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


  • CN/NP ?> Common name / Nominal Pitch

    Oboe in C

  • TS ?> Type or system

    11 keys

  • MK ?> Maker


  • IN ?> Mark, inscriptions

    (seven-point star) / BORMANN / DRESDEN / (seven-point star) – on TJ;

    (seven-point star) / BORMANN / (seven-point star) – on MJ;

    (crown) / BORMANN / DRESDEN / (seven-point star) – on B.

  • PL ?> Place of origin Dresden
  • DM ?> Date of making First half of the 19th century.
  • MATERIALS Boxwood with ivory mounts and silver keys.

    Full measurement drawing no.PL0015 available at the MIM

  • Body Length 565.7mm
  • TJ length (body + tenon) 211.3mm + 20.3mm
  • MJ length (body +tenon) 208.5mm + 24.6mm
  • B length 145.9mm
  • Acoustic Length 323.1mm
  • BORE
  • Minimal bore 4.3mm
  • Reed well diameter 6.5mm
  • Bore at end of TJ 9.7mm
  • Bore at top of MJ 11.0mm
  • Bore at end of MJ 14.5mm
  • Bore at top of B 18.6mm

    11 keys and 12 touches. the Bb keyhead and lever for R1 is missing.

    Silver keys with flat octagonal flaps type Young-O, except for round octave key flap, and square cross-F key, possibly to match the raised square tone-hole in turnery.

    Keys both on saddles and woodblocks.

    On TJ: Schleifklappe (slur key or octave key), C (trill) for L3, Bb key for R1 (key and lever missing) on saddle (missing) with duplicate on woodblock for L0;

    On MJ: G# key on woodblock for L4, F# on saddle for R4, cross-F on saddle, C-C#-Eb (Dresden design), mysterious key for L4 being either a left Eb-key or a forked-F vent-hole (forked-F improvement key), low B with long lever for L4, key on bell on woodblock.

    3rd hole doubled with finger cove. 4th hole single.

    Wooden thumb rest sculptured in body.

    F-hole raised in turnery.

    Raised key rings circular.

    SATK (springs attached to the keys).

    Inner rim in bell. No vent-holes.

  • FL ?> Faults

    Good condition. Bb key and lever for R1 missing. No visible cracks. Some scratches on B. Ivory bottom mount on B cracked and chipped. Some pads missing. Some key-holes plugged, probably for instrument testing.

  • UP ?> Usable Pitch

    Only few notes could be played because keys or pads are missing or do not seal, pointing towards A = c435Hz with reed TL 68.9mm / staple 42mm / tip width 7.7mm.

    According to Moonen (1978 MIM instrument drawing) A = 438Hz with a reed TL NN / staple NN / tip width 8.8mm / exposed length c37mm.

  • PO ?> Previous Ownership


  • SR ?> Specific literature Reference

    Mentioned in Waterhouse (1993) p.41 (mistakenly as 'oboe d'amore’).

    Listed in Young (1993) p.34.

  • GL ?> General literature (about this type of instrument)

    Adkins (2001).

  • Comparable instruments

    Oxford: The Bate Collection, Bormann oboe no.206.

    Amsterdam: De Vries Collection (1999) Bormann oboe p 21.

  • Remarks

    It is not clear if this oboe can be ascribed to Carl Gottlob Bormann, who died in 1839. Bormann would start his business after 1808 according to Waterhouse (1993) p.34, citing the Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung.

    According to Dullat (2010) p.91 this specific stamp corresponds to his son Carl Gottlieb Bormann.


    According to Young (1993) p.34 all keys seem original.

    Much remains unclear about the Dresden keymount techniques at the beginning of the 19th century, mixing up both saddles and woodblocks and sometimes pillars. Of course the keys on woodblocks are always original, but at the same time it is often not clear if the keys with saddles came together with the first ones, or were added later. All keys on this instrument have the same keyhead style, except for the octave key, which is always round, and the cross-F which is square for some specific reason (see above). Certainly original is the Bb duplicate (if it is meant as ‘duplicate’ and not as a main lever) for L0 on woodblock. This key appeared on German oboes only around the 1820s, under the influence of the Sellner-oboe. Therefore this oboe might possibly have been made after that date.


    According to Moonen (1978 MIM instrument drawing) the keys are in brass and German silver.


    There is a major stain on bell, either acid or burn stain, seems not to have been done on purpose. Probably as a result of an accident with acid coloration, according to Marcel Ponseele.