French Horn in F (Besson)

Catalogue number: 9.1

Original name: French horn in F.

Maker: Besson.

Place of origin: Paris, c.1858-1869.

Catalogue A puts 1820-74 as dates of making.

Overall size: 413mm (measured with bell facing down); bell: 27.9mm.

Technical description: Brass body with 3 Périnet valves. Seven crooks: 1. F, broad bore, may be original, four repair plates purfling on entry pipe matches the instrument; 2. F, medium bore, by Higham, Manchester, stamped ‘F’ on entry pipe, “J. HIGHAM L [?] / MAKER”; 3. F, medium/narrow bore, stamped ‘F’ on raised plate on entry pipe, heavily soldered repaired; 4. A flat (plays flat a’ = 437 Hz), no markings; 5. A flat, scratched on entry pipe “A flat [flat sign] HP”, matches crook no.4; 6. Semitone pipe inscribed “SEMI-TONE / L.P.”; 7. semitone pipe inscribed “SEMI-TONE / H.P.”.

Inscription: Engraved on Bell: “Approved / BY / HERR KŒNIG / GB / (inside floral design: BESSON / Breveté / 7 RUE DES / 3 COURONNES / A PARIS ) / JULLIEN & Co. / Sole Agents / 214 Regent Street”. Herman Kœnig was a famous cornet and post horn player.

Cases, etc: Wooden case, possibly original.

Faults: Numerous dents. Crack at the end of the main tuning slide.

Repair history: Numerous repair patches.

Usable pitch: Plays at a’ = 440 Hz.

Illustration references: See below.

Recording references: Click here

Previous owner: Sir Granville Bantock. This instrument was used by Bantock when he was a student at the Royal Academy of Music, from 1888.

Previous collection numbers: A: Item 120.

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