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~ Merry Christmas 2015! ~






Here's a Christmas card for you from the Universe of Bagpipes. It's an engraving, done in the first half of the 18th century, so about 300 years old, from our print collection. It is of course a Nativity scene, in particular the scene often called The Adoration of the Shepherds. A bagpiper is not uncommonly seen among the shepherds in printed and painted Nativity scenes, and also as a carved or molded figure in European sets for a creche.

The bagpipe here may not jump right out at you, if you are not familiar with Central European bagpipes which often have cowhorns at the ends of drones and/or chanters. So, that's the bass drone sticking up, over on the middle left, with the bag partially visible at its low end. Bagpipes like this typically have a deep, rich voice, especially with that big bass drone, and thus can have a soothing sound, so it's an approprioate pipe in the setting. However, it's also a little unusual as engravings depicting easterly sorts of bagpipes are scarce and this wouldn't likely have been a pipe native to the artist's location. However, it could well be one or another of various Polish bagpipes, and Polish pipers are known to have travelled far and wide, so perhaps that can explain the artist's inspiration.

The engraving is by Johann Rudolf Storchlin (Swiss, 1720-1755).

The above picture is an ordianry JPEG, reduced in size from our scanner's output. You can right-click on it to save it.

Or, click here to download a full-size, high-resolution TIF format image of this antique bagpipe graphic that you can print onto quality paper, if you wish. If you fill an ordianry piece of paper vertically with it, that will be close to the original's size. Be aware that the TIF file size is about 30 Megabytes.

You may use this image freely, in any way you like.

Enjoy, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.


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