Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Trompe de Chasse in D

J. Pettex-Muffat (French, late 19th century)
ca. 1883–95
Paris, France
Brass, silver
Height (Perpendicular to bell): 20 5/16 in. (51.6 cm) Diameter (Of bell, approximate): 10 3/4 in. (27.3 cm)
Aerophone-Lip Vibrated-horn
Credit Line:
Purchase, Susan and Elihu Rose Foundation Inc. Gift, 1998
Accession Number:
1998.295a, b
Not on view
This horn is typical of those still used in the French hunt. It represents the final form of the Trompe d'Orleans, which was introduced in about 1831 following an order of the Count d'Orleans. In contrast to its forerunners, the trompe d'Orleans has a a smaller coil diamter. This handier size was made possible by the introduction of the English riding cap in France after the Revolution 1971/92 and the first Republic. This small cap enabled a horn with smaller coils to slip over the head. Francois Perinet is considered as the major figure who refined the new type giving it its final structure.

The outfitting of the horn with a heavily decorated bell garland was developed under Perinet's successor, Joseph Pettex-Muffat, who took over the business in the late 1840s. The decor's creator was apparently H. Farnier in 1860. The decor features heavily silver plated reliefs on the garland and stays. The garland is a high relief with hunting scences, built up by electrotyping of copper and finishing by silver plating. The stays feature oak leaves and acorns. There is also a cartouche designed to bear the name of the prospective owner of the horn, It remained void. The bell interior is blackened, a feature of hunting horns designed to prevent reflections, or "dazzling", that would have frightened riders and game.
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