Bassoon, nominal pitch: C
Date MadeCirca 1790
DescriptionThis maple 5-keyed instrument with brass ferrules, keywork and crook is probably English but the maker is unknown. The bell section is of 18th century English slim baluster type. It has an unusual fluted recess extending upwards as far as the upper brass ferrule. The key heads are flat and the keymounts of saddle type. The crook is missing; the replacement (stamped “J.S.”) is by J. Soulsby (1983). The butt cap is also missing and there is a long (260mm) crack inside the wing recess. The pitch has probably been sharpened by shortening the upper end and opening the bell – the usable pitch is A4 = c435 Hz. The upper brass ferrule on the wing has probably been moved over the fluted end after the top end had been cut down, and the choke at the extremity of the bell has been opened up. There is a trace of a hole for a harmonic key below the upper end and the butt ring has been removed. It is stamped “I.H.” on the underside of the brass fishtail key (the F key for R4), probably indicating John Hale. There are no stamps on the wood and Hale’s marks normally included, successively, a fleur-de-lis, Prince of Wales feathers or a lyre. His identification with “I.H.” on keys has been documented. Technical description: Maple, with brass ferrules, keywork and crook. Wing with unusual fluted recess extending upwards as far as upper brass ferrule. F key for R4 fishtailed. Long joint with D, E♭ and B♭₁ keys for L0 mounted on platform. 18th-century English slim baluster type bell section. L0: T; B♭; D; E♭. L1: T. L2: T. L3: T. R0: T. R1: T. R2: T. R3: T. R4: F; A♭. Keymount type: Saddle. Keyhead type: Flat. Repair History: Pitch has probably been sharpened by shortening the upper end and opening the bell. Upper brass ferrule on wing has probably been moved over the fluted area after the top end had been cut down, and the choke at extremity of bell has been opened up. Trace of hole for harmonic key 149 mm below upper end. Butt ring removed. Crook a replacement by J. Soulsby, c 1983.
Other InformationSpecific usage history: According to H.I. Brackenbury's notebook, found in a belfry in a Yorkshire church suggesting possible church band use.
Notesl.g. langwill, 1981; w.r.|waterhouse, 1993, 1983.
Measurements1230; crook 228.
ProvenanceGovernment allocation to the University, 1991 (apart from crook).
CollectionMIMEd; C.H. Brackenbury Memorial Collection