North East Musical Instruments Auction Highlights: Northumbrian pipes, saxophones & more

A collection of Northumbrian pipes and other musical instruments owned by a renowned North East pipe maker and player sold at auction for an impressive sum this March.

Colin Ross was a world-famous pipe maker from Monkseaton who made more than 300 sets of pipes in his lifetime.

He was part of one of the most influential groups of the Folk Revival, The High Level Ranters, which was formed in 1964. Ross was likely the most well-known maker of Northumbrian pipes in the 20th century.

Northumbrian pipes differ than the more infamous Scottish bagpipes in that they are quieter and offer a more complex sound of almost two chromatic octaves. Ross’ enthusiasm for the instruments spurred a revival of the traditional music from the North East that is still thriving today.

Newcastle auction house Anderson and Garland sold 20 sets of Ross' Northumbrian pipes as well as numerous Scottish and Border small pipes, pastoral pipes, pipe chants, drones and bellows in the Musical Instruments auction on 3rd March 2020.

Modest estimates for the collection were around £11,000 but the auction result was significantly higher at more than £36,000.

The auction also included a fine local private collection of rare saxophones which sold for in excess of £47,000.

Highlights from the Musical Instruments Auction

Lot 214-Set of Northumbrian small pipes.

A set of Northumbrian small pipes, in concert D tuning, by Colin Ross, with eleven keyed silvered and black wood chanter, horn ends, three G drones, in black wood with silver mounts, chanter dated 2009, with a set of new wood bellows, by Tom Swiney, some silver parts hallmarked. 

Sold for £1,600


Lot 225-Set of Northumbrian small pipes.

A set of Northumbrian small pipes, by Colin Ross, in the key of G, fourteen key chanter, black wood with simulated ivory and brass mounts, fitted with four drones, crimson velvet covered bag, together with a set of bellows, by Tom Swiney.

Sold for £1,600



Lot 208-Set of pastoral pipes.

A set of pastoral pipes, by Colin Ross, in the key of A or G, in dark wood with nickel mounts and keys, simulated ivory mounts, two drones, black leather bag, no bellows, in foam-lined aluminium case.

Sold for £1,500.


Lot 129-Selmer super balanced action tenor saxophone

A 1949 Selmer Paris super balanced action tenor saxophone, serial number 39599, with original lacquer, fully engraved decoration, mother-of-pearl buttoned keys, stamped 'MADE IN FRANCE', above patent numbers and serial number. Original Selmer London brown leather cloth plush lined case with retailer's label for Len Wood Musicals, 108 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, W1.

Sold for £5,100.


Lot 62-1968 Gibson 335 TDC Guitar


A 1968 Gibson Kalamazoo 335TDC guitar, serial number 515566, with pearloid block inlaid rosewood fretboard, mahogany neck and laminated maple body with cherry finish, strapeze tailpiece and tune-o-matic bridge with nylon adjustable sting spacers, two humbucking pickups, toggle switch and four black 'top-hat' knobs, orange interior label with model and serial number, Kluson Deluxe tuners with plastic tulip pegs, the rear of the headstock stamped with serial number, Ess and Ess Brooklyn, New York yellow plush lined black vinyl covered hard case.

Sold for £4,000.


Lot 110-Francesco Scappio Violin 1904

Francesco Scappio, an Interesting Italian violin dated 1904, stamped F Scappio and with hand written interior label dated 1904, with two piece flamed back, light amber varnish, length of back 35.6cms, cased with two bows.

Sold for £820. 



Lot 9-Wheatstone Concertina

A Wheatstone 48 button English system concertina, serial number 28185, with ebonised fret cut hexagonal ends, five fold leather bellows, 48 nickel silver buttons, leather thumb straps, inset brass label inscribed 'C. Wheatstone & Co, Inventors, Patentees & Manfcts. Concertinas & Aeolas, London.', in plush lined brown leather case with interior paper label.', together with a copy of the 9th Edition of Instructions for the Concertina by Joseph Warren, published by C Wheatstone &Co.

Sold for £700.


View the results of the Musical Instruments Auction online here.

Our next Music Auction will be on 2nd July 2020 and we are accepting musical instrument valuations online or by appointment at our Newcastle auction house.



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