Bassoon (Eight Keys)

Catalogue number: 5.1

Original name: Bassoon.

Type or system: Eight keys.

Maker: William Milhouse, London, c.1805-1808.

Overall size: 1235mm

Bore: Wing joint: crook receiver 14.3mm - 15.5mm av.; boot joint: 17.2mm - 24.8mm; main joint: 24mm - 31mm; bell: 30.6mm - 39.5mm.

Technical description: Four sections of stained boxwood. Bell: 350mm; long joint: 571mm; wing joint: 534mm; boot: 433mm and two crooks, one being the shortened original. Eight brass keys, string tenons, and probably stained boxwood. Keyhead / mounts. Swallowtail touch flap on F key.

Key work and finger holes.

Left hand thumb:

T, B flat, harm 1, harm 2, D, E flat.

Left hand, first finger:


Left hand, second finger:


Left hand, third finger:


Right hand, thumb:

T, F sharp.

Right hand, first finger:


Right hand, second finger:


Right hand, third finger:


Right hand, fourth finger:

F, A flat.

Inscription: Stamped on tenor and boot: “W. MILHOUSE / LONDON”; stamped on bell and long joints: “W. MILHOUSE / LONDON / 337 OXFORD / STREET”; Stamped under E flat key: “WM”.

Playing accessories: Two crooks, possibly original.

Faults: Cracks: all repaired - top until half-way on bell; at some point the wood by the finger-holes on the tenor joint broke off. It has been repaired securely. Other: It is in very good condition, and is very playable. The original crook, not only being shortened, also has no flee-hole.

Usable pitch: Plays at a’ = 430 Hz.

Illustration references: See below.

Previous owner: R. S. Birch. Presented to Birmingham School of Music, 1949.

Previous collection numbers: A and B: Item 112.

Gallery of Images