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  1. #1
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    quick fix Pakistani sporran

    The pipe band I play in, like many, decided to go cheap and issue Pakistani sporrans.

    Here's the one I was given, on the left.

    As you see it's not horrible. It appears to be sturdily constructed from nice thick leather. The cantle is obviously a re-cast of a Scottish original.

    Surprisingly the tabs have scribe-lines which many modern Scottish-made sporrans lack.

    But as you see they put the targe far too low! As I looked around the band I saw that this varied from sporran to sporran, some nearly high enough to look acceptable, some as low as mine.

    Happily the cantle is held by small hex-nuts, so I removed the cantle, punched 3 holes in the targe piece, trimmed the top, and reassembled the sporran (right).



    Some people wouldn't care but for me it makes my band uniform more professional.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

  2. The Following 7 Users say 'Aye' to OC Richard For This Useful Post:


  3. #2
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    Wow! Looks great. I'm actually a professional leather worker. These sporrans actually offend my sensibilities. The leather is of such low quality, and the workmanship is always inconsistent at best! You made it look really good. I'm honestly surprised how good the cantle looks, too. It's fairly nice looking! I completely understand when you say that while most people wouldn't care, it bothers you. It's the attention to those little details! Your band is lucky to have you.
    "Two things are infinite- the universe, and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe." Albert Einstein.

  4. #3
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    Thanks!

    Those Pakistani cantles are obvious re-casts of UK-made ones, and yes they can be fairly close, just lacking the crisp detail of the originals.

    It's interesting, dissecting a Pakistani sporran suggests that they had a UK-made original to copy, because all the construction methods seem the same.

    Unlike the Chinese-made orchestral instruments that flooded the US market years ago, which looked like musical instruments on the outside but were entirely unlike musical instruments on the inside, as if they only had photos to go by.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC Richard View Post
    Thanks!

    Those Pakistani cantles are obvious re-casts of UK-made ones, and yes they can be fairly close, just lacking the crisp detail of the originals.

    It's interesting, dissecting a Pakistani sporran suggests that they had a UK-made original to copy, because all the construction methods seem the same.

    Unlike the Chinese-made orchestral instruments that flooded the US market years ago, which looked like musical instruments on the outside but were entirely unlike musical instruments on the inside, as if they only had photos to go by.
    I think you are spot-on here.

    I was speaking recently to Dalman & Narborough (as they used to be) who used to cast the cantles used by many of the sporran-makers, and was told exactly that. Cost was essential, so quality was compromised, and casting was sourced in India. I believe samples were sent out, so they had an original to work from.

    D&N's original moulds have only just recently been scrapped, as the firm has moved to smaller premises due to reduced workload. These are the times we live in...

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Troglodyte View Post
    I was speaking recently to Dalman & Narborough (as they used to be) who used to cast the cantles used by many of the sporran-makers...D&N's original moulds have only just recently been scrapped...
    How cool to speak to them!

    There is so much that I don't know about their work. I'd love to see an old catalogue of their sporran cantles.

    Lacking that, I have to make educated guesses as to which cantle styles they made.

    There's a suite of cantle styles used by WE Scott & Son (Edinburgh) and other makers which I'm guessing were made by D&N. They were offered in various form: nickel, brass, silver-plate, and Sterling Silver. Though D&N was in Birmingham the brass and silver-plate cantles were stamped Made In Scotland, which I'm assuming is intended to refer to the sporran as a whole.

    There were matching waistbelt buckles too. Here's the only D&N catalogue I've seen, said to be from the 1990s



    The only cantles I know for sure were made by D&N were the chased Sterling Silver ones bearing the FN (Frederick Narborough) or D&N (Dalman & Narborough) hallmarks.



    They used the same patterns for Sterling Silver bagpipe mounts, here's their "runic"

    Last edited by OC Richard; 23rd January 23 at 05:43 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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