Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Bassoon in C

John Meacham (American, Enfield, Connecticut 1785–1844 Albany, New York)
ca. 1811
Albany, New York, United States
Wood, brass
Length 121.8 cm
Aerophone-Reed Vibrated-double reed
Credit Line:
The Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments, 1889
Accession Number:
Not on view
This bassoon is built in the typical four sections: bell, long or bass, butt, and wing. The instrument has four brass keys (one of which is missing), mounted in brass saddles, and four brass rings and a brass crook. This instrument is one of the earliest bassoons made in North America known to survive.

John Meacham was one of the earliest musical instrument makers native to the United States, having been born in Enfield, Connecticut, in 1785. He began manufacturing instruments in about 1810 in Albany, New York. His brother Horace joined him in 1813. The Meachams also sold hardware and military goods. The company became Meacham and Pond in 1828 when the brothers partnered with Sylvanus Pond.
Marking: 1) (on upper 3 sections) MEACHAM
2) (on butt above thumb hole) MEACHAM/ALBANY (the letters much worn)
Mary Elizabeth Adams Brown
Our Tuneful Heritage: American Musical Instruments from The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exhibition catalogue., Brigham Young University. Provo, Utah, 1994, pg. 71, fig. 40, ill.

4900 Historical Woodwind Instruments: An Inventory of 200 Makers in International Collections. Phillip T. Young. London, 1993, pg. 155.

A Checklist of American Musical Instruments. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1989, pg. 32.

William E. Hettrick, Jane Bowers in Journal of the American Musical Instrument Society: The Meachams, Musical Instrument Makers of Hartford and Albany. Periodical., Copyright 1980 by the American Musical Instrument Society. 1980, V–VI, pg. 60.

Written by, Honorary Editor Anthony Baines. "Oboe, Bassoons, and Bass Clarinets, made by Hartford Connecticut, Makers before 1815." The Galpin Society Journal (1977), vol. XXX, pg. 48.

Catalogue of the Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments: Europe. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1904, vol. I, pg. 149, ill.

Catalogue of the Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments of All Nations: I. Europe, Galleries 25 and 26, Central Cases of Galleries 27 and 28. Catalogue., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, vol. 13, pg. 149, 149+, ill.

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