© MIM Photo Anne Deknock
  • IND ?> Inv. number


  • CN/NP ?> Common name / Nominal Pitch

    English horn in F

  • TS ?> Type or system

    Multi-keyed angled English horn with bell boot joint.

  • MK ?> Maker


  • IN ?> Mark, inscriptions

    No mark found

  • DM ?> Date of making Middle of the 19th century.
  • MATERIALS ‘Ebonised’ maple with ivory mounts and brass keys.

    Hard to measure exactly.

  • Body Length c.1157mm (incl. metal turn cap)
  • TJ length (body + tenon) 295.6mm + 15.5mm
  • MJ length (body +tenon) MJ + knee socket = c.332.8mm (knee socket stuck)
  • B length c.189mm
  • Acoustic Length c.450mm
  • BORE
  • Minimal bore n.m. (bocal stuck)
  • Reed well diameter n.m. (bocal stuck)
  • Reed or crook well depth (if cylindrical) n.m. (bocal stuck)
  • Bore at end of TJ 12.3mm
  • Bore at top of MJ 12.3mm
  • Bore at end of MJ n.m. boot not detachable without disassembling keys.
  • Bore at top of B n.m. bell not detachable without disassembling keys.

    Brass keys with round flat flaps, soldered. Heavy keywork. All keys on saddles. 7 keys for L-thumb.

    Basically Sellner-oboe layout.

    Angled instrument with a knee socket and a bell boot joint in Brod Baritone oboe-style. 6 lower extension notes.

    Raised key rings circular.

    Hole 6 with raised wooden insert.

    SATK (springs attached to the key).

    Bulb bell.

    Lower extension key-holes are bassoon-like, huge and function as vent-holes.

    No metal lining as far as can be seen.

  • FL ?> Faults

    Bad condition. Keys bent, pads and springs missing. Instrument kept together with wire in some places.

  • PA ?> Playing Accessories

    Bocal (not clear if original). Mahillon (R1978) Vol.II pp.253–4 also mentions a reed.

  • UP ?> Usable Pitch

    Played with a reed TL 52.8mm / staple 28mm ø 5mm / tip width 11mm, combined with the present bocal gave as a result A=c.440–2Hz as far as could be tested.

  • PC ?> Performance Characteristics

    Instrument could hardly be played because of bad condition, but it is definitely an F-oboe.

  • PO ?> Previous Ownership

    Unknown. The museum acquisition date is also unclear, but most probably 1883.

  • SR ?> Specific literature Reference

    Mahillon (R1978) Vol.II pp.253–4.

    Altenburg (1897) p.194.

  • Remarks

    Most probably German. 


    Mahillon (R1978) Vol.II pp.253–4, argues that this is an experimental musical instrument (....“exagération”....“grave inconvénients”....) but not successful due to too many keys.


    The keywork of the 0975 is not very nice, and is entirely screwed into the instrument’s body. Therefore it is not unimaginable that this instrument was originally a 2- or 3-keyed instrument with a simple bulb bell – although hole 3 and 4 are single – to which a bell boot joint and an experimental keywork have been added over time.


    Some sources suggest that this instrument could possibly be made by Streitwolf. The German family Streitwolf (fl 1806–1861) is reported to have made/invented English horns with extension notes. Three more Streitwolf English horns with a boot are to be found in the Germanisches Nationalmuseum Nürnberg, no.MI 468, the Württembergisches Landesmuseum Stuttgart, no.1990-52, and in the Museum für Musikinstrumente der Universität Leipzig, no.1351. See also Waterhouse (1993) pp.389–90. 


    Altenburg (1897) p.194, compares this very instrument with a Streitwolf English horn (Heckel Collection, instrument with 3 lower extension notes), but without ascribing the 0975 specifically to Streitwolf, although he remarks ("…there is no name on the instrument…") that such an instrument could very well have been conceived by the mind of an inventor such as Streitwolf. Without describing the instrument in detail, Altenburg reports that he and Mr. Mahillon came to the conclusion that this kind of experiment with too many keys made the instrument rather unworkable.


    Rudimentary comparison of the 0975 with pictures of the Streitwolf angled English horn KGS-1963-0060-117 in the Zürich Bellerive museum, both the Streitwolf English horns of St Petersburg (Katalog sobranija muzykal'nych instrumentov 1972, photo section, no page number) and the Heckel Collection (see Heckel (R2000) p.37) suggested not much resemblance to the 0975. 


    However, there are similarities with the Nuremberg Germanisches Nationalmuseum English horn MI486, and the Leipzig Grassi Museum English horn 1351, both Streitwolf instruments with a boot.