Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Baritone shoulder horn in B-flat

Henry G. Lehnert (German, Freiberg 1838–1916 Philadelphia)
after 1875
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Brass, nickel silver
Height: 34 in. (86.3 cm)
Diameter (of bell): 9 1/2 in. (24.2 cm)
Aerophone-Lip Vibrated
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1989
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 680
The unique and ingenious design of this instrument was patented in 1875, in anticipation of the American centennial. Its body takes the form of an oval, with the mouthpipe and mouthpiece extending inwards. The instrument is placed over the player's head and the main tubing rests on the shoulders, evenly distributing the weight of the horn between both sides of the body. The bell points forward in front of the performer. Players on the march appreciated the ergonomic design of these "Centennial model" basses and baritones. It is thought that Lehnert conceived of the instruments as a family and that tenor and alto models were also produced. A handful of other instruments made by Lehnert with a different configuration (alto and tenor valve trombones and an alto horn) were also marked with the centennial stamp but do not bear the patent specification and presumably did not take the oval shoulder horn form.
Marking: (engraved) "Centennial"/Made by H. Lehnert/Phila./Pat. Jan. 12/75
A Checklist of American Musical Instruments. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1989, pg. 39.

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