If you studied with Etienne Gihot you would play a horn like this
Cor d'Orchestre

Tabard à Lyon
Cor d'Orchestre
Serial Number:
Date of Manufacture:
ca. 1830?
C, F, Bb alto 
11.0 mm.
Bell Flare:
single seam, with garland
Bell Throat:
approx. 9.0 cm.
Bell Diameter:
 29.0 cm.
Base Metal:
raw brass, painted bell 
Frédéric and Jean Baptiste Tabard were woodwind and brass instrument makers in Lyon, France during the first half of the nineteenth century.   Jean Baptiste was born in Lyon on January 30, 1779 and died at the same place on November 11, 1845.  He is credited with establishing the firm there in 1812.   The same year he married Émile daughter of Jacques François Simiot, another instrument maker in Lyon known for several woodwind inventions.  The trade mark of Simiot & Tabard is also reported.  Dates for Frédéric are unknown but the firm of Tabard flourished in Lyon until 1848, about three years after the death of Jean Baptiste.  

There are many examples Tabard instruments  in major  collections throughout the world.  The museum of Cité de la Musique near Paris has 14 instruments including two Cors d'orchestre (inventory numbers E.980.2.269 and E.980.2.270) estimated to have been made in 1830 and attributed to F. Tabard and one Cor omnitonique (E.995.1.1)  ca. 1820 attributed to Jean Baptiste.    The Cors d'orchestre have eight crooks and one coupler.


The label on the bell garland  is Tabard à Lyon and is in script.  Other Tabard instruments are engraved with the same words in  block letters flanked by two maltese crosses.  The letters OI are stamped on the cross bar of the tuning slide for no apparent reason.

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It is said that the custom of painting the bell originated with horns used in the hunt because the glint of sun on the raw brass would startle the horses.  When horns were brought into the concert hall the custom continued with elaborate decorations.  These beautiful mythological winged horses are less common than  the floral or geometric patterns usually found on painted bells.   The paint on this bell has been well worn with playing and probably also damaged by the removal of dents and creases over the years.

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A sturdy  wooden box is required to store and transport the natural horn with its assortment of crooks and couplers.  The latches, lock and handles are characteristic of the period. The box lid contains a handy compartment for carrying music, slide grease, valve oil (well maybe not), Blistex and other horn requisites.  Unfortunately the various slots for crooks and the main body of the horn  have been removed from this box but they will in time be carefully restored.

Etienne Gihot was born on February 9. 1775 in Valenciennes, Department of Nord, France. He served as a musician in the 21e Regiment d'Infanterie Légere under Napoleon Bonaparte where he was awarded Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur. He is found in the municipal records of Dunkirk as a co-witness (along with Michel Douzé) to the baptism of Louise Provot (b. June 22, 1805), daughter of Jean-Pierre Provot and Marie Motté, both of Luxemborg. Provot was also a musician serving in 21e R.I.L. Later Etienne Gihot became Premier Cor du Grand Théâtre de Lyon. A Méthode Pour le Cor (c. 1827) by J. Blanc, Professeur de Musique au Collège de l'Arc à Dole, is dedicated to Gihot.

Cité de la Musique

Declerck, Christian, Dictionnaire des musiciens Dunkerque
Special thanks to M. Decerck for his assistance!

Indices of holders of the Legion of Honor

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

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