Serial Number:
Date of Manufacture:
1880 - 1900 ?
C, D, Eb, F, Ab crooks
3 rotary,  tapered cores, clockspring, mechanical linkage
11.55 mm
Bell Flare:
single seam, with garland
Bell Throat:
approx. 9.4 cm
Bell Diameter:
28.3 cm.
Base Metal:
brass, nickel silver trim
This is one very wierd horn!  It is in excellent condition and the valves remain quite tight.  This might indicate that it has not seen much use.  It plays quite well in all registers.  It has been suggested that it was made by Heidegger of Passau, Bavaria, or possibly in Prague (see comments, below).
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Notice the unusual shape of the third valve slide.  Taking into account the loop at the base of the slide its total length is approximately the same as the first valve slide. On most three-valve brass instruments the third valve is approximately one and one half times the length of the first.  It might seem at first that the first and third slides have been swapped.  This is not the case since the distance between the legs of the third valve slide is 5.0 mm larger than the first.  They can't be swapped since they don't fit each other.  The other expected possibility is that the third valve is an full step ascending as invented by Jules Halary (ca. 1847) and commonly used in France.  This is also not the case, nor is there any evidence that the valve has been reversed or modified in any way. 

So it stands that the third valve is a DESCENDING full step but slightly longer than the first valve.  The reason it is a little longer is to compensate for the sharpness that occurs when valves are used in combination.   What this means to the player is that any notes normally played with valves 2 + 3 (e.g. written G#) must be played with 1 + 3.  Similarly any notes normally played 1 + 3 are now 1 + 2 + 3 and low C# (normally 1 + 2 + 3) can only be played by hand stopping. 

This is a very unusual valve configuration, especially considering that the standard minor third descending valve dates from as early as 1819. 

Above, shown from the player's side with the F crook in place.  Notice that the crook is somewhat higher that on most terminal crook horns.  This puts the valves farther from the mouthpiece for an unusual holding angle.  Note also the unusual large horizontal main tuning slide and large curved braces to the valve section.  Compare these details with the Wilhelm Glujerin horn shown at the bottom of this page.
A total of five terminal crooks accompany this horn.  The above three are C, D, and F.  The other two (which were being repaired at the time of the photo) are Eb and Ab 
The rotary valves employ the encased coiled clockspring mechanism commonly found on European horns of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.  Details of the workmanship on the valve cranks, and pinkie hook and bell brace might provide clues to the horn's origin.
Note the similarities to above horn.  In particular the large curved brace to the top of the valve section and the large horizontal main tuning slide. The above horn  is described as follows:
Horn of nickel silver with three rotary valves and F crook.Marked in Cyrillic characters:WILHELM GLIJERIN WARSAW IN 1835 (date in Arabic numerals).  The valves, similar to many in use today [1960] are far in advance of any other valve of that time. 
Reginald Morely-Pegge,  The French Horn, Benn (London)/ Norton (New York), 2nd edition, p. 1973 
 It is not assumed that the "anonymous" horn is as old as the Glujerin horn but the similarties might suggest that the anonymous horn is also from an eastern European tradition.

One informed source suggets that it was made in the vicinity of Prague perhaps in the latter nineteenth century.

Another authority states that it is "more advanced than the Polish horn, as the design is better balanced. Horns of this kind with that many crooks were used mainly in church orchestras in rural communities.  The bore is larger than the
Austrian horns of that time. Even Bohemian horns were not that large bored.  Maybe it was manufactured in Passau by Ed.Heidegger. He had horns of that design."   According to The New Langwill Index (p.169), Ed. Heidegger made brass instruments in Linz as late as 1933 

In Passau, Bavaria, Georg Heidegger made woodwind and brass instruments  starting in 1840 and a horn of his design is in the Deutches Museum in Munich. He was also licensed as a stringed instrument maker and musical instrument dealer. Upon Heidegger's death in 1859 his partner, Johan Hornsteiner, married his widow, Antonia, and continued the business.  The collection of musical instruments in Oberhausmuseum at Passau includes 45 wind instruments from Passau, the state of Bavaria, and Upper Austria.  Among these are instruments from the Firma Heidegger, and  Heidegger und Hornsteiner.  Address: Oberhausmuseum der Stadt Passau, Georgsberg 125, D 94034 Passau. State, municipal and church museum.

William Waterhouse, The New Langwill Index of Musical Intrument Makers, Tony Bingham, London, 1993

CimCim International Directory of Musical Instrument Collections


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