Cor Omnitonique ("Cor-Transpositeur")
Gautrot Bréveté
Serial Number:
Date of Manufacture:
ca. 1847
(see table below)
3 Rotary taps
10.4mm, 11.5mm, 12.35mm
Bell Flare:
Very wide gussett
Bell Throat:

Bell Diameter:
28.5 cm.
Base Metal:
raw brass
Acquired from:
Some notes about the measured dimensions:
• The bore continues to taper through the several sections between the taps, hence the three separate bore measurements taken at the slides.

• The diameter of the mouthpiece receiver is very small and will only fit a shank the size of a trompe mouthpiece.

At first specializing in brass instruments, Pierre Louis Gautrot established his firm as "Gautrot aîné" ("elder") in 1845 as successor to Guichard. The oval cartouche with the letters "GA" shown below right is a very early trade mark. He later adopted one that incorporated an achor as his mark. (See another Gautrot horn in this collection.) By 1846 Gautrot claimed to be the most important factory of its kind in Europe, with a workforce of over 200, with 3,000 cornets, 1,000 trombones, and 1,000 ophicleides. On August 6, 1847 Gautrot along with Raoux, Halary, Buffet, and Gambaro, all of whom were normally competitors, filed suit against both of Sax's patents: that of 1843 ("Chromatic instrument system"), and that of 1845 ("A musical instrument, called the saxotromba"). (The complaint of the instrument manufacturers was based on the claim that Sax's improvements had long been known at home and abroad. The suit went through many appeals and ended in 1859 with a victory for Sax.[1]) The loss of the potential military band market was perhaps one of the reasons for Gautrot's antagonism toward Sax. By 1847 he had a workforce of 208, comprising 42 percent of the entire brass instrument workforce of Paris. This was the period of the manufacture of the horn described here.

A mysterious mark or insignia is stamped on the leadpipe.

Describing developments on the manufacture of musical instruments for the year 1847, Adolphe Le Doulcet Pontécoulant wrote:
Gautrot, apporta quelques perfectionnements dans la construction des instruments de musique en cuivre. Le but des recherches de Gautrot paraît avoir été de réformer les tons de rechange des instruments en cuivre qui sont susceptibles de changer de ton, et il croit y être parvenu par l'application de trois cylindres transpositeurs faisant exactement l'office de robinets employés dans diverses industries. Le facteur a adapté une disposition particulière des cylindres et des robinets mis en rapport de tons avec les coulisses et il n'emploie qu'une seule coulisse mobile. Le facteur peut changer dix fois de tons sans être obligé d'accorder les tons sur les cylindres. (B. F., 5,874.)
[Organographie: essai sur la facture instrumentale, art, industrie et commerce, Tome 2, p.453]

[Gautrot brought some improvements in the construction of brass musical instruments. The goal of Gautrot's research seems to have been to reform the crooks of brass instruments which are susceptible to changing tonality, and he believes it to be achieved by the application of three transposing cylinders acting exactly as taps employed in various industries. The builder has adapted a particular arrangement of cylinders and taps connected to crooks with slides and he employs only one mobile slide. The builder can change tonality ten times without having to adjust the crooks on the cylinders. (French patent, 5,874.)] [2]

Reginald Morley-Pegge describes this horn as follows: "Several clever versions of the omnitonic horn were patented by P.-L. Gautrot, whose pioneer work in the improvement of brass instruments has been rather lost sight of in the blaze of publicity and official patronage that surrounded every word and deed of his contemporary Adolphe Sax. Many of his inventions were extremely ingenious, even if they were not always practical. His first omnitonic horn, patented in 1847, had three rotary quick-change taps and a double tuning slide. It possessed the advantage over previous horns of this type of allowing for as many as twelve crook changes, namely B-flat, A, A-flat, G, F, E, E-flat, D, D-flat, C, B-flat basso, and A Basso. The complicated adjustments of slides and taps required to switch from one tonality to another seem, at any rate on paper, to be quite as lengthy a process as changing an ordinary crook, and this, together with what, for a hand horn, must have been excessive weight, no doubt accounts for the fact that it attracted little notice in professional circles. "
[The French Horn, p.58f.]

The oval bell brace foot mirrors the cartouche on the bell label.

The tonality of the horn is controlled by three taps and a long main slide. In his patent description and drawing identified the three taps as "R, R' and R2" and the main tuning slide as "A." (See the patent drawing below where these letters have been superimposed in red.)   The top of each tap (above left) is marked with "O" (Ouvert "open") and "F" (Fermé "closed") indicating which way to turn the wing nut attached to the rotor inside the canister. In the patent text and on the drawing M. Gautrot states that these taps are also marked LAB, FA, and MiB, however these markings are not found on the subject horn. The bottom of the tap (shown above center with the bottom cap removed) has a pin constrained by a 90° arc slot to limit the rotation of the tap. The long central slide ("A") is supported by a pair of guides (above, right). One of the legs of the slide is marked with two lines indicating how far to pull the slide to lower the pitch by a half step; a longer pull is needed for the lower keys. Also each segment controlled by the taps has its own slide for fine tuning. In his description of the patent for this horn Gautrot provided the following formulas to obtain the twelve tonalities of the horn:
On voit par cette figure qu'il suffit d'appliquer 3 robinets ou cylindres transpositeurs R, R' & R2, et une seule coulisse mobile A, qui n'est autre que la coulisse d'accord.
Le premier de ces cylindres est désigné sur l'instrument par LAb, comme servant particulièrement à donner le ton de La bémol ; sur le 2e R' sont gravées les deux lettres FA, pour indiquer plus spécialement le ton de Fa, et sur le 3e R2, les lettres MIb, comme donnant le ton de Mi bémol.
Je dis qu'avec ces 3 robinets et la seule coulisse A, on peut faire jouer l'instrument dans les tons déterminés comme il suit :
1er ton Sib. La coulisse double entièrement enfoncée et les cylindres ou robinets fermés, comme il est indiqué sur la fig. 1ère 15
2e ton La. Tirer la coulisse, jusqu'à ce que la ligne r s, soit en r' s'
3e ton Lab Enfoncer la coulisse A & tourner le cylindre R.
4e ton Sol. Tirer la coulisse jusqu'en r' s', en laissant le même cylindre ouvert
5e ton Fa. Enfoncer la coulisse, fermer le cylindre R et tourner celui R'
6e ton Mi Tirer la coulisse un peu au delà de la ligne r' s'
7e ton Mib Enfoncer la coulisse A ; fermer le cylindre ou robinet R', & tourner celui R2
8e ton Ré Tirer la coulisse jusqu'à la coulisse
9e ton Réb Enfoncer la coulisse & tourner le cylindre R.
10e ton Ut. Tirer la coulisse jusqu'à ce que la ligne r, s, soit en r2, s2
11e ton Sib Enfoncer la coulisse & tourner le cylindre R'
12e ton La. Tirer la coulisse jusqu'à la même ligne r2, s2
We see from this figure that it suffices to apply three valves or cylinders transposing R, R ' & R2, and one mobile slide A, which is none other than the tuning slide.
The first of these cylinders is designated on the instrument by LAB, as used particularly in the key of A flat; the second R' is  engraved with the two letters FA to specifically indicate the key of F, and on the third R2 and the letters MIb as giving the key of E-flat.
I say that with these three taps and the only slide A, we can play the instrument in keys determined as follows:
1st  Bb. The double slide completely pushed in and cylinders or taps closed, as is shown in Fig. 1 15
2nd A. Pull the slide out to the line r s, or r 's'
3rd Ab. Push in the slide A & rotate the cylinder R.
4th G. Pull the slide until r 's', leaving open the same cylinder
5th F. Push the slide, close the cylinder R and turn R '
6th E. Pull the slide a little beyond the line r 's'
7th  Eb. Push in slide A; close the cylinder or tap R ', and turn  R2
8th D. Pull the slide until the slide
9th  Db Push in the slide & rotate the cylinder R.
10th  C. Pull the slide until the line r, s, or r2, r2
11th  Bb. Push in the slide & rotate the cylinder R '
12th  A. Pull the slide to the same line r2, s2

Drawing of Omnitonic Horn from Brevet 5874, Addition 3, May 6, 1851 (annotations in red have been added, see text)
(Click for larger view)
What M. Gautrot has written above is certainly correct but not very practical. His instructions are cumulative, each step depending on those above it. For example following them literally to put the horn into E-flat, one starts with the open horn of B-flat, and works down six steps, rotating and unrotating taps and pulling and pushing the slide until arriving at the correct positions. Then to move to the relative major key of C requires three more steps. Of course, a player would soon work out a simple chart such as a the one at the right, in order to quickly change the tonality of the horn until the settings have been memorized.

This horn is in fact described in the third "Addition" to Gautrot's original patent for "the improvements made in brass musical instruments such as horns, cornets, néocors, trumpets, etc.", Brevet  5874, July 1, 1847. This Addition is dated May 6, 1851 (see the date on the lower right of the above drawing) but it will be seen by the evidence that follows that the subject horn itself was very probably actually made several years earlier, perhaps even prior to the initial patent application. The  drawing for the first horn covered under Brevet 5874 (July 1, 1847) is shown below left. It is altogether similar to the subject horn, having three rotary taps and extendable tuning slide. In this case the tuning slide has five positions and the horn plays in ten keys.

 In the same breath as cited above for Gautrot's 1847 omnitonic horn, Pontcoulant mentions the Tonwechsel-Maschine patented by Cerveny on April 26, 1846. [See also Heyde, p.63f.] This is a multi-position tap used by several German manufacturers and also adopted by Gautrot for his improved omnitonic horns. Gautrot quickly introduced his version of it as the first Addition to Brevet 5874 filed September 20, 1847. It  was a multi-ported tap replacing all three of the taps on the previous horn.  Addition number two to the patent (February 11, 1848) covered the application of that tap to a valved horn (drawing below right) allowing it to play in ten keys without a slide.  So, it would seem that Addition 3 three years later (the subject horn) is actually a more primitive throwback to the pre-Tonwechsel-Maschine design and even to the primary horn with its clearly marked multi-position slide.  [3]


r' s'

r' s'

r' s'

r 's'

r2 s2
R + R' + R2

R + R' + R2
r2 s2

Brevet 5874,  July 1, 1847
(Click for larger view)

Brevet 5874, Addition 2, February 11, 1848
(Click for larger view)


The horn bears the coat of arms of Louis-Philippe (1873-1850), "The King of the French" from 1830 to 1848.  As a result of the "July Revolution" of 1830 France had become a constitutional monarchy and Louis-Philippe, Duc d'Orléans was crowned the new king. At first he used the arms of Orléans surmounted with a coronet of the monarchy to be his coat of arms. The following year the arms were officially changed to those shown here and were the Arms of France until Louis-Phillipe's abdication on February 24, 1848. 
Arms of France, 1831-48, as they appear at the top of a frame surrounding a portrait of Louis-Philippe, workshop of Winterhalter. The portrait and frame were sent in 1848 to King Kamehameha III of Hawaii and have stayed there since. (Source: Collection of the State of Hawaii, The Friends of Iolani Palace
The Ordonnance of Feb. 26, 1831 reads: À l'avenir, le sceau de l'État représentera un livre ouvert portant à l'intérieur ces mots "Charte de 1830", surmonté d'une couronne fermée, avec le sceptre et la main de justice en sautoir, et des drapeaux tricolores derrière l'écusson, et pour exergue "Louis-Philippe Ier, Roi des Français". That is, an open book with the words "Charter of 1830", (the shield) surmounted by a closed crown; behind the shield, in saltire, were the scepter and hand of justice, as well as tricolor flags. King Louis-Philippe abdicated the throne but the strong current of public opinion rejected the nomination of his son, Phiippe, as the new monarch. On February 26, the Second Republic was proclaimed and Prince Louis Napoleon Bonaparte was elected President in December. A few years later he declared himself president for life and then Emperor Napoleon III. This image is a file from the Wikipedia Commons.
<<>>Musical Politics in France<<>>
On April 22, 1845 a public comparison of bands was held on the Champs-de-Mars: one assembled by Adolphe Sax versus one assembled by Michele Enrico Carafa, director of the Gymnase de Musique Militaire where most musicians of the army were trained. Reportedly, over 20,000 spectators were present to witness the contest between Sax, who wanted to reorganize the military bands to incorporate his line of saxhorns, and Carafa, who advocated retaining the traditional instrumention including natural horns. Sax was the clear victor and the new order that came on August 19th, 1845 specified four cors à pistons and no natural horns, as well as a full complement of saxhorns. Although the omnitonic horn patent was issued in 1847, it was probably in development much earlier while natural horns were still in the military band complement. It would seem likely that this was Gautrot's target market. The order of 1845 eliminating natural horns along with the apparent disinterest on the part of the faculty of the Conservatiore and orchestral musicians, the market for the omnitonic horn all but disappeared, although it would appear from the patent that M. Gautrot persisted in their development.

On February 24, 1848, under public pressure Louis-Philippe suddenly abdicated the throne of France in what became known as the Revolution of 1848. This event certainly to puts an upper bound on the making of the subject horn implying that this horn was manufactured and stamped was prior to dissolution of the monarchy and the disuse of these arms. This date contradicts the date of the Addition 3 to Brevet  5874 (May 6, 1851). One possible theory is that the horn was designed and built in time for the Carafa-Sax competition in 1845 to support the argument for natural horns in the military by eliminating the need for carrying a large box full of terminal crooks. With the order to replace natural horns with valved horns, the omnitonic prototype became un-marketable and was set aside. In 1847 M. Gautrot resurrected the idea with two improved versions, first by making the central tuning slide primary means of changing the key, then incorporating the Cerveny's Tonwechsel-Maschine, which he also used in subsequent designs (see below). Then in 1851 he decided to give his original design (the subject horn) patent protection, claiming it was somehow actually an improvement. [4]

1848 also became a very difficult year for music, musicians, and instrument manufacture in France:
Les fabricants d'instruments de cuivre, qui en 1847 avaient vu le chiffre de leurs affaires commerciales s'élever à 1,620,500 fr. et qui occupaient, à Paris seulement, 461 ouvriers, virent ces mêmes affaires se réduire 923,500 francs et furent obligés de renvoyer 102 ouvriers.
[Pontcoulant,Organographie, Tome 2, p.468]

Manufacturers of brass instruments, which in 1847 had seen the total of their business reach 1,620,500 fr. and had occupied in Paris alone 461 workers, saw these same figures reduced to 923,500 francs and were forced to dismiss 102 workers.
The general depression affected all instrument manufacturers in a similar manner. The Opéra-National and lyric theatres were forced to close, musicians and singers were put out of work, and the "cloud of concerts" that usually took place in Paris disappeared.

Immediately following the fall of the monarchy, Carafa sought his revenge on his defeat by Sax in 1845-6. He persuaded the Ministry of War to reverse the order of 1846. As a result the order of March 21, 1848 reinstated the two cors ordinaires (natural horns) and the saxhorns were replaced with traditional instruments much to the dismay of the musical press who perceived this a huge step backward. This would seem to have been favorable for Gautrot's omnitonic horn which is essentially a natural horn without the cumbersome box full of terminal crooks.

<<>>A Franco-Mexican Connection<<>>

An inscription on the bell identifies "I. Charpentier à Mexico" (perhaps a sales representative for Gautrot or horn player).

As cited previously, Gautrot held thousands of instruments in stock in 1847, which undoubtedly included some quantity that were already stamped with the arms of the monarchy and were thus no longer marketable in France. This circumstance, along with the generally depressed state of the music business in France in 1848, compelled Gautrot to put this instrument out for export. He was probably already seeking to develop his export market which by 1860 was reported to be 70 percent of his output. Presumably M. I. Charpentier was Gautrot's representative in Mexico. The war between Mexico and the United States was just ending; the Peace treaty was signed on February 2, 1848, almost simultaneously with the fall of the French monarchy. Nancy Nichols Barker summarizes France's relationship with Mexico under Louis-Philippe as follows:
The Orleanist government simply had no Mexican policy in the decade of the 1840s. The government had just sense enough not to repeat the naval action of 1838-39 but found nothing to take its place. Conscious of its ineffectiveness, it sulked and snapped, and, while professing officially its desire to live on good terms with Mexico, maintained representatives in the field with manifestly hostile intentions. Objects of ridicule and scorn, these agents hindered, instead of helping, the interests they were there to serve. French subjects in Mexico were left to their own devices to cope with the civil wars and Francophobe administrations. French commerce never recovered from the blows dealt it by the French war of the previous decade and by 1847, when Mexico was under the American blockade, it all but ceased entirely.

It was of course true that many of the elements necessary for the prosperity of the French in Mexico were beyond the control of the French government. Nevertheless, the policy of laissez-faire, at least as practiced by the so-called bourgeois monarchy, proved more curse than blessing to its subjects and trade in Mexico. Its deplorable record might well serve to demonstrate to a more energetic and visionary French ruler the perils of aimless drift and the need for a bolder course.
The French Experience in Mexico 1821-1861, p. 116
Relations between France and Mexico improved almost immediately following the fall of the French monarchy. André Nicolas Levasseur was appointed the new minister plenipotentiary to Mexico. Soon trade was restored between the two countries and the Mexican army was rebuilding under the French model with the newest weapons, training, and perhaps even French musical instruments.
It would be improper, in speaking of the Mexican military, not to notice, especially, their excellent bands of music. ... It is the custom for one of the regimental bands to meet after sundown, under the windows of the Palace, in the Plaza, which is filled with an attentive crowd of eager listeners to the choicest airs of modern composers.
Mayer, Brantz. Mexico as it was and as it is, Third Edition. Philadelphia: G. B. ZIEBER & COMPANY, 1847. p. 287
Levasseur's first official assignment was to canvass the French community and produce a "register" of French citizens. In characterizing the French community in Mexico at mid-century, Barker states:
The French had become something like a small state within a state. They seem to have mixed very little in Mexican society except at the official level. The French minister formed social ties with prominent Mexicans, attended the opera, and received Mexican guests at the legation. But he was an exception. Those who could afford it, careful to preserve their national identity, sent their children to French-speaking schools and subscribed to French newspapers. The working classes kept much to themselves, spending their days in their shops and their evenings or other free time at a café or in a game of boules. Not even to attend mass did the French need to mix with Mexicans, at least in the capital. In 1849 Levasseur reported the consecration of a church especially for French use. Beneath vaulted arches hung with the tricolore the French curé presided over their spiritual life and the more dignified, sober displays of French patriotism.

Why did the urban Frenchman in Mexico cling so tenaciously to his qualité de français and resist assimilation into Mexican society? One reason no doubt was the relatively short time he had had to learn the Spanish language or to adopt a Mexican life-style. For almost without exception the French in Mexico at mid-century were first generation. Only 3 in Levasseur's survey gave Mexico as their place of birth, and none of these can be proved to have been in Mexico as early as 1820. Only 12 had been born elsewhere in the Americas. Indeed, only 47 out of the entire 1,810 on Levasseur's list had been born outside the French métropole. The French were thus newcomers not only to Mexico but to the New World in general. The earlier French of the eighteenth century had departed, and a new generaton had replaced them.
op. cit., Barker, pp. 130-131.
<<>>Musical Life in Mexico<<>>

With both local and touring productions beginning around 1830, Italian opera enjoyed some popularity in Mexico. It was not without its ups and downs, however:
I have said, that this musical taste pervades all classes; and it was, therefore, to be hoped, that a regularly established Operatic corps would have readily succeeded in the Capital. But from a variety of causes the experiment failed. The Revolution of 1841, interfered with it at the outset, in the months of August and September; and, from the unfavorable location of the house, and other circumstances, the whole enterprise was visited with a series of disastrous losses that left the management, in July, 1842, with a deficit of upward of 32,000 dollars. The singers were good: the prima donna (Madame Castellan,) and basso, unexceptionable; but the establishment never became fashionable.
[op. cit., Mayer, p. 287]
By 1847 when this horn was made, however, the situation began to improve and the instrument might have been employed in the opera orchestra rather than the military band.

The History of North American Theater: The United States, Canada, and Mexico, p. 149

Of the several theatres in Mexico City at mid-century the two leading were the remodeled Teatro Principal (above) and El Gran Teatro Nacional (below) built in honor of Santa Anna in 1844. On May 15, 1850 the Teatro Nacional presented Verdi's "Ernani" to the Mexican public featuring la Compañía de Ópera Valtellina-Duvercy under the direction of Antonio Barilli. This was the first performance of a Verdi opera in Mexico. The following year, Max Maretzek presented "Don Giovanni" said to be the first performance of a work by Mozart in Mexico. Other Mexican venues include the Gran Teatro Iturbide (1845, later named Teatro de la República) in Santiago de Querétaro, and the Teatro Alarcón in Guadalajara which opened in 1856 with Donizetti's "Lucia di Lammermoor".

The History of North American Theater: The United States, Canada, and Mexico, p. 154

Brantz Mayer (Mexico as it was and as it is, p. 45) describes the Catte Platens in Mexico City as "a street filled with the shops of goldsmiths, watchmakers, French hairdressers, French cooks, French milliners, French carvers and gilders, and French print-sellers;". Apropos of the latter the amount of French books exported from France to Mexico in 1846 was close to 9,000 kgs, and "the figures for Mexico will grow to 26,284 kgs in 1849 and 37,586 kgs in 1850." By 1851 "Mexico received 44,327 kgs of French books, or more than Brazil (33,847 kgs) and only some 15,000 kgs under the figure for the United States. Book exports to Mexico decrease after that year, but remain high (e.g., 22,917 kgs in 1860, in the midst of the civil war)."
Rodrguez-Luis, Julio. "Book Exports From Spain and France to Latin America in the Nineteenth Century", pp.22, 23 (Note: The author emphasizes that the data represents weight and not individual books, and that "books" might represent any type of printed matter.)

One other Gautrot instrument is found from Mexico. It is item number B178 in the former Kenneth Fiske Museum collection and is described as: Flugelhorn in C, Pierre L. Gautrot, Paris, ca. 1880. Stamped: H. Nagel sucres Calle de la Palma No. 5, Mexico.

<<>>Later Gautrot Omnitonic Horns<<>>

On July 22 1854 initiated another patent (Brevet 20292) for improvements to brass instruments, including horns. In the first case (below left) having a large dial tap that was introduced in Brevet 5874 and a small secondary tap to achieve the half steps instead of the slide pulls in the previous patent. Addition 2 to the same patent achieves ten keys by using 5 positions of the tap, with the aid of pistons 2 and 3. 

Brevet 20292, July 22, 1854
(click for larger view)

Brevet 20292, Addition 2 January 15, 1855
(click for larger view)

The influential Belgian critic Franois-Joseph Fétis was not impressed and compared it unfavorably with the omnitonic horn developed much earlier by Charles-Joseph Sax:
Gautrot prsenta un cor-transpositeur. D'aprs M. Fétis qui a suivi et tudi les travaux de Sax père Bruxelles, ce nouveau cor-transpositeur n'tait qu'une imitation maladroite du Cor-omnitonique que Sax construisit en Belgique il y a prs de trente ans. (B. F., 22,538).
[Pontcoulant,Organographie, Tome 2, p.512]

[Gautrot presented a cor-transpositeur. According to Mr. Fétis who followed and studied the work of the elder Sax in Brussels this new cor-transpositeur was just a clumsy imitation of the Cor-omnitonique that Sax built in Belgium almost thirty years ago. (BF 22538).]
Of Gautrot's later models Morley-Pegge has this to say:
His last valveless omnitonic horn--probably the last instrument of this class ever made--appeared in the 1870s. It was made by M. Miramont, who died in 1935 after having been with the firm for sixty five years. This very odd, octopus-like instrument has a single central rotary tap from which radiate eight windways (Plate V, 5). Only six tonalities are available: B-flat alto, A-flat, G, F, E-flat, and D-flat, from which it is evident that this horn was intended for the wind band and not for the orchestra.
The French Horn, p.60.

Key changing mechanism of the Gautrot omnitonic horn c. 1875.
Morley-Pegge, plate V-5

Gautrot Catalog 1869.
The illustration above right also appears in the catalog of "Alliance Musicale", J.R. Lafleur & Son, London, estimated to date between 1891 and 1900 with the following dubious description:
"French Horn, without crooks. This Instrument, newly invented [sic!], has central rotary valves (see drawing), which after very little practice will be found of great benefit to the performer. By following the directions engraved on the these valves the instrument is put in any of the ordinary 10 keys as a French Horn with the 10 crooks, thereby saving the great trouble of carrying these 10 crooks about, with the risk of losing or breaking them in the hurry to change the crook. Without finger valves." [Larigot, No. X Special, pp. 64-65 and Larigot, No. 36, p. 30]

Very special thanks to M. Claude Maury for providing the documents from Brevet 5874 and Brevet 20292, numerous corrections to the text, and wonderful correspondence clarifying many of the points regarding this horn.  


1.  The New Langwill Index (p.129) states "from 1846 Gautrot was chief organizer of opposition on the part of Paris manufacturers to (2) A. Sax; 1846 as one of five plaintiffs commenced litigation against Sax demanding nullification of the latter's patents, in 1854 finally decided in Sax's favour..."  The litigation dragged on to at least December 24, 1858. La Revue et gazette musicale, (1859, p. 14): "Voici quelques extraits de l'arrêt de la Cour d'Amiens du 24 décembre 1858 confirmatif du jugement du tribunal de la Seine du 12 juin 1856." 

2. The New Langwill Index (p.130) cites the patent as "1847 (F) #3170: improvements to horn ('cor omnitonic')". That patent number has not been confirmed. This is believed to be Gautrot's first patent award. 

3.  The hand-written text of the third Addition to this patent contains several cross-outs and changes, although the primary patents and previous two Additions do not. Most notable there is a renumbering of the references to the various figures in the drawing, however the drawing itself retains its original numbers. This suggests that the drawing was perhaps originally drafted much earlier than the third Addition submission, even though it is dated 1851. As noted above the Addition text and drawing include references to engraving on the taps that are not found on the subject horn. Among the cross-outs is reference to the primary patent  and previous Additions suggesting that M. Gautrot himself realized that it is an obvious throwback to an earlier design, despite his claims that this is an improvement to its predecessors.  Patent Additions were less expensive to file than original patents.                                                                       

4.  If M. Gautrot had shown or publicized this horn extensively prior to his application for the Addition in 1851 he would have been at risk for having it denied. Article 31 of the French patent law of July 5, 1844 states  "Ne sera pas réputée nouvelle toute découverte, invention ou application qui, en France ou à l'étranger, et antérieurement à la date du dépôt de la demande, aura reçu une publicité suffisante pour pouvoir être exécutée" [It will not be deemed a new discovery any invention or application that has in France or abroad received sufficient publicity before the date of filing of the application to be executed.] If, however, he had only demonstrated it to Carafa in 1845 for consideration in the competition or before the ban on natural horns in the military, then he would probably be within the limit of Article 31. Nevertheless with the abdication of Louis-Phillipe the horn stamped with the arms of the former monarchy became worthless in France and was banished to Mexico (see the section that follows).                                                                


Britannica.Com Mexico

L'Association des Collectionneurs d'Instruments de Musique à Vent, 1988 - present

Londré, Felicia Hardison; Watermeier, Daniel J. The History of North American Theater: The United States, Canada, and Mexico. London: Continuum International Publishing Group, 2000. ISBN 0826412335

Mayer, Brantz. Mexico as it was and as it is, Third Edition. Philadelphia: G. B. ZIEBER & COMPANY, 1847.

Morley-Pegge, Reginald. The French Horn. A Benn Study, Music, Instruments of the Orchestra. Second Edition. London: Ernest Benn Limited/New York: W.W. Norton & Company Inc., 1973. ISBN 0510366015 051036607 Pbk. 0393021718 (USA)

Pizka, Hans. Hornisten-Lexikon / Dictionary for Hornists. Kirchheim b. München: Hans Pizka Edition, 1986. ISBN 3922409040

Rodrguez-Luis, Julio. "Book Exports From Spain and France to Latin America in the Nineteenth Century", Occasional Paper 92. Milwaukee, WI: University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, 2002.

Waterhouse, William. The New Langwill Index, A Dictionary of Musical Wind-Instrument Makers and Inventors. London: Tony Bingham, 1993. ISBN0-946113-04-1

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