C.F. Schmidt
Single F Horn

C.F. Schmidt
Berlin S.W. 19
Carl Fischer
New York Sole Agent Amerika
u. Canada.
Serial Number:
Date of Manufacture:
ca. 1899
F, (E-flat with alternate tuning slide)
3 Rotary
11.8 mm
Mouthpiece Receiver:
Bell Flare:
Bell Throat:
Bell Diameter:
Base Metal:
silver plated

This is a single F horn imported to the U.S. by Carl Fischer, New York and has the lowest serial number yet found on a Schmidt instrument. It also inscribed with "S.W. 19" indicating the post office serving the district in Berlin where the C.F. Schmidt workshop was located. It is described as as the "old city post office I" (alte Stadtpost-Expedition I) located at Sparwaldsbrcke, Krausenstrasse, Beuthstrasse (probably near the intersection of the latter two) in the Kreuzberg section of the city. This is the earliest It is quite possible that this horn pre-dates the invention of the Schmidt double horn in 1900, thought to be the first full double horn design.

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The title Groherzoglicher-Schsischer Hof-Musikinstrumentenmacher ("Grand-Ducal-Saxon Court Musical Instrument Maker") was bestowed on March 28, 1896 by the Office of the Court Marshall (Hofmarschallamt) in Weimar.
The U.S. importer, Carl Fischer, assigned serial numbers to the musical instruments it sold. Unfortunately there is no extant list of these numbers to assist in establishing a chronology. The number inscribed on this instrument is, however, the earliest by a substantial amount found on C.F. Schmidt horns. (See the table on an accompanying page.)

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Solder scars about a centimeter below both ends of this brace indicate that it has been moved after final cleanup of the horn. This is curious since there is no evidence of repair or that the tubing to which it is attached has been shifted. The only conclusion is that the brace had been shortened and repositioned after it was initially installed. (A similar shifting of a particular brace between the leadpipe and F tuning slide is also found on several C.F. Schmidt double horns.) There is some general brass instrument folklore that the location of bracing can affect vibrational stability of individual harmonics if they happen to fall on a node or antinode. Perhaps after this horn was finished and being tested at the factory, this brace was shifted to correct a faulty (or "wolf") note.

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Perhaps the most interesting feature of this horn is in the valve levers. Note that the finger plates are slightly convex. Also the connecting arms have sharp angle corners and some simple decorative bevelling. These details are not found on later C.F. Schmidt horns which might attest to this instrument's early manufacture.



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