Depictions of pipers in Scotland created before the 19th century are rare. It is reassuring to hear of the return of one thought to be lost

In the December 2010 issue of Common Stock we described the calamity that had befallen a rare carving of a piper. Thought to have originated at Ballinton in Stirlingshire sometime around 1620, the carving was photographed some time early this century installed in the Stable Wall at Abercairney House in Fife. This was before a severe frost in the spring of 2010 caused the entire front half of the carving to shear off and fall to the ground where it broke into several pieces.
The LBPS was involved in a project to restore this precious relic, during which time the pieces were stored in the stables shed. Little progress was made and in 2014 we learned that the pipers head, as separate piece, had been stolen sometime in the previous year. It seemed then that this unique carving was doomed to remain nothing but pieces in a box and a ghostly presence on the Stable wall.
However, we were delighted to learn, while this issue was being prepared, that the head has been returned and hopefully the project to restore it to its body and the body to its ghostly other-half will again become a possibility.