John Center made bagpipes in Edinburgh, Scotland from 1869 until 1908. when John along with his son James emigrated to Australia. They continued to make bagpipes there until John’s death in 1913.
James Robertson took over the Center’s shop on Grove Street in 1908.
Another interesting note is that Robert Gillanders Sr. worked for the Centers and married John’s oldest daughter Jane in 1893.
The pictures below are of a pre 1900 Cocuswood set that belongs to PM Roger McGuire of Victoria, BC.
"J Center, Edindburgh" stamped on the chanter.
Great comparison shot of Center vs. Lawrie tops. This set has a replacement ebony Lawrie tenor top. Note the color difference of ebony vs. Cocuswood, and note the differences in profiles - particularly the width and shape of cords bead, and the fountains/bells.
Bass top - bell, fountain and cord beads
Ringcaps. Slightly raised bushes were not very common among early Edinburgh makers, Oddly, all three Center sets shown here have it. Other sets have flat tops.
Profile of the stocks
Flat bottomed stocks were a Center trait.
Detail of projecting mount
Some lovely yellowed ivory - the middle top is not a Center(a Lawrie replacement)
Bottom section projecting mounts
Another good comparison of the ebony Lawrie top(middle) with cocuswood
This next set comes to us from John Whidden of Nova Scotia. They have been in his family since 1928 when his grandmother bought them for his uncle who attended Loretto School in Edinburgh. They have since been restored by Thomas Doucet.
A great profile of the bass top
These rincaps and bushes on John's set are made of celluloid.
Post restoration....they look great!
Next is a Cocuswood set I had the privilege of playing(had a hard time putting them down!)
Ivory ringcaps on the cocus set...raised bushes again.
The next pictures come to us from Yann Le Lan of France.
Cocus set with nickel ferrules and ivory mounts and caps
These two Cocuswood Center sets have a very "chic" button mount.
This next set is owned and played by Kyle Barrie of Duncan, BC
Large cut bead on the projecting mount
The light grain looks classy!
A very "Center" looking top