1030740.jpg

  7. The Following User Says 'Aye' to figheadair For This Useful Post:


  8. #16
    Join Date
    7th May 20
    Location
    Ayrshire Scotland
    Posts
    15
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If anyone can help me out with some advise on where to find a cantle for this pheasant sporran I would greatly appreciate.
    I recently bought this from ebay for an amazingly cheap price and would like to find a suitable cantle for it...
    The seller said they have never worn it and their partner hates it so it had to go. I got it for a ridiculous £70
    I believe it's made by Emma Willats the Vegan Sporran Maker, Aberdeen, Scotland aka "The Dapper Dead".
    The photos don't do it justice. When it arrives I will photograph it properly and post some photos. Hopefully with a new cantle soon.



    Last edited by Steve Ashton; 8th May 20 at 02:28 PM. Reason: fixed photos

  9. #17
    Join Date
    7th May 20
    Location
    Ayrshire Scotland
    Posts
    15
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Pheasant Sporran photos

  10. #18
    Join Date
    19th October 09
    Location
    South Queensferry, Scotland
    Posts
    612
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    This sporran looks like it was made not to have a cantle as to fit one would damage the plumage.
    It's coming yet for a' that,
    That Man to Man, the world o'er,
    Shall brothers be for a' that. - RB

  11. The Following 2 Users say 'Aye' to MacRobert's Reply For This Useful Post:


  12. #19
    Join Date
    7th May 20
    Location
    Ayrshire Scotland
    Posts
    15
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks for the input, yes I think your correct looking at it but I do think it would look alot better with a nice pewter or silver square top cantle.

    I will try to find a suitable cantle and see how it looks. If successful I shall post photos

    Many thanks
    Michael
    Ayrshire

Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

» Log in

User Name:

Password:

Not a member yet?
Register Now!
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v4.2.0