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  1. #1
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    Argylls piper uniforms

    This is the image of an Argylls piper we're long familiar with



    now perpetuated in The Royal Regiment Of Scotland




    This wonderful old portrait, said to be from the 1890s, shows the familiar traditional kit but a spoon-and-wreath buckle rather the familiar rectangular belt plate.



    Here's the crossbelt buckle. A lovely thing



    So I was interested to find photos showing a bit different kit: note the sporran has only two tassels, and the 'frame' crossbelt buckle seems to appear on the waistbelt too



    in colour



    I wonder about the various waistbelt buckles. Was there 1st Battalion/2nd Battalion thing? The photos bring more questions than answers.
    Last edited by OC Richard; 31st August 15 at 05:32 PM.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

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  3. #2
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    I have the same old A&SH cross belt buckle without the middle bar,as above. my current genuine issue A&SH cross belt buckle has the middle bar but without the spike as the corporal piper above. how does they fix the buckle to the belt without the middle bar, ? is my question......
    Regards

  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC Richard View Post

    I wonder about the various waistbelt buckles. Was there 1st Battalion/2nd Battalion thing? The photos bring more questions than answers.
    As for Pipers Belt Buckles. From old photos we can see that pipers of both battalions have been worn their old regimental crossbelt furniture and belt buckles some time after 1881 amalgamation - for 1st A&SH at least until 1884. There is a photo of pipers in Natal with old rectangular BB and 91st regimental pipers sporrans too! The reason probably is that 1st Battn was abroad until 1892.

    Same situation with pipers of 2nd A&SH - they wore old regimental belts at least until begin of 20th century (numerous photos of 2nd batt pipers with round spoon-and-wreath buckle and distinctive 93th crossbelt tip). The unification probably happened around that time. See proofs in Regimental magazine, issues 31-32.

    The 2nd A&SH was in 1881 in UK so all changes have been applied to this Battalion at first.
    As for frame pipers BB on your last pictures. These are very unusual and unique photos! This is 2nd Battn piper. Maybe is it undress item (we can find undress buckles on Cameron's pipers photos for example)? Maybe the attempt to use new regimental CrossBelt as Belt buckle? so no more thoughts... and can't find no new pictures... Strange sporran he has too... Maybe is this earliest photo after amalgamation and there was no approved pattern still?

  5. #4
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    Thanks for the information!

    Yes I have Regiment magazine, very useful, with loads of photos of various periods.

    Just to muddy the waters, here are Argylls in the 1953 No1 Dress. Note the odd crossbelt hardware of the piper.



    The regiment that (as it seems to me) has the most bewildering variety of pipers' crossbelt hardware, and cantle styles, is The Gordon Highlanders. As you say much of it probably stems from the continuation of pre-1881 kit sometime after amalgamation.

    Here are Gordons in the same 1953-c1960 period; the crossbelt hardware was sold in the civilian world and called "number 90". Note the odd sporran cantle.



    A much earlier photo showing similar things.





    Here's the hardware, in production for many years. The pipers above are wearing this but with the "number 102" pattern waistbelt buckle.



    Here's the "number 102" pattern, a modern chrome example on the left, a vintage German Silver example on the right. This particular vintage waistbelt buckle has the "portrait" orientation; they were made both "portrait" and "landscape" back then.



    But, here's a Gordon piper with the tip and keeper of #90 above, but the buckle of #102. Also note the unusual sporran, like the OR's but with a thinner rim and bigger badge.



    Here's another Gordon piper sporran style.

    Last edited by OC Richard; 1st September 15 at 04:23 AM.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

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  7. #5
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    I found 2 more photos of pipe bands of both Battalions A&SH, see below.

    1st A&SH, 1912
    Click image for larger version. 

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    The crossbelts with Boar Head of 91st and rectangular belt buckles are clearly seen.

    2nd A&SH, 1933
    Click image for larger version. 

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    The crossbelts with crown tips of 93rd and round belt buckles (except pipe major rect buckle) are clearly seen.

    So probably we can shift date of unification to after WWII era, until 1948, when 2nd Battalion was amalgamated with the 1st Battalion and unfied pattern of crossbelt hardware with Boar Head and numbers XCI and belt buckle have been approved .

    regards,
    Mikhail
    Last edited by blackwatch70; 2nd September 15 at 07:18 AM.

  8. #6
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    [QUOTE=OC Richard;1297463]
    Just to muddy the waters, here are Argylls in the 1953 No1 Dress. Note the odd crossbelt hardware of the piper.


    It's interesting photo!
    I have seen contemporary pictures (1950-60) of pipers different Scottish regiments wearing this pattern of crossbelt hardware - Gordons, Cameronians and even Royal Corps Signals pipers... Now this pattern is wearing by Royal Gurkha Rifles pipers only.

    Gordon Highlanders piper (1960...)
    Click image for larger version. 

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    2nd Cameronians piper (until 1948)
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by blackwatch70; 1st September 15 at 02:06 AM.

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  10. #7
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    You've a good eye there, to see those 1st Battalion/2nd Battalion things.

    Here's an interesting photo



    Four stripes, but on the upper arm. The sort of sporran worn by certain senior Sergeants. The crown crossbelt tip. Is it a pre-1881 93rd Highlander?

    Here's that sporran worn by both the Pipe Major and Drum Major, too bad the photo is so grainy. The caption says 2nd Argylls 1890



    And what about this fellow? Is it a very early post-amalgamation 1st Battalion piper? Note the boar's head on sporran and waistbelt.

    Last edited by OC Richard; 1st September 15 at 04:11 AM.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

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  12. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC Richard View Post
    You've a good eye there, to see those 1st Battalion/2nd Battalion things.

    Here's an interesting photo



    Four stripes, but on the upper arm. The sort of sporran worn by certain senior Sergeants. The crown crossbelt tip. Is it a pre-1881 93rd Highlander?

    Here's that sporran worn by both the Pipe Major and Drum Major, too bad the photo is so grainy. The caption says 2nd Argylls 1890



    And what about this fellow? Is it a very early post-amalgamation 1st Battalion piper? Note the boar's head on sporran and waistbelt.

    Photo1.
    I think the pipe major of old 93th is on the photo. His sporran is distinctive for PMs of Sutherland Hldrs and later for A&SH.
    4 stripes on the upper arm for pipe majors ( or officially sergeant pipers, because PM is not a army rank, but appointment) is not unusual in 1860s. Then 4 stripes went down to forearm and finally became point up as we see until today. There are many photos and pictores confirming that.

    Photo 2.
    No doubt, the last figure on the left is Drum Major of 2nd A&SH. His distinctine sporran with 2 black tassels (not 3 as PM) have been worn until WWII.

    Photo 3.
    I suppose you are correct and we see the rare photo of piper of 1st A&SH (old 91st) right after post amalgamation. And we can take a good look at his accoutrements. Clear image of crossbelt tip, belt buckle and sporran cantle with Campbells boar's head, and even on pipe banner I see badge of old 91st! And maybe he still wears old 91st pattern pipers plaid brooch, but image is not clear here unfortunately...
    And the final detail - the peculiar 91st piper's dirk with knife and fork in one "pocket". Very nice picture!


    regards,
    Mikhail
    Last edited by blackwatch70; 2nd September 15 at 07:14 AM.

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  14. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC Richard View Post
    You've a good eye there, to see those 1st Battalion/2nd Battalion things.

    Here's an interesting photo


    Please take into account his pipers belt with two D-shape metal "rings" (sorry I don't know how to name it correctly) left and right from buckle accordingly. We can see similar belts on many photos on this page too.

    Now we can see this relict on Scots Guards pipers belts only (see below).
    The question is - what is a origin of these "rings"?
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by blackwatch70; 9th September 15 at 12:27 AM.

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