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Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Alto Saxhorn in E-flat

ca. 1850–60
possibly French
Brass, nickel-silver
L. 64.4 cm (25-3/8 in.); Diam. of bell: 19.1 cm (7-1/2 in.)
Aerophone-Lip Vibrated
Credit Line:
The Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments, 1889
Accession Number:
Not on view
Alto saxhorn in E-flat with three Berlin valves. Saxhorns are a family of valved brass instruments developed by Adolphe Sax in the mid-nineteenth century. His design was copied by numerous rival makers.Saxhorns were widely used in military and civilian bands and are the forebears of the modern euphonium, tenor horn and baritone. Saxhorns were designed as a uniform family of instruments with members ranging from soprano to contrabass. All shared a simililar tubing layout, bore profile and valve system. As a result, all members of the family produced a similar timbre, or tone color, across their range and because the fingering was the same on each instrument, players could easily switch between various members of the saxhorn family.
Mary Elizabeth Adams Brown
Catalogue of the Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments: Europe. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1904, vol. I, pg. 193, 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. 193, 192++, ill.

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