Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Cornet à Pistons in B-flat

Courtois frères
Paris, France
Brass, touch pieces of ivory
7 1/2 × 4 5/8 × 15 1/2 in. (19.1 × 11.7 × 39.4 cm)
Aerophone-Lip Vibrated-horn
Credit Line:
Purchase, Amati Gifts, 2002
Accession Number:
Not on view
The cornet was invented in France in the 1820s as a valved version of the post horn. The instrument met immediate success and soon replaced keyed bugles as a favorite among audiences. This instrument has two valves of the type invented by the German Heinrich David Stölzel (1777 - 1844) in 1814 and which bear his name. Brass instruments with valves dating before 1840 are extremely rare, and this instrument, dated 1833, is one of the earliest surviving examples. Its two valves change the pitch of the instrument by lowering the pitch by a whole step and a half step respectively.

The instrument comes in its original mahogany box with the complete set of accessories: shank for Bb and A, crooks for Ab, G, and F, and two small couplers. Also included are two mouthpieces and a lyre which attaches to the rim (to hold a piece of music).
#9313. Cornet à Pistons in B-flat
: / 
For Audio Guide tours and information, visit
Marking: (stamped on bell) Courtois Freres / Rue Caire / a Paris; (stamped on valves) "1" and "2" (see Description); (stamped on shanks and crooks) "1/2 TON" [long coupler], "LA" [long shank], "LA.B", "SOL", "FA", "MI.B" [in crooks}
"Recent Acquisitions: A Selection 2001-2002." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin (2002), pg. 28, ill.

Related Objects

Cornet a Pistons in B-flat

Artist: Auguste Raoux (French, Paris 1795–1871) Date: 1845–50 Medium: Brass, nickel-silver, mother-of-pearl Accession: 2003.50a–o On view in:Gallery 680

Cornet (Cornet à pistons) in B-flat

Date: 1895 Medium: Brass, silver-plate, nickel- silver Accession: 48.27a, b On view in:Gallery 680

Transverse Flute in D-flat

Artist: Claude Laurent (French, Langres active 1805–1848 Paris) Date: 1813 Medium: Glass, brass Accession: 89.4.924 On view in:Not on view


Date: 1850–55 Medium: Wood, metal, mastic, brass, tortoiseshell, gilt brass, mother-of-pearl, silver foil Accession: 1998.70 On view in:Not on view

Fanfare trumpet in E-flat

Artist: Adolphe (Antoine Joseph) Sax (Belgian, Dinant, Belgium 1814–1894 Paris) Date: 1856 Medium: Brass Accession: 89.4.1628 On view in:Gallery 680