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  1. #1
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    Diced Glengarry.

    Hello all.

    I have read some information about the origin of the diced trim in the Glengarry but there's a lot of different theories. Is there any accepted theory about when and why it's wear for the Scott's?
    Why the solo pipers don't wear it?
    Thanks to all.

  2. #2
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    First, remember that the Glengarry is a relatively recent development, and is essentially a blocked Balmoral bonnet. Glengarries were adopted by the Regular Scottish regiments beginning in the 1840s.

    As best I can recall dicing begins appearing on Scots bonnets in the mid-18th century.

    Initially the dicing was a single row. By the late 18th century three-row dicing had become standard in the Scottish regiments.

    How it originated is perhaps open to some speculation. I've often heard the theory that a ribbon began to be set into the bottom edge of the bonnet, laced in and out of a number of slots, and tied at the back, in order to adjust the size of the bonnet.

    The Black Watch and The Cameron Highlanders have long worn plain Glengarries, that is, without dicing.

    As to why pipers of all regiments wear plain Glengarries, remember that the typical military piper's costume was devised in the 1840s for the pipers of The Cameron Highlanders, and later adopted by the other regiments. Certain Cameron-specific features of the costume (the plain Glengarries and the green doublets) were adopted without change by the other regiments. (One would have expected diced Glengarries and yellow doublets with the pipers of The Gordon Highlanders, for example.)

    Time for pretty pictures!

    Mid-18th century painting showing a red band around the bottom of the traditional blue Scots bonnet



    Fully developed three-row dicing by the end of the 18th century



    An early Glengarry worn with civilian costume prior to Glengarries being adopted by the army



    Bonnet with one-row dicing in the 1860s, by which time it seems to have been rare



    Two Sergeants of the 78th Highlanders pre-1881, plain Glen for the piper and diced Glen for the non-piper soldier

    Last edited by OC Richard; 10th April 18 at 06:45 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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  4. #3
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    Lots of information here. Thanks Richard.

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  6. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC Richard View Post

    As to why pipers of all regiments wear plain Glengarries, remember that the typical military piper's costume was devised in the 1840s for the pipers of The Cameron Highlanders, and later adopted by the other regiments. Certain Cameron-specific features of the costume (the plain Glengarries and the green doublets) were adopted without change by the other regiments. (One would have expected diced Glengarries and yellow doublets with the pipers of The Gordon Highlanders, for example.)
    The only exception in the rule "pipers of all regiments wear plain Glengarries" was 91st Regiment (Argyllshire Highlanders) where the pipers wore feather bonnets (like Black Watch pipers) and diced glengarries until (and in fact even in few years after) amalgamation with 93rd Regiment to form Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders in 1881...

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	91stPipers.jpg 
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    sorry for quality of picture
    Last edited by blackwatch70; 12th April 18 at 06:43 AM.

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  8. #5
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    It occurs to me that I've not spent a lot of time looking at bands' bonnets so I don't know if it's common to do it this way, but in my (former) band, drummers wore dicing on their Balmorals while pipers did not. Is this the same as "pipers do not wear dicing and non-pipers do" thing? (I never asked anyone in the band.)
    Here's tae us - / Wha's like us - / Damn few - / And they're a' deid - /
    Mair's the pity!

  9. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Katia View Post
    It occurs to me that I've not spent a lot of time looking at bands' bonnets so I don't know if it's common to do it this way, but in my (former) band, drummers wore dicing on their Balmorals while pipers did not. Is this the same as "pipers do not wear dicing and non-pipers do" thing? (I never asked anyone in the band.)
    This is pretty much standard in most pipe bands, in my experience, although there are many exceptions. In police pipe bands, for example, both pipers and drummers generally wear glengarries with black and white dicing, but this is a special case. I have played in a couple of civilian bands where pipers and drummers both wore red-and-white diced glengarries. In my six decades of piping this is the first time I have heard of the "pipers do not wear dicing and non-pipers do" thing. I have seen a good many solo pipers wearing diced glengarries (and balmorals). It really comes down to the individual piper's personal preference.

  10. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by imrichmond View Post
    This is pretty much standard in most pipe bands, in my experience, although there are many exceptions.
    Quote Originally Posted by imrichmond View Post
    In my six decades of piping this is the first time I have heard of the "pipers do not wear dicing and non-pipers do" thing.
    Sorry, I wasn't clear if you were saying it is a common thing for bands to do, or if it is not something you'd seen before.


    I did a google image search for "pipe band" and it seems that most do not wear dicing (all personnel the same. The only other time I've heard of it being common for different members to wear different headgear is in bands that wear the feather bonnets; sometimes tenor drummers will wear a Glengarry or Balmoral instead so the headwear doesn't get in the way of flourishing). This will be an interesting question to ask for my own band some time, if it is indeed an unusual practice; no doubt it has roots in some band tradition somewhere, thought I'm not sure if anyone will remember exactly why. Then again, at least for bands I've seen in the U.S., it's uncommon for bands to still wear Balmoral rather than Glengarry as well. (Mine is not currently a competing band, so I don't know if a return to competition would change headwear or not.)
    Here's tae us - / Wha's like us - / Damn few - / And they're a' deid - /
    Mair's the pity!

  11. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackwatch70 View Post
    The only exception in the rule "pipers of all regiments wear plain Glengarries" was 91st Regiment (Argyllshire Highlanders) where the pipers wore feather bonnets (like Black Watch pipers) and diced glengarries until (and in fact even in few years after) amalgamation with 93rd Regiment to form Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders in 1881...

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	91stPipers.jpg 
Views:	12 
Size:	121.7 KB 
ID:	33716

    sorry for quality of picture
    It would be cool to see a better photo!

    Yes the pipers' dress of the pre-1881 Scottish regiments has interesting variety. I'd like to see a book or article devoted to it.

    For example in the 93rd there's an 1825 painting showing a piper wearing the ordinary regimental uniform (laced coatee, and feather bonnet) and an 1853 painting showing the Pipe Major in red doublet (which weren't introduced to the Highland regiments as a whole until 1855) and a plain blue Balmoral with long feather.

    For the 91st I have illustrations in front of me from the 1860s to the 1880s showing diced Glengarry with eagle feather, plain Glengarry with blackcock tail, and feather bonnet. An 1872 photograph shows the feather bonnet, and your photograph there clearly shows diced Glengarries. I'll go with photographs over illustrations every time!
    Last edited by OC Richard; 16th May 18 at 05:19 PM.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

  12. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC Richard View Post
    It would be cool to see a better photo!

    Yes the pipers' dress of the pre-1881 Scottish regiments has interesting variety. I'd like to see a book or article devoted to it.
    Original of this photo in A&SH regimental museum in Sterling castle. I made this picture there, but not at the best angle, sorry.

    By the way, in the book "Music of the Scottish Regiments" of David Murray there is a good historical overview of Pipers dress.

    Certainly You have it!

  13. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackwatch70 View Post
    Original of this photo in A&SH regimental museum in Sterling castle.
    Been there but I wasn't eagle-eyed enough to notice that wonderful photo! Good eye, there.

    Quote Originally Posted by blackwatch70 View Post
    in the book "Music of the Scottish Regiments" of David Murray there is a good historical overview of Pipers dress. Certainly You have it!
    I do not! One of numerable lacunae in my library.

    It's a great subject, and I've not seen anything written on it. All I have are scattered images in various books.

    In the introduction to the excellent Scottish Regiments And Uniforms 1660-1914 by A. H. Bowling there is the tantalizing sentence:

    Bandsmen figures are not included in this book since it is planned to cover bands separately in a later volume.

    Was this ever made? I've not seen it.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

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