The following was written to me by the current owner of two Ewen bagpipes.
"My great grandfather was from Kenmay, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. His father was head joiner (carpenter) at Dunecht Estate in Dunecht, which was the next town over. It even seems they lived on the Estate some of the time with the help. The piper at the Estate taught my Great Grandfather to play pipes. I believe this was Jonathan Ewen. Great Grampy Frank said the brother of his teacher made him a set of pipes. I believe the first set, is the set that he learned on. They were probably old when he started learning between 1905 and 1910, and Ewen had possibly made a new Chanter for them. The engraved silver sole of the chanter however, is from RGL. Sometime after coming to the US as a quarry worker in 1913, my Great Grandfather ordered the Ebony set of pipes from Ewen.
From Family History and Census Records it appears Charley Ewen is Charles Beattie Ewen (b. 18 JAN 1874, d. 26 SEP 1948). In WWI he joined the Gordon Highlanders and earned the rank of Lance Corporal of the 2nd Gordons. He returned home June 14th 1921. I have had very little luck finding out anything about his pipe making. I tried contacting some historic places in Aberdeenshire, but didn't turn up anything.
Here are a few photos I had of the Ebony Pipes. The lower tenor sections had been replaced by Kron with ABW back in 1998. I don't believe the silver is original, it doesn't have a British Stamp. I think I found a reference to a company in Chicago that matched the stamp on the silver.
The bass drone lower section on these pipes has an extremely faint C. EWEN stamp, only the top of the letters are visible. The cover is faded Gordon Tartan, I believe. He had silk drone ribbons that hadn't faded, and were clearly Gordon. Also, three color drone cords...
The photo of my great grandfather is from 1915. I have a few more of like that and a couple with bands.
That's about all I have. The make of the ebony pipes is quite different, and the sound is as well. I think I favor the Cocuswood set for the sound, but mostly because the tenors are more mellow. The big sound of the ebony pipes seems better with the band!"
What a fabulous find this was! The workmanship is very, very, good and it would be easy to mistake this set for a Glen, or Hutcheon, or Center bagpipe. The pictures below are of the Ebony Ewen bagpipe.