If you were shopping for a horn in Leipzig in 1893 you might have bought one like this
Ed. Kruspe

Label :
Ed. Kruspe
Erfurt u.
Leipzig Mozartstrasse
Serial Number:
Date of Manufacture:
 F and lower depending on terminal crook
3 rotary with adjustable springs
ca. 11.45 mm
Bell Flare:
very wide gusset
Bell Throat:
ca. 7.0 cm.
Bell Diameter:
30.5 cm.
Base Metal:
Rose Brass
(click on photos for larger view)

The well-used horn shown above is a single horn in pitched in F or E♭ depending on its terminal crook.  It was made by the firm of Eduard Kruspe in Erfurt Germany, probably around 1893.  The high copper content of its red brass makes it very susceptible to wear and damage as witnessed by many patches, dents, and wrinkles..[1] Two large patches on the outside of the bell are visible in the photo above left, including one under the bell brace. The horn is missing its original terminal crook(s) and its main tuning slide.
The bell is signed signed “Ed. Kruspe/Erfurt u./ Leipzig Mozartstrasse/Filiale [Ed. Kruspe, Erfurt, and represented on Mozartstrasse, Leipzig]. Eduard Kruspe's younger brother, Friedrich Wilhelm Kruspe, maintained their father's original woodwind workshop in Erfurt. On September 1, 1893 the two sibling companies opened a joint exhibition and sale of their products at no.5 Mozartstrasse, Leipzig in close proximity to the concert house and Royal Conservatory. The showroom was supervised by Wilhelm's oldest son, Carl Kruspe..[2] 

The clockwork valve springs feature wheels to adjust the spring tension. The same type of mechanism is found on other horns by various makers including an  anonymous German horn and one from the Philadelphia workshop of Carl Ernst Doelling. The concept of adjustable springs had been employed much earlier than the supposed date of this horn. At right is a drawing from a pamphlet by J.M. Bürger of Strasbourg (1877) showing the same spring adjustment capability.

A very large patch covers about a third of the interior surface of the bell where the player's right hand has worn the original metal very thin.



1.  Several terms are used popularly to describe brass alloys depending on the percentage of copper content: "red" brass contains 85 to 90 percent copper and 15 to 10 percent zinc. At the other extreme is "yellow" brass with about 65 percent copper and 35 percent zinc. In between are "rose" brass (lighter red) and "gold" brass (darker yellow) which are sometimes used interchangeably with each other. The metallurgy industry uses specific terms such as Alloy C83400 (90% copper, 10% zinc) to avoid ambiguity.

2. Another example of this endeavor is represented by a trombone in the collection of the Grassi Museum of Musical instruments at the University of Leipzig. It is signed “Ed. Kruspe/Herzgl. S.M. Holieferant / Erfurt. /Filiale: C. Kruspe Leipzig”. Ed. Kruspe had already been represented in Leipzig for several years by the Gewandhaus Orchestra's second horn player, Eduard Müller As early as 1890 an advertisement for Firma Ed. Kruspe announced that Müller was its representative having a showroom in Leipzig: “Muster-Lager in Leipzig./Vertreter:/Herr Ed. Müller, Mitglied der Theater- und Gewandhaus-Kapelle.”.


Heyde, Herbert. Das Ventilblasinstrument, Seine Entwicklun im deutschsprachigen Raum von den Anfängen bis zur Gegenwart. Wiesbaden: Breitkopf & Härtel, 1987. ISBN 3765102253

Langer, Arne; Wenke, Wolfgang. Musikinstrumente von Weltrang, Die Firma Kruspe in Erfurt, Stadmuseum and Theaterr, Erfurt, 2012

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

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