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  1. #1
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    An officer's or Laird's Piper

    Brian has already helped a bunch, a veritable font of wisdom, many thanks Brian. I thought I would throw this out though just to see what would come to the surface.

    Apologies if this has been touched on Ad Nauseum.

    I want to put together a kit accurate and appropriate for a piper in the employ of Laird or officer in the late 18th early to mid nineteenth centuries. I don't know that Day or evening wear would be an issue as, I believe he would always be expected to be formally dressed. I would love to try and make things compatible with latter periods, but the authentic look takes residence!

    Thanks All
    Scott

  2. #2
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    HERE'S a link to the Ken MacLeay image of William MacDonald, the prince's piper from his illustrations for Queen Victoria.
    artificer Pronunciation: \är-ˈti-fə-sər, ˈär-tə-fə-sər\ : noun : 14th century :a skilled or artistic worker or craftsman
    Artificer Custom Sporrans
    *Home of the Original Kenneth MacLeay Sporran Project & Functional Brass Cantles*

  3. #3
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    A portrait a little before your period, but still somewhat germane, is that of William Cumming, Piper to the Laird of Grant:

    http://www.clangrant-us.org/images/p...rant-small.gif

    The noted historian Hugh Cheape has an excellent article about this particular painting:

    http://tahoebagpiper.com/piper.pdf

    Yours aye,

    Todd

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dall_Piobaire View Post
    Brian has already helped a bunch, a veritable font of wisdom, many thanks Brian. I thought I would throw this out though just to see what would come to the surface.

    Apologies if this has been touched on Ad Nauseum.

    I want to put together a kit accurate and appropriate for a piper in the employ of Laird or officer in the late 18th early to mid nineteenth centuries. I don't know that Day or evening wear would be an issue as, I believe he would always be expected to be formally dressed. I would love to try and make things compatible with latter periods, but the authentic look takes residence!

    Thanks All
    Scott
    Presumably an officer's piper would be in the uniform of his regiment, with the banner depicting his officer's arms tied to his bass drone.

    The livery of a Laird's piper would depend very much on the resources of the Laird! Typically a Laird could have upwards of twenty-five or more people in his retinue -- his "tail" if you will. If funds permitted each of these would be provided with a badge (the precursor of the clansman's badge) and some item of livery. This might only be a ribbon braided of the livery colours of the chief, or an actual item of clothing-- anything from a jacket or waist coat in the livery colours of the chief to quite elaborate "uniforms", complete with crested buttons.

    Probably the best picture of an early 19th century piper is that of John Macdonald, piper to the Laird of Glenaladale which appears on page 48 of TARTANS by Christian (Lady) Hesketh. He is attired in a full tartan suit, including kilt and plaid with jacket cut on the bias, along with fringed epaulets, and gold lace trim the collars and cuffs.

    By the mid-19th century piper's attire would have been much more subdued-- the picture of William Macdonald, piper to HRH the Prince of Wales, (plate 7 in Macleay's THE HIGHLANDERS OF SCOTLAND) is typical of a Laird's piper. The livery colours are represented by streamers fluttering from the drones, although the pipe banner depicting the Laird's arms is still affixed to the bass drone.

    Just like feathers, duine uasail were accorded a traditional number of pipers according to their status within the clan. A chief would have three pipers, chieftains and barons two, and a gentlemen one piper in his retinue.

  5. #5
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    Post Pipe banners

    On a related note, I just recently discovered this excellent article on pipe banners on the Liverpool Scottish Regimental Museum Association's web site:

    http://www.liverpoolscottish.org.uk/banners.htm

    Yours aye,

    Todd

  6. #6
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    Awesome, knew you guys could help! Thanks so much.

  7. #7
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    You might wish to see if either your local library and/or purveyor of books can obtain a copy of John Gibson's Traditional Gaelic Bagpiping, 1745-1945 for you.

    T.

  8. #8
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    Well, my local library leaves a whole lot to be desired. I will have to see if I can find the book elsewhere. Is it still in print?

    Great suggestion, thanks.

  9. #9
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    I'm surprised that no-one has mentioned the portrait of the piper to the Laird of Grant c1714.



    An impression (incorrect rendering) of a mid-C18th military piper is shown on p42 of Hesketh.

    To be correct the 'kilt' of the period should be hand woven and either a feileadh mor, feileadh beag or sewn kilt depending on the date.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by figheadair View Post
    I'm surprised that no-one has mentioned the portrait of the piper to the Laird of Grant c1714.



    An impression (incorrect rendering) of a mid-C18th military piper is shown on p42 of Hesketh.

    To be correct the 'kilt' of the period should be hand woven and either a feileadh mor, feileadh beag or sewn kilt depending on the date.
    I posted a link to a picture of it from the Clan Grant Society, and Hugh Cheape's article! :mrgreen:

    T.

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