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Click the tartan to view its entry in The Scottish Registers of Tartans which includes registration details, restrictions, and registrant information.

 

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International Bagpipes Day

"🎶 O plaintive Pipes, endearing Drones, resound!
Raise faithful hearts, though brave men break and die!"

On International Bagpipes Day, we raise a glass to pipers everywhere, celebrating the storied connection of bagpipes to Scotland's culture, particularly within its military history. The earliest documented mention of bagpipes in Scotland appears in a 1396 account of the Battle of the North Inch of Perth, noting the presence of "warpipes" in combat. Further evidence of the instrument's integration into Scottish tradition is found in a 1598 poem, later included in "The Complaynt of Scotland," which vividly describes various pipes, notably the Highland bagpipe, highlighting its significance in Scottish music.

A pivotal piece of art that encapsulates the essence of Scottish piping is the "Piper to the Laird of Grant" by Richard Waitt in 1714. This portrait, housed in the National Museum of Scotland, portrays William Cumming, a member of a Strathspey musical dynasty that served the Lairds of Grant for over a century. In this depiction, Cumming stands adorned in traditional tartan and livery, symbolizing his crucial role within the clan. The painting, rich in cultural symbols like the heraldic banner and Castle Grant, is part of a duo commissioned by the Grants, the other being a frequently misidentified portrait of Alexander Grant Mor, mistaking him for Rob Roy. 🎶 🖌️ 🎨

This tartan was designed from an estimated threadcount, taken from the portrait of William Cumming, Piper to the Laird of Grant, by Richard Waitt (1714).


The painting shows a fully developed piob mor (Great Highland bagpipe) with all three drones - the two tenordrones set into an older style fork-shaped stock. Note that the piper is holding the pipe bag under his right arm.


The subject of this painting, William Cumming (c. 1687 - c. 1723) belonged to a family of Strathspey musicians who served the Lairds of Grant for about 170 years through seven or more generations. They were an important part of the clan chieftain's traditional retinue and William Cumming is symbolically provided with a uniform of livery, tartan, the bratach or heraldic banner, and with the chieftain's head house of Castle Grant in the background.


For more on the musical legacy of the Cumming family and Clan Grant, click the portrait!


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