Oboe, nominal pitch: C
Date MadeCirca 1760
DescriptionThis (anonymous) dark-stained boxwood instrument is a typical English oboe of the mid-18th century. Like the earlier instruments, it still has only two keys (sometimes one was duplicated to enable playing with right or left hand uppermost). By this stage, however, it has now lost the previously purely decorative pirouette (mouthpiece) which the oboe ‘inherited’ from its functionality in the shawm. The completely straight top with minimal expansion of the sockets is a peculiarly English feature of this period. Despite there being no third key, the C key has a fishtail touchpiece. There are no markings but a paper label glued inside the bell reads “formerly the property of / Mozart / (from the Wesley family) / Kusder model, London c. 1765” [possibly 1763]. The overall size is 581mm. It has a wooden case with internal ties to secure the instrument. The usable pitch is A4 =415 Hz. The instrument has a pleasant tone quality with a bright-toned and reliable upper register, and generally good responsiveness and intonation, although some notes are troublesome in both respects and some cross-fingerings are rather fuzzy. Technical description: Dark stained boxwood with brass keys. There are four ivory ferrules at the reed well, sockets and bell. Straight top model. The stain does not cover the sunken oval area around the double L3 hole. R1 is a single hole. Despite there being no third key the C key has a fish tail touchpiece. There are two vent-holes in the bell. There is an inward flange at the base of the bell. Keymount type: raised rings; SATK. Keyhead type: flat, round.
Notesjames eastaway, 1987; s.|milton, 1993.
ProvenanceGiven to Lyndesay Langwill by Canon F.W. Galpin; previously the property of the Wesley family, and reputed to have been the property of Mozart while in London.
CollectionMIMEd; Langwill Collection