Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Alto Recorder in F

Johann Benedikt Gahn (German, Nuremberg 1674–1711 Nuremberg)
ca. 1700
Nürnberg, Germany
Height: 19 1/8 in. (48.6 cm)
Aerophone-Whistle Flute-recorder
Credit Line:
The Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments, 1889
Accession Number:
Not on view
Johann Benedikt Gahn was admitted as master in the Nürnberg wood turners guild in 1698. Specializing in musical instruments he maintained a workshop until his death in 1711. About sixteen recorders and a few oboes of ivory or boxwood have survived. Some of his recorders, like this one, feature a carved decoration with acanthus leaves and a mask, a motive, linked to Nürnberg, and appearing on other instruments by other makers. It occurs on peg boxes of viols and on recorders of the famous Nürnberg woodwind maker, Johann Wilhelm Oberlender the Elder (1681–1763). The alto recorder, one of several members of the recorder family, became the favorite size after 1700 and many chamber pieces were written for it. It was also assigned solo tasks in orchestral works of the period.
Marking: I.B. Gahn (in scroll)
Mary Elizabeth Adams Brown
4900 Historical Woodwind Instruments: An Inventory of 200 Makers in International Collections. Phillip T. Young. London, 1993, pg. 84.

A Checklist of European & American Flageolets, Recorders, & Tabor Pipes. 2. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1989, pg. 14, ill.

"Musical Instruments in The Metropolitan Museum." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin (1978), Vol. XXXV, No. 3, pg. 40, ill.

A Checklist of Western European Flageolets, Recorders, and Tabor Pipes. 1. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1976, pg. 7, ill.

Catalogue of the Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments: Europe. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1904, vol. I, pg. 116.

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. 116.

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