Updated: Wilson pipes sell for $13,000 in as-is condition

Published: April 30, 2007
(Page 1 of 1)

The MacDougall bagpipe owned by John Wilson of Edinburgh and Toronto and originally acquired by his uncle, John “The Baldooser” Wilson, have sold for $13,000.

 John Wilson's pipes and their distinctive leather case see the light of day for the first time since early 1979.

The pipes were purchased in as-is condition by Troy Guindon of Ontario. All proceeds from the sale will go to Wilson’s widow, Margaret, who still lives in Willowdale in the home she shared with her husband until his death from cancer in 1979.

The well known piper Jim McGillivray and David Waterhouse, a professor at the University of Toronto and a pupil of Wilson, convinced Margaret Wilson to part with the pipes. McGillivray facilitated the sale.

Guindon said, “The pipes are going to get the absolute best restoration that money can buy.”

According to Guindon, they will be restored by Thomas Doucet, who works with Dunbar Bagpipes in St. Catharines, Ontario. Doucet has restored several vintage pipes belonging to Guindon, including a set of silver and ivory cocus wood Henderson’s made around 1900.

Reay Mackay, probably John Wilson’s most successful pupil, said, “It is with great joy that I see that John Wilson’s pipes are going to be played again. As I studied with John, perhaps longer than anyone else, I had the privilege of listening to John, and many other master players like: George Duncan, Alex MacNeil, Donald MacMillan, Bill Gilmour, Gord Tuck and others too many to mention play the Baldooser’s MacDougalls. John did on occasion allow others to play his instrument, but only if he knew that they were masters of the task. I too was fortunate enough to play his pipe on occasion.

“I can still remember not just the great playing but also the great sound that was produced. Whether the wonderful harmonics that came from the drones were because of the drones themselves, or the great care that John took in reeding the instrument, or the skill of the player, I don’t know, but I do know that it was a wonderful sound.

“Were I a competitive player at the present time, as in the past, I would truly have tried to purchase the stand for myself, as I would have been so proud to play John’s pipes.”

Several offers for the pipes had been made over the years, including two from prominent Canadian pipers. Margaret Wilson had been unwilling to sell for prices offered, and had hoped that her son or other relative would take an interest in playing.

p|d

What do you think? We always want to hear from our readers, so please use our comment system to provide your thoughts!

Do you have news? Be sure to send your information to pipes|drums. We can’t report what we don’t know about! Please remember to support the businesses that advertise and make the not-for-profit p|d possible.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.0/5
VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0
  1. geese

    It was interesting to see in his comments, Reay Mackay referring to a stand” of pipes. I haven’t heard that term used in some 50 years but back then it was common usage. It sounds so much more meaningful than just a “set” of pipes!”

GET THE MOBILE APP!
The new pipes|drums app offers the same publication with a streamlined experience. Get the latest news optimized for your smartphone.
Download on the App Store

Get it on Google Play
THIS DAY IN HISTORY:
October 1, 1952Tribute dinner for Willie Ross, Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh.
MOST RECENT POST
  • Counter-attack
    Fri, 30 Sep 2016
    What in the name of Tom McAllister Sr. has happened to the pipe band attack? Goodness, at any top-grade competition of any size you’re almost guaranteed to hear at least two bands completely eff up what was once a benchmark … Cont …
Read more »
UPCOMING EVENTS October 7, 2016Willie McCallum Concert in Scotia, New YorkFirst Reformed Church of Scotia, 224 N. Ballston Ave (Route 50), Scotia, NY 12302

October 8, 2016The Nicol-Brown Amateur Invitational Piping CompetitionFirst Reformed Church of Scotia / 224 N. Ballston Ave (Route 50) / Scotia, NY 12302

October 9, 2016Master Class with Willie McCallum in Albany, New YorkCeltic Hall / 430 New Karner Road / Albany, NY 12205

October 22, 2016World Solo DrummingGlasgow Caledonia University, Glasgow, Scotland

November 18, 2016Balmoral ClassicMcGonigle Theater, Central Catholic H.S., Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213

TIP OF THE DAY
Young drummers: Learn to play with subtlety so that the effect is rhythmical and musical.
Alistair Aitken, Gorebridge, Scotland

FROM THE ARCHIVES