If you were Edmund Gumpert or Anton Horner you would play this

(mostly) Kruspe (probably)
D.R.G.M. 84240 Double Horn

Label :
n/a  (see text below, "The Bell")
D.R.G.M. 84240
Serial Number:
Date of Manufacture:
ca. 1897
F and B♭
5 rotary (2 connected tandem)
11.60 mm.
Bell Flare:
n/a  (see text below, "The Bell")
Bell Throat:
n/a  (see text below, "The Bell")
Bell Diameter:
n/a  (see text below, "The Bell")
Base Metal:
yellow brass
(click on photos for larger view)

The horn shown above is one of only a few extant examples of the first full double horn by Firma Ed. Kruspe based on the company's utility patent of 1897 described in  D.R.G.M. 84 240. 1   It was designed by Fritz Kruspe, son of the founder, Eduard Kruspe, and Edmund Gumpert,2  Two years after the announcement of the invention of the double horn, noted horn historian Hermann Eichborn wrote an extensive article in Zeitschrift für Instrumentenbau describing the general history of horn leading to the invention of the double horn. The illustration that accompanied Eichborn's article (below) matches the layout of this horn exactly except for the extra loop in the the F-extension. In particular, the lower leg of the third valve B♭side is oddly not parallel with the other valve legs, as can be seen in the above photos and the drawing below.

This was the first double horn that Anton Horner used. In a letter to Osbourne McConathy dated July 3, 1956, he mentions that following the tour in 1900 with the John Philip Sousa Band in 1900 he visited Kruspe in Erfurt. "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....Then I went to Erfurt to see the man who who made my double horn. Krüspe had heard of Schmidt's new patent [sic, no Schmidt patent has been found], and since his two valve affair was rather temperamental in operation, he got busy and invented the valve [D.R.G.M. 182 267 (1902)] that is on his horn today - with minor changes [D.R.G.M. 232 038 (1904)]."

It must be pointed out that both Anthony Baines (1976, p. 224) and Herbert Heyde (1987, p.182) incorrectly state that this was a compensating horn. Neither gives a citation for this statement. Dr. Heyde compounds the error even further by stating that the unsigned example in the Deutsches Museum in Munich (Nr. 15265) and the article by Hermann Eichborn (ZfI, 1899, p. 981) actually pertain to the patent (DRP 117592) by Friedrich Butti from August 13, 1899. Inspection of the text of D.R.G.M. 84240 documents filed by Firma Ed. Kruspe, however, clearly shows that this was a full double horn (see below). Unfortunately this error has since been spread throughout subsequent publications, including the official catalog of the exhibition of Kruspe intruments at Erfurt in 2012, and, of course, throughout the Internet. No evidence has been found that there was ever a compensating double horn in the modern sense prior to 1906 when the instruments by Gebr. Alexander (Model 102) and Ed. Kruspe (Gumpert-Kruspe, D.R.G.M. 295 125) were introduced.

This model was copied by Robert Piering of Adorf with a more sophisticated thumb lever linkage than the simple tab attached to the connecting rod found here. On the Piering double horn the thumb linkage consists of a pivoted lever placed next to the upper rotor in the same manner as the Kruspe Horner Model, with the connecting rod attached at the midpoint of its arc. Robert Piering flourished in Adorf, Saxony from 1882 to after 1937. No date has been found for his double horn.

Zeitschrift für Instrumentenbau, November 1, 1899. p.98
D.R.G.M. 84240 dated November 13, 1897 describes the valve structure of the horn in general terms. Its title is Metal-Blechblasininstrument mit Doppelzylindermechanik und gelenkig verbundenen Stellventilen neben den Doppelzugventilen” (sheet-metal wind instrument with double cylinder mechanics and articulated connected control valves beside the double course valves). The protected innovations were the double-decker valves necessary for two sets of valve slides, and the tandem pair of rotors used as a change mechanism for F to  B♭ (see diagram Fig. 2 below and the page for D.R.G.M. 84240 for a full analysis).  It was announced  a few weeks later in Zeitschrift für Instrumentenbau:

Announcement of D.G.R.M. 84240 in Zeitschrift für Instrumentenbau, December 1, 1897,  p. 181

Figures 1 and 2 from D.R.G.M. 84240 courtesy of Tatehiko and Katsushi Sakaino

Legend for Figures 1 and 2 (above)
1. Two-story F/B♭ rotary valves
2. Lower rotary change valve
2a. Upper rotary change valve
3. Change valve rotor stops
4. Change valves connecting rod
5. Change valves rotor stop corks
6. Change valves stop pins
7. Change valves thumb tab
8. Valve connecting tubes (F-side)
9. Valve connecting tubes (B♭-side)
10. Valve connecting tube (upper change valve to 1st valve B♭-side)
11. F extension tubing
12. Tubing to first branch and bell
13. Tubing from mouthpipe
Note: There is no path between the F- and B♭- sides that would be necessary for a compensating design. The two sides of the horn are independent of one another although it would be possible to reconfigure the change valves by reassigning the ports and adding a tube from valve 2 back to valve 2a. See the analysis at the D.R.G.M. 84240 main page.
The distinctive valve levers of this horn (below, and shown in Fig. 1 above) match those of a Kruspe single F horn and other Kruspe instruments from about the same period.  Engraved valve caps are less common on Kruspe horns but are occasionally found as on another single F horn 3 from their short-lived Leipzig branch circa 1893. The elegantly shaped linkage arms (lower photo) are typical Kruspe. The presence of a thumb rest is clear evidence that the bell is not original to this horn (see text, below). The bell is probably a transplant from a single horn since a thumb rest serves no purpose on a double horn and only gets in the way of the change valve lever.

The valve section is numbered "1" as shown on the casings of each the main valves (above). This is probably just a work number used by the maker to keep the parts of the valves together during assembly, but it is tempting to assume that this is the first valve section of this type. Details of this horn match those of a Kruspe single F horn from about the same period,  The brace between the valve section and tuning slide (above) and the small braces between the valve tuning slide casings (right) are typical of Kruspe and match the referenced Kruspe single horn. 

The Bell

Assuming that this horn is in fact an example of Kruspe D.R.G.M. 84240 it is readily apparent that the bell is not original. It is engraved "Gebr./Alexander/Mainz. The bell brace and plate (center, right) are not typical of Ed. Kruspe, nor is the ferrule (bottom right) at the bell tail. It is single seamed as shown below (The bell on the referenced Kruspe single horn has a wide Vee gusset.) Aside from the label, the most obvious clue that this bell does not belong on this horn is the presence of a thumb rest (see detail photos of the valves, above), which gets in the way of the thumb valve lever. Obviously the bell is a transplant from a single horn, probably Alexander.  

Very special thanks to Tatehiko and Katsushi Sakaino, proprietors of  Curia Metallblasinstrumentenerzeugung and Ed. Kruspe Metallblasinstrumente for providing copies of the extant original Kruspe documents.


1. D.R.G.M. stands for Deutsches Reichsgebrauchsmuster, a registration created in 1891 for the purpose of protecting for three years the design or function of an item throughout all of the German states. D.R.G.M. registered products were protected either for their way of intended use or design, but this did not include patent protection. Patent rights were secured by applying for a Deutsches Reichspatent (D.R.P.). No D.R.P. has been found for this Kruspe horn.

2.  Edmund Gumpert was the third horn in the Hofkapelle in Meiningen, and was also a nephew of Leipzig horn virtuoso and teacher, Friedrich Gumpert.  Another name has also been associated with the development of the first double horn. On April 27, 2004 a contributor  identified as "Sabina" updated the German Wikipedia article on the topic of Waldhorn by adding the name Bartholomäus Geisig with Eduard [sic, Fritz] Kruspe:
1897 konstruierten Eduard Kruspe und Bartholomäus Geisig aus Erfurt dann das erste Doppelhorn, hier waren die Stimmungen F und B in einem Instrument vereint und konnten mit einem Umschaltventil gewählt werden.
No citation has been given for this update nor has the name Bartholomäus Geisig been found in any other source, although it has been repeated on numerous web pages.

3. Valve levers of this type are also found on a horn by A.K. Hüttl, ca. 1890 -1900.  (Musikinstrumenten-Museum, Leipzig, nr. 4598). 

Baines, Anthony. Brass Instruments, Their History and Development. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1976. ISBN 0684152290

Dullat, Günter. Metallblasinstrumentenbau, Verlag Erwin Bochinsky, Frankfurt am Main, 1989

Eichborn, Hermann. "Ein neues Doppelhorn",  Zeitschrift für Instrumentenbau, Paul de Wit, Leipzig, v. 20, n.3, October 21, 1899 and v.20, n.4, November 1, 1899.

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

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

Langer, Arne; Wenke, Wolfgang; Musikinstrumente von Weltrang - Die Firma Kruspe in Erfurt, Stadtmuseum und Theater Erfurt, 2012

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

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

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