Labhran Highland Wear Style Blog
We have curated another wonderful group of antique kilt and sporran photographs. Featuring a fabulous selection of antique and period Scottish national dress. From famous pipers, to Highland gentlemen and young gentlemen of the 19th and early 20th century.
Fabulous tartan kilt hose and spats styled with a Scottish Wildcat sporran.
Famous piper and bagpipe maker James Centre displaying a well earmed selection of his piping medals
A young gentleman in his tweed kilt and cricket bat
Victorian day dress complete with goat hair sporran
Interesting kilt hose worn by this circa 1880 piper.
A Scottish Wildcat sporran with three hair tassles. The kilt is also sporting a set of kilt rosettes. Great to see the gentlemans dog made it into the picture.
Wonderful bellowed kilt flashes on this gentleman’s hose.
This gentleman appears to have an almost barley twist style hilt to his dirk. Interesting variation.
This Aberdeen studio photo of a gentleman is wearing his standard tweed jacket rather than the shorter kilt style jacket. Many of the early photos show that this was common practice in the tweeds.
Interesting shooting outfit shows a laird completed with early pattern Kilmarnock bonnet with his personal crest badge. Great to see another dog in the studio.
More great vintage pattern hilt hose flashes circa 1860-70. Interesting to note the double brested kilt jacket. Was this inspired by the military pattern worn by the Black Watch in the 1850’s. However, we think this may have been for theatre as the gentleman is wearing the kilt the wrong way around. The pleats do not go at the front!
Although it is a regimental style we think the sporran is clan crested rather than regimental.
A Inverness studio photograph showing a gentleman in his classic otter full mask sporran paired with his tweed kilt. We also love the double brested kilt waistcoat. Another mans best friend in the shape of what looks like a West Highland Terrier also makes it into the photo.
Auld Dubrach Peter Grant – the last surviving Jacobite soldier of the ‘45.
Auld Dubrach – Peter Grant was painted in 1822 by Colvin Smith a native of Angus. The painting was commissioned by William Maule on whose estate Peter and his daughter lived.
Peter Grant born in a croft at Dubrach ( the place on a hillock of wild ferns ) near Braemar in 1714 the year before the first Jacobite rising of 1715. Peter grew up to be a tailor and weaver. When in 1745 Bonnie Prince Charlie – Charles Edward Stuart landed at Glenfinnan, Peter as with many Highlanders was sympathetic to the cause and joined Monaltrie’s and Balmoral regiment of the new Jacobite army with the rank of Sgt Major. His service saw him with the regiment saw him take part in a number of the historic battles of the uprising including The Battle of Prestonpans when he was decorated for bravery and finally the brutality of the Battle of Culloden in 1746, when he was taken prisoner. From that fateful day he was transported to Carlisle to face his fate of hanging or deportation. Having survived the trip to Carlisle, Peter managed to escape and with great difficulty and little resources travel back up into the Highlands.
With a price on his head and little money or food he made his way back to the area around Braemar. He managed to avoid re capture and returned to his former trade of a tailor. After some years he married a local girl Mary Cummings from Braemar who was many years his junior and she bore him a son and daughter.
The old croft at Dubrach
In 1820 two gentlemen were walking in Glen Lethnot hills and were introduced to Peter as Auld Dubrach after the croft were he lived. The two gentlemen were amazed to hear his story and about the fact he had fought in the ’45. He was in fine health for his age and even showed them how to use the broadsword he kept in his croft.
A petition for support was raised by the gentlemen and he was presented to King George II in Edinburgh. When he was introduced to King George, the ruling Monarch is reported to have siad “Ah, Grant, you are my oldest friend”, to which Auld Dubrach replied: “Na, na, your majesty, I’m your auldest enemy”. He was also asked if he still felt loyal to the Stuart Cause, he replied, “Yes, Sir, and I would be ready to give my support again, if needs be”. Peter Grant was awarded a life pension of 50 guineas a year and he returned to his home at Dubrach where he lived out his final years until he died on 11th February 1824 at the age of 110 years in his son’s home at Auchendryne.
More than 300 people attended his funeral and three pipers played the Jacobite tune “Wha Widna Fecht Fer Charlie” as his funeral progressed to Invercauld. It was reprted that an anker (about 4 gallons) of whisky was consumed before his coffin was lifted. At the graveside a piper played the Jacobite tune, “Wha widna fecht for Charlie’s richt?”.
A head stone was inscribed; “The old, loyal Jacobite was at peace. He had kept faith with those whom he thought were his rightful Monarchs all of his life, a hero and man of honour to the last.” A memorial stone was also errected in the kirk yard of Lethnot and Navar, commemorating Auld Dubrach, and his wife Mary and their daughter Anne. Mary is buried in Lethnot kirk yard.
He is mentioned in the book “No Quarter Given” which lists all known members of the Jacobite army during the ’45’, thus: “Sgt Major Grant Peter, Dubrach, Braemar, Taken, escaped, died 1824”.
Peter Grant Auld Dubrach the last surviving Jacobite soldier of the ’45.
Balmoral Tartan – The Royal Tartan
This is the original Balmoral as designed by Queen Victoria’s husband. Prince Albert in 1853. While predominantly grey with overchecks of red and black the background contains threads of black and white yarns twisted together to achieve the appearance of the rough hewn granite so familiar in Royal Deeside.
Albert Prince Consort – Born: 26 August 1819 – Died: 14 December 1861 - Designer of the Balmoral tartan.
Balmoral Tartan - The Royal Tartan
John Brown at Balmoral wearing a Balmoral tartan kilt
It is worn by HM Queen herself as a skirt and several members of the Royal Family but only with the Queen’s permission. The only other approved wearer of the Balmoral Tartan is the Queen’s personal piper (the Estate workers and Ghillies wear the Balmoral Tweed).
Quenn Victoria with members of the family. Her son Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence in the Balmoral tartan and a very fine badger head sporran.
Personal piper Jim Motherwell with the Queen wearing the Balmoral tartan
D W Stewart wrote in ‘Old and Rare Scottish Tartans’ (1893), ‘Her Majesty the Queen has not only granted permission for its publication here, but has also graciously afforded information concerning its inception in the early years of the reign, when the sett was designed by the Prince Consort.’ There is also a smaller sett that was woven for the children’s clothes. Checked against original cloth sample woven by Kinloch Anderson, holders of the Royal Warrant. The Balmoral was originally woven only by Romanes & Paterson of Edinburgh.
Duke and Duchess of Rothesay in the Balmoral tartan
Edward VII at Balmoral with a wonderful badger sporran
Prince Henry of Prussia at Balmoral castle in the Balmoral tartan
Tartan Details – Balmoral (Royal)
The information held within The Scottish Register of Tartans for the “Balmoral (Royal)” tartan is shown below.
Albert, Prince Consort
Balmoral Tartan – The Royal Tartan
We have curated another wonderful group vintage and antique Highland dress photographs. Some in true Victorian style taken in the studio. Others from the early 20th century taken outside at Highland Games and gatherings.
Circa 1917: Duke of Montrose, Marquis of Grahame, Earl of Dumfries, Lord Ronald Grahame, Mr Campbell Preston
Victorian clan chief circa 1870 CDV photograph taken in Edinburgh. A very fine peirced and engraved goat hair sporran.
Colonel Ewen Henry Davidson Macpherson in full dress with medals, dirk, powder horn and sword, styled with a velvet evening jacket.
Highland Games 1927 style with a wonderful Pine Marten sporran
The Duke and Duchess of Windsor – Classic kilt style
Classic otter sporran circa 1900
1870’s style with goat hair sporran worn with day dress.
1890’s kilt style with Pine Marten sporran and matched tweed jacket and deerstalker hat
Clan chief CDV photograph taken in London complete with levee dress pistols and dirk
Highland day dress with spats and a classic Pine Marten sporran
Studio photograph taken in San Francisco circa 1880. The gentleman by be ex regiment as he appears to be wearing an Argyle & Sutherland Highlanders badge on his glengarry. Also a fine set of tartan kilt rosettes on his kilt apron.
MacKenzie Murdoch Scottish violinist circa 1890. Rather fine pocket detailing.
This gentleman has brought his dog into the Glasgow based photographic studio for a rare early photo of a dog. Amazingly it almost stayed still while the photograph was exposed circa 1870.
Clan crest and sword Edinburgh hallmarked sterling silver kilt pins
We are very proud of our range of kilt pins hand crafted in the workshops of Hamiliton & Inches for our discerning clients around the world.
Hand crafted sterling silver Wallace sword kilt pin.
In addition to our classic range of silver kilt pins we offer a wide range of Scottish clan crest kilt pins made to order. Email us with your clan details
Hand crafted Scottish clan crest sterling silver kilt pins - Crafted and hallmarked in Edinburgh for The House of Labhran.
Malcolm MacGregor Prize Bagpipe 1813
A few of years ago Pipe Major Roger Huth and ourselves purchased the prize bagpipe from the 1813 competition presented by the Highland Society of London from the family of the winner Finlay MacLeod . The family lived in Somerset, South West England, so our return up the A303 we were passing Stonehenge and we stopped for a break. Pipe Major Roger Huth ( Scots Guards ret ) couldn't resist playing this antique bagpipe near these ancient stones and we to got the pipes out and installed a set of new drone reeds and played a couple of tunes on them.
Bagpipe maker Malcolm MacGregor moved from Glasgow to London, between 1802 and 1810.
He made the prize bagpipe for the Highland Society of London from 1812 to 1815. This particular bagpipe was awarded to Finlay MacLeod on July 28, 1813 at a competition held in London. The had been made by Malcolm MacGregor and commissioned from him for about four pounds from records we think by the powerful Highland Society of London. The stocks have hairlines which soon became apparant but the drones okay. A gentle 'MacDougal' type of sound from them. The chanter must have been taken from the shelf as it still has projections on the side for fitting a key like the Northumbrian & Brian Boru pipes have as standard. The pad which covers the hole rather than your finger. It must have had a good sound as the holes show plenty of use. However, the key had been removed at somepoint in the past.
Roger later played these same bagpipes to the Highland Society of London at their Annual Dinner. Roger couldn't hope to cover the huge holes on the original chanter (skinny fingers) so played one of our modern chanters. The drones never moved, a delightful indoor sound and obviously made by a master bagpipe maker. The winning tune in 1813 was 'Black Donald's March', and was the one Roger played for the annual dinner, but from Donald MacDonald's book as that was probably the style in 1813.
Pipe Major Roger Huth
The Malcolm MacGregor Prize Bagpipe was later sold by us to a collector in Europe and the bagpipe appears in Highland bagpipe Makers book by Jeannie Campbell.
Kilt Bows Ribbons, Gaelic Knots & Kilt Rosettes - Hand made in Scotland
Hand craft gaelic knots on the kilt have been popular since the 19th century. The House of Labhran hand craft kilt bows - gaelic knots for clients around the world. From Scottish Highland and Royal Regiment of Scotland patterns to civilian patterns. Made in a wide range of colours in quality grosgrain ribbon to suit most kilts and tartans for regimental Pipe Major's. Hand crafted officers, SNCO and pipers patterns kilt bows, kilt rosettes and gaelic knots.
For the full range of options have a look at the website gaelic knot page
Gaelic Knot kilt bows hand made at the House of Labhran Scotland for Highland dress clients around the world.
Hand crafted grosgrain ribbon in a large colour selection of colours to compliment your kilt.
Black Watch - Royal Regiment of Scotland Pipe Major Royal Stewart Kilt Bows
Hand made in Scotland to order
Victorian gentlemen with Gaelic Knot Kilt Bows
Victorian gentlemen with Gaelic Knot Kilt Bows
Edwardian gentlemen with Gaelic Knot Kilt Bows
Argyll kilt rosettes - Hand made in grosgrain ribbons
Victorian gentlemen with Gaelic Knot Kilt Bows
Grey Civilian Pattern Gaelic Knot Kilt Bows
WW1 Scots Guards Pipe Major with regimental kilt rosettes
Gaelic knors and kilt rosettes - Hand made in Scotland to order
Red Civilian Pattern Gaelic Knot Kilt Bows
Kilts and sporrans at Mar Lodge 19th century Highland style
We thought we would share a few more photos from the 19th century and early 20th century featuring the Royal family and guests at Mar Lodge Aberdeenshire.
Mar Lodge is a sporting lodge five miles to the west of Braemar and the principal building on the Mar Lodge Estate in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. It was built in 1895, replacing an earlier building, by Alexander Duff, 1st Duke of Fife. Today it is owned and run by the National Trust for Scotland.
Mar Lodge 1863
The group in the doorway of the smoking room including the Prince and Princess of Wales. This was the Prince’s first visit to the lodge in 1863. The stripped socks worn by the gentleman on the left are very much of the time and in the photo below the gentleman seated is wearing socks with the stripes running vertically.
Mar Lodge interior 1863
An amazing group of heads of Red Deer stags from Mar Lodge adorn the walls.
1904 Mar Lodge
The Royal Prince’s are wearing their kilts and fine, if not slightly oversized sporrans. A royal family gathering at Mar Lodge in Scotland. Back row, from left, Queen Alexandra, Louise Duchess of Fife, Duke of Fife, The Hon. Charlotte Knollys, Cunningham Graham, King Haakon. Children in the middle row, from left, Prince Olaf, Lady Alexandra Duff, Lady Maud Duff. Front row, from left, Edward VIII (1895 – 1972), Princess Mary, and Princess Victoria, holding Prince Albert’s hand. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
The royal party at Mar Lodge with Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale in the front row in the balmoral tartan and his father Albert Edward, Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII ) in the back row. Circa 1880
Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale on the left with a wonderful badger sporran. Circa 1880
Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII ) at Mar Lodge circa 1880’s - Wonderful 18th century style sporran.
Edward VII Vintage Highland Wear Style
From an early age King Edward VII was a lover of clothes and fashion. This of course included Highland wear and we have curated a series of photos showing the Prince and later the King through the years. From his mothers reign an high Victorian style to his own Edwardian reign.
It is interesting to note the prince who was left handed wore his dirk and sgian dubh on the left rather than the right.
The prince in a tweed kilt with a Scottish Wildcat sporran
The prince wearing a fine velvet jacket and waistcoat with ball style buttons and full mask otter sporran.
Vintage CDV of Edward Prince of Wales and Alexandra of Denmark at Balmoral circa 1867 with young: Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale, George V, Louise, Princess Royal
The Four Princes H.R.H. the Prince of Wales, H.R.H. the Duke of Edinburgh, H.R.H. the Duke of Connaught and H.R.H. the Duke of Albany, September 1st, 1881. From the book "V.R.I. Her Life and Empire" by The Marquis of Lorne, K.T. now his grace The Duke of Argyll. (Photo by Universal History Archive/Getty Images) A wonderful selection of otter and Scottish Wildcat sporrans.
King Edward VII wearing a black mourning armband for his mother queen Victoria 1901
King Edward VII in tweed kilt with matched cap and Scottish Wildcat sporran
We have just finished crafting a bespoke brown antiqued leather hand aged Hunters sporran. We started the project with a wonderful antiqued brown leather. Once the sporran was completed with brass stud embellishments we then start the process of hand ageing. The patina is slowly built up using a range of processes to give it that classic aged look.
Hand aged antiqued leather Hunters sporran
In time the patina will grow and build for a wonderful authentic aged look for a true antique of the future. We have just helped speed up that process, as we have a passion for the texture and patina in leather sporrans.
If you have any questions about having a bespoke sporran made, please email us with your sporran ideas.
We have gather together and curated a new collection of vintage Highland gentleman photographs from our own collection and photographs that clients have kindly sent us. They make a wonderful reference source of 19th century Highland dress. We hope you enjoy the style, cut of jackets, splendour of sporrans.
King Edward VII with wonderful classic leather sporran in an 18th century style
Highland Inverness day dress for this gentleman means tweed kilt, otter sporran and spats.
A fine goat hair sporran
Interesting kilt hose
John Brown in full dress
Ghillies at The Cuilfail Hotel Argyll
Interesting personal crest on this gentlemans bonnet
Matching tweed kilt and jacket styled with a wildcat sporran
1860’s Piper with levee dress pistols
Clan chief in full evening dress including silver goat hair sporran, levee dress pistols, sword and velvet doublet
Wonderful classic badger full mask sporran
The Oban Gathering
Piper Robert Ireland
It would be wonderful if we could track down more of these sporrans and plaid brooches. They must still be some where out there.
Incredible gauntlet cuffs on this pipers doublet
1860’s studio photograph
Antique Victorian 1890 Celtic Silver Sgian Dubh
Antique silver sgian dubh with ribbon carved studded handle ball mounted hilt. Leather covered and celtic engraved silver mounted scabbard. In good used antique condition, some minor age related pitting to the blade.
Thomas Ebbutt Edinburgh vintage silver celtic sgian dubh
Sterling silver celtic knot work
Thomas Ebbutt Edinburgh vintage silver hallmarked sgian dubh