Anonymous (possibly Guichard)
Natural Horn with Chinoiserie Bell Decoration
Maker: Unsigned, but similar to models by Guichard, Paris Date of manufacture: ca. 1840 Crooks: SI, LA, LAB, SOL, FA, MD, MB, RÉ, UT, Coupler: SIB
Note: This horn is part of a private collection in Great Britain. It is NOT part of the collection of Dick Martz but is similar in bell paint motif to another horn in that collection. The photographs and description below are used by permission of the owner, Mr. Martin Prowse.
Note on crooks: It was often the custom to stamp the Bb alto crook: SI, not SIB. MD stands for Mi dièse (E sharp), an antiquated French usage for E natural! (See Horn Methods by Dauprat and Domnich). The A-flat crook was introduced around the 1830s (it was not known to Dauprat in 1824).
This horn seems to have been played by a low player, the low keys being the crooks showing most use. The silver-plate plaques naming the keys show use of about three different stamping tools. The body of the horn is in very good condition, and the instrument is very responsive.
The chinoiserie design on dark blue ground of this horn can be compared most obviously to 3 other instruments:
1. Clavicor (invented 1837/38) by Guichard, Cité Musique, Paris, E.747
2. Unsigned horn, 2 Stoelzel valves, Dick Martz Collection
3. Orchestral horn by Guichard, Huesca Cathedral Archive
Other Guichard instruments also have chinoiserie designs, but are more divergent in style.