Sunday, 9 August 2009

Binious & bombardes Maggie Bryant

In her June post entitled “Fête de la Musique” Quimper author & expert Adela Meadows blogged about the musicians of Brittany and their unique instruments and I’m sure, like me, you know a lot more about them after reading the blog than you did before.Quillivic statue in Plozevet, Brittany.

As I mentioned in my first post a few days ago I am no Quimper expert but as my Nana, a Lancashire lass (as am I), used to say “I know what I like”. And what I like is a pipe and drum band wherever it comes from.

I took this description from Adela’s blog post:
The word biniou is Breton for bagpipe…the instrument is called a cornemuse in French. There are several different varieties…the most widely used in Brittany is a version very similar to the Grand Highland Pipes of Scotland.

The very shabby black and white photograph was taken in the 1950’s, during a family holiday in Torquay, Devon, UK. That’s me as a very small girl gleefully posing with a female member of a Scottish pipe band. Why they too were in Devon I have no recollection but it just goes to show that even then Quimper was sure to be in my future somehow!

These photographs are of some of our Quimper collection, decorated with biniou and bombarde playing musicians a.k.a. Sonerien and a small vase in biniou form. The following photographs are of pieces which we have previously owned but are now in other collections.

At the annual meeting this October in Dallas, one of the guest speakers will give a presentation on the “Biniou and Bombarde and Quimper faience” and the autumn edition of the Journal will feature faience with a musical theme.

If you are in France next week don't forget that one of the best Antique Fairs held in Brittany during the summer will be taking place in Plomeur Bodou 13th – 16th August.



  1. Maggie, oh how I wish I could fly over for the antiques fair. You'll have to share the experience through the blog so we can all take part vicariously. Love seeing pieces from your collection.

  2. The Club update will be requesting pics of the Binou and Bombarde this time out, I know where to come :-)

  3. Super, all the music and the instruments. We were lucky enough to attend the dances one evning in the Cathedral clos, and how wonderful it was..the dancing, the music, and it was COLD, I remember that too!

  4. Interesting as always Maggie, thank you so much! Just as Sarah, I live vicariously through all these delightful posts.