Attributed to Charles Joseph Sax (Belgian, Dinant, Belgium 1790–1865 Paris)
Height: 21 5/8 in. (54.9 cm)
Width (Perpendicular to bell): 16 5/8 in. (42.2 cm)
Diameter (Of bell): 11 7/16 in. (29.1 cm)
The Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments, 1889
Not on view
The loops of tubing incorporated into the body of this innovative natural horn allow the player to change the instrument’s pitch by using the long plunger to set the instrument in the desired key. On traditional natural horns, this was accomplished by using a set of detachable crooks. However, the additional weight and unwieldy shape of most omnitonic horns meant that none of them gained widespread acceptance. Players continued to use conventional natural horns or adopted the valved horns that were becoming more common during the mid nineteenth century. The fact that makers worked to devise new designs for natural horns long after the valve appeared in 1814 attests to the continued popularity of the natural horn among players and composers.
Marking: (on bell) C. Sax, a Bruxelles, 1833
Mary Elizabeth Adams Brown
Jayson Kerr Dobney, Bradley Strauchen-Scherer. Musical Instruments: Highlights of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. First Printing. @2015 by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. New York, 2015, pp. 118-119, ill.
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Pleasing Eye and Ear Alike. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1971, Vol. XXX, No. 2, pg. 68-69, ill.
Catalogue of the Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments: Europe. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1904, vol. I, pg. 177.
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. 177.