Ferdinando Roth
 Premiata Fabrica 
Ferdo. Roth Milano
Serial Number:
Date of Manufacture:
ca. 1875
3 rotary,  tapered cores, clockspring, mechanical linkage
11.75 mm.
Bell Flare:
gusset, with garland
Bell Throat:
approx. 9.5 cm.
Bell Diameter:
Base Metal:
brass, nickel silver trim
un lacquered
The condition of the horn is poor.  It is incomplete, lacking its main tuning crook which prevents determining its key.  Judging from the lengths of the valve slides it was most likely pitched in F with perhaps an additional Eb crook.  There are numerous severe dents and some holes.  The lead pipe is broken off and is missing approximately 20cm from the mouthpiece receiver.
The label on the garland reads "Premiata Fabbrica / Ferdo. Roth Milano."  Roth was born in Adorf, Germany in 1815 and died in Milan, Italy in 1898.  He worked first for Pelitti, and later as a foreman in Prague and Vienna.  The establishement of his Premiata Fabbrica in Milan is given variously as 1838, and 1842.  Roth instruments were exhibited in Florence (1861), Santiago (1875),  Milan (1881, 45 brass instruments, and 1894).  An 1878 city directory lists the address at vis S. Giovanni in Conca 9, Milano. In 1892 a one-page catalogue was issued, "Premiata fabbrica d'instrumenti musicali in ottone e legno Ferdinando Roth."   In 1894 he advertised as a specialist in saxophones and claimed to be the original supplier of Aida trumpets made according to Verdi's instructions.  In 1894, blind and in his eighties, he put his son-in-law, Antonio Bottali, in charge and on his death in 1898 the firm became Roth & Bottali.

The late Rev. Dr. Wilhelm Bernoulli estimated that this horn was made circa 1875.  Dr. Bernoulli cited that Prof. Karl Burri, of Berne, has a similar instrument made in Milan and that Prof. Burri also had seen the horn players of the Carabinieri Band pointing their instruments in the air.  Dr. Bernoulli also suggest that it might have been designed for cavalry.

Prof. Kurt Janetzky agreed with the 1875 estimate and stated that right handed horns such as this were not uncommon.  He also agreed that it was probably designed for cavalry use since it would be impossible for mounted troops to use their hands in the bell.  In their book, Das Horn (p.66), Profs. Janetzky and Bruchle state that it was A.F. Sattler (Leipzig, 1819) who moved the valves to the left hand which made it possible again to use the right hand for stopping and other hand horn technique.  That is to say that the first valved horns by Stoetzel had the valves placed on the right, the same side as the bell.  This also indicates that from the beginning the valved horn was considered (at least by its inventos) as a fully chromatic instrument.  Hence the valves were not intended to be a method for changing tuning crooks.

This drawing shows the detail of the valves.  The retaining screw is shown removed from the end of the rotor. The tapered valve cores are removed from casing at the linkage end (top in this drawing).  A threaded ring on the top of  the casing holds the plate with the bumper post and bearing.  Most modern rotary valves are removed from the end opposite from the valve linkage.  The valve parts are labelled "30".

Pfr. Dr. h.c. Wilhelm Bernoulli, private correspondance October 18, 1978 

Profs. Kurt Janetzky and Bernhard Bruchle, Das Horn,Hallwag Verlag, Bern and Stuttgart, 1977 

Prof. Kurt Janetzky, private correspondance, July 16, 1987 

Lyndsay G. Langwill, An Index of Musical Wind Instrument Makers, 5th ed., 1977 

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

Two other right handed horns are shown below:
Right handed horn with three piston valves, presumably a reconstruction of an Inventionshorn.  Not inscribed  Key: G, with F (and C) crook Kulturgeschichte Des Horns, K. Janetzky and B. Bruchle, Hans Schreider, Tutzing, 1976, p. 262  Note. the valves are Berlin pumpen valves.
Prof. Hans Pizka, Hornisten-Lexikon (Dictionary for Hornists), Hans Pizka Edition, 1986, p. 57

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