I can’t find my “good” camera so the iPhone will have to do for now. One of my first smallpipe customers (he has #3) commissioned a set of Border pipes that would look at home in the 18th century. Luckily there’s a museum across the Atlantic called the Morpeth Chantry where some very old bagpipes were photographed and uploaded to the internet by Richard and Anita Evans, very good pipemakers themselves. This set is modeled after set #48. I’m grateful to the Evans’ for providing these pictures on their Flikr account. Some of their sets of smallpipes were being played at the Piper’s Gathering in 2009 and they had a very high quality sound.
I’ll hasten to say that this instrument was “inspired by” the bagpipe #48 rather than intended to be an exact replica. It would be impossible for me to make a replica since I’ve never seen the original in person and I can’t claim to advance anyone’s knowledge of history through the bagpipe I’ve just completed, only that I made a pipes in a similar aesthetic and out of what I believe to be the same materials. The old pipes are reported to be from the 18th century and made of sycamore and ivory. I worked from a picture and incorporated modern measurements while walking the line between wanting to make it look old and trying to resist putting in too much of my own lines.
The chanter and drones’ internal dimensions are the ones I’ve been working on for the last couple of years and they continue to evolve but I’m happy with the way they sound right now.