A Victorian gilt bronze figure of William Ross, Queen Victoria's piper at Balmoral, after Joseph Edgar Boehm
Commissioned by Victoria in 1865, shown piping and wearing full Black Watch regalia, mounted on an ebony veneered and gilt bronze mounted base (partly lacking).William Ross was born March 27, 1823 and enlisted in the Black Watch in 1839. In 1854 he was appointed piper to Queen Victoria and operated a bagpipe making business while living in London. In 1880 he went into partnership with Henry Starck.
Two Elkington silver plated versions of William Ross are in the Royal Collection. Both are c.41cm high. Boehm had previously made a series of four bronzes of Scottish athletes in Highland dress competing at Highland Games for Queen Victoria. She followed this commission between 1860 and 1870 with plaster (originals) and silver plated (Elkington) reproductions of these athletes and added a series of Scottish Highlanders in the Royal Household, including William Ross, the huntsman John Grant and her ghillie, John Brown.
Some of the silver plate versions were probably ordered to be presented as gifts, but a selection remain in the Royal Collection.
In 1880 Boehm was appointed sculptor-in-ordinary to the queen.
The second holder of the position of Queen's Piper, instituted by Queen Victoria after a visit to the Marquess of Breadalbane at Taymouth Castle, where she and Prince Albert heard the piper and admired the music. More here about the position https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piper_to_the_Sovereign
Other images of Ross in the Royal Collection include
https://www.royalcollection.org.uk/collection/search#/1/collection/2374651/william-ross-1822-91 (plus an uncoloured image of this photograph from the collection of Princess Helena, and another from the collection of Princess Louise)
Queen Victoria's Journals also mention Ross's playing frequently, the first entry being 3 May 1854:
We have got since yesterday the Pipe Major of the 42nd Highlanders on trial, my late Piper having gone out of his mind. He has played in the garden & at our own dinner, & plays extremely well, with a very marked good time. He is a fine, respectable looking man, with a very soldier-like bearing & good address, He comes from Ross-shire, & is called Ross, 31 years of age & has been 14 years in the Regt.
Plus subsequent entries until his death in 1891; they show he moved with the court.
Condition: Ebony veneered base currently being restored. The bronze figure in excellent condition.