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MacGregor, Malcolm

Malcolm was a prize piper and pipemaker, originally from Glasgow but later moving to London.

The following set belongs to Andreas Hartmann-Virnich of France.  Here is a quote from Andreas -

I discovered accidentally that the original chanter of this early set in ebony and ivory in my keeping is stamped McGREGOR/LONDON (above the low G tone holes). A careful study has established that the crudely repaired but playable chanter is original to the set, and similarities with MacGregor’s prize pipe of 1813 suggest indeed that the pipes were made somewhere in the 1820′s by Malcolm MacGregor, originally from Glasgow but established in London, maker of the prize pipes for the Highland Society of London from 1813 to 1815 instead of Hugh Robertson. The pipes are very interesting as the overall length of the drones appears to be superior to other specimens of the period. The sound is rather subdued, smooth, warm and solid. The chanter has an unusually narrow bore at the lower end, close to a reel pipe chanter, and is quieter than a Donald MacDonald of the same vintage, well balanced, but difficult to reed.

The silver prize shield, not original to the set but contemporary, refers to a pipe offered by Stewart of Ardvorlich to Alexander Dewar, winner of the contest held at St. Fillan’s on August 30th 1822 – the very day following the departure of King George IV from Scotland. The maker of this lost prize pipe is unknown.
‘This pipe the gift of William Stewartof Ardvorlich Esquire Chieftain of the St Fillans Highland Society For theyear was adjudged by the Society To Alexander Dewar As best performeron the Great Highland Bagpipe at the annual competition held at StFillans the 30th August 1822′
(Alexander Dewar, piper to Sir John MacGregor, gained fifth and fourth prizes at the HSL Edinburgh competitions in 1819, 1822 and 1824 and, by default, an extra prize in 1824).

The complete set

"McGregor London" stamped on the chanter

A nice side profile shot of the drones and stocks

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