If you were Mason Jones you would play this
Horner Model Double Horn in F and B♭


Ed. Kruspe
Made in Germany
Serial Number:
Date of Manufacture:
F, B♭
4 rotary
1.19 cm.
Bell Flare:
Bell Throat:
approx. 7.3 cm.
Bell Diameter:
31.0 cm
Base Metal:
(clck on photos for larger view)

The firm of Ed. Kruspe was established in Erfurt, Germany in 1864 by Johann Eduard Kruspe (1831-1919?), elder son of Carl Kruspe (1808 - 1885). Carl Kruspe had established his workshop originally in Mühlhausen in Thüringen (1829 - 1836) then Erfurt (1836 - after 1930) for the manufacture of brass and woodwind instruments. Rather than going into business with his father, Eduard established his own workshop as successor to Carl Zielsdorf. In 1893 the firm was turned over to Eduard's son Fritz Kruspe (ca. 1862 - 1909) who continued the business under his father's name. In 1897, in collaboration with Edmund Gumpert (nephew of Friedrich Gumpert), Fritz Kruspe built the earliest true double horn with tandem rotary change valves. (For further information see John Ericson's excellent article on the development of the double horn.)
In a letter to Osbourne McConathy dated July 3, 1956, Anton Horner described the development of the Kruspe "Horner Modell" horn:
To go a little farther with the development of the double horn, I must tell you that in 1900 I was engaged to go to the Paris Exposition, and to tour Europe with Sousa's Band... So even in Berlin, my reputation had spread, and Schmidt, the horn maker, who was first in Weimar, and now had his factory in Berlin, came to talk to me. He had invented a new B valve for a double horn, but could not decide what kind of mouthpiece tube was best for his new instrument. He asked me to come to his factory to help him decide. I went to his place, and after long trials of several mouthpiece tubes, I approved of one which he used on his first instruments in F an B. His B valve was a piston, like on a cornet, which I found very awkward to operate with the thumb.
After the Sousa tour was over, I stayed in Europe for a month to visit relatives in Vienna and Bohemia, and my teacher, [Friedrich] Gumpert, in Leipzig. He was delighted to see me, and when I told him that I was playing one of his nephew's inventions, he told me that he had retired two years before. He said: "You know composers like Wagner, and those of today like Strauss and Mahler really require a little motor in the horn to play the parts, and therefore I retired." I thought it was cleverly said. Then I went to Erfurt to see the man who who made my double horn. Krüspe had heard of Schmidt's new patent, and since his two valve affair was rather temperamental in operation, he got busy and invented the valve that is on his horn today - with minor changes. Then I ordered a new horn with his new valve, and told him that I preferred a much longer bell, and also string valves. I liked this new horn.
Later, Krüspe wrote me that he was experimenting with an all German silver metal horn; also gold brass metal horn - here we call it copper brass. He wanted to know whether I was interested. I ordered one of each, and the first German silver horn he sent me was the one I used until my last day in the [Philadelphia] Orchestra. The copper brass horn was also a good instrument, but for my embouchure it lacked some brilliance; for a hard and harsh embouchure it was very good. For me, the German silver was best, and that horn with a large bell with small rim, and string valves became the Horner model, which Krüspe himself named, not I.

Anton Horner (1877 - 1971)

ca. 1933 Kruspe Catalog

Serial Number 2405 on the Valve Key Saddle
The catalog description (above, right), mentions that the horn is pitched in F, B, A, and E. The latter two keys are achieved by an auxiliary tuning slide supplied with the horn. In the photo at the right two versions of the slide are shown, one in brass and the other nickel-silver, the one which was presumably included with this horn.

Mason Jones' Collection

Mason Jones (1919 - 2009) with his new Kruspe 2405 ca. 1938
Anton Horner imported and sold "Horner Model" horns until the outbreak of World War II. On September 18, 1936, he returned to Philadelphia from a trip to Germany and quite probably had with him two horns, including serial number 2405. That same year, seventeen-year-old Mason Jones entered The Curtis Institute of Music to study with Horner. While in high school in Hamilton, New York, Mr. Jones had been playing on a brass Kruspe horn borrowed from Colgate University, where his father was Professor of Romance Languages. Now in need of a horn of his own for his studies at Curtis, his father bought him Serial Number 2405 from Horner for $350. Two years later without graduating from Curtis, Mr. Jones joined the Philadelphia Orchestra, sitting next to his teacher, Anton Horner. Like his teacher he would use the same horn (which he always called "Number One") day in and day out for the rest of his career.

Patches where the hand is held in the bell are commonly found on horns that have been played professionaly for many years especially on un-lacquered metal. In this case, however, even the patches have patches. Mr. Jones was meticulous in his care of the horn and could be seen wiping moisture from the inside of the bell with the chamois he always placed on his leg. Nevertheless the constant contact with his hand eventually wore the bell very thin within the first twenty years of his career. In the photo at the top right of this page can be seen a dark spot on the outside of the bell opposite these patches where the metal had been worn completely through. To the left of that spot is a diamond-shaped patch where the metal had also been worn through apparently from contact with Mr. Jones' thumb nail. Despite all of the surface wear, the horn still plays beautifully. The valves are tight, the high register is very secure, and it still knows all of the literature!
The valve keys had become so worn that inlays were fitted sometime in the course of Mr. Jones' forty-plus year career. (Click for a larger view, and note the seams of the inlays.) By the end of his career, the inlays themselves had also become worn through. (See below, right.)
The thumb key has also been patched in several places, making it somewhat uncomfortable to play. Note also the patches on the bell tail, even though it had been covered with a hand guard.

(detail from above ca.1938 photo)
Compare the consistency of Mr. Jones' finger placement in 1938 with the wear on the valve keys after over forty years of playing. Note also the patches around the pinky hook and on the bell tail even though they were protected by a plastic hand guard.
One family member remarked that at one point the Orchestra suggested that Mr. Jones might get a new case for the horn. I don't see why, do you?

"A Letter from Anton Horner" (submitted by Mason Jones), The Horn Call, v.XXIII, no.2, p.91ff, International Horn Society, April, 1993

"In Memoriam, Anton Horner, June 21, 1877, December 4, 1971", The Horn Call, v.II, no.2, p.20ff, International Horn Society, May 1972.

Kirschen, Jeffry, "A Profile of Mason Jones", The Horn Call, v.XXVI, no. 2, p.27, International Horn Society, February, 1996

Waterhouse, William, The New Langwill Index of Wind Instrument Makers and Inventors, pub.Tony Bingham, London 1993

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