Serpent in C
Catalogue number: 8.5
Original name: Serpent in C.
Type or system: Three keys.
Place of origin: England, c.1820-40.
Overall size: 745mm.
Sounding length: 2206mm (without crook).
Diameter of crook receiver: 24.5mm.
Technical description: Wooden body, covered with leather; three metal stays; six finger-holes bushed in ivory.
Three brass keys mounted on brass saddles, springs attached to the key: B, C sharp and F sharp.
Faults: Main body broken at first bend from mouthpiece due to rotten wood. Serpents often went rotten from the inside and broke at the first bend due to a build-up of moisture from playing and no water key to release it. Crook missing.
General usage: Probably a military instrument (smaller loops to facilitate better finger position when standing up).
Illustration references: See below.
Previous owner: Sir John Holder. Donated to Birmingham School of Music, 1904.
Previous collection numbers: A and B: Item 59.