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Newsletter Blast from the Past: Bagpipe Satire in History

Merry Christmas from
The Celtic Croft
MacGregor Historic Games!

Originally Published December 2011
Bagpipes in humor is nothing new, so just for fun I thought I would
take a quick look at satirical representations of bagpipes through the

The devil using Martin Luther’s head as a bagpipe from the 16th century.

A fool dancing to the devil’s bagpipe. Probably 16th century.

A caricature of the Pope as a donkey playing pipes by Lucas Cranach. The caption reads:
‘The pope alone can interpret Scripture and sweep
away misapprehension in the same way that a donkey alone can play the bagpipes and get the notes right’. Dated 1545.

An ox playing the pipes from a 16th century German book of satirical fables.

“A drunken woman seducing a bagpipe player” 16th century painting by
Jan Sanders van Hemessen or Pieter Huys.

An 18th century caricature ‘The Scotch Wedding’ artist unknown.

1886 “Punch” cartoon lampooning Scottish home rule with Gladstone playing the pipes.

And finally an interesting general collection of bagpipes in art


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