ZIMMERMANN (C.F. SCHMIDT) with rebuilt piston 4th valve

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It is a recognised historical fact that makers of high-quality horns in the first half of the 20th century, e.g. C.F. Schmidt, Wunderlich, Carl Geyer, J. H. Zimmermann and even E. Kruspe, were in fact, more accurately, ‘designers and assemblers’ (and this case merely a 'stenciller') rather than makers in a ‘thoroughbred’ sense.

The manufacture of many of their critical acoustical/ mechanical components such as bells, mouthpipes and rotary or piston valves was outsourced to Markneukirchen, where e.g. Peter Martin made valves and Wilhelm Voigt made bells.

J.H. Zimmermann - whose name is engraved on this horn - first established his business in 1875 in St. Petersburg, Russia. He subsequently moved to Leipzig in 1886.
Having started out as a musical instrument dealer / retailer he eventually became a 'maker'.
In 1919 he opened a branch of his firm in Berlin, and his factory in Markneukirchen started manufacturing or assembling instruments around the same time.

His firm ceased trading in 1930.

Judging by the elegant design, visual appearance, workmanship, dimensions (a large 'hoop' diameter of 36cm) and overall playing qualities of this lovely 'J.H. Zimmermann' double horn with 3 rotors and a piston 4th valve, it is a 'C.F. Schmidt' instrument in all but name, dating from the 1920s.
It is only the 2nd horn of this type that I have ever had in stock and is in far better overall condition than the previous one.
Engraved on its bell throat is the following:

Leipzig - Berlin
Eigenis Fabrikat

(an engraving of a workman with some hand tools – maybe an axe or hammer and a saw)
No.2468 "

Engraved on a nickel-silver plate on the piston valve is:

The horn exhibits the intense, centred and ringing tonal ‘core’, rich in overtones, that characterises the finest C.F. Schmidt horns, together with a very clean and securely slotted high register.

A modern Alexander ‘duck’s foot / flipper’ has been fitted, evidently very recently, and its rather short rotor levers / spatulae have been extended by old silver coins.

NB: its formerly rather awkward-to-operate piston 4th valve has been extensively modified by the installation of an ingenious new linkage, giving the thumb a more accessible and relaxed position. 

However, its original parts and components for the 4th valve are still preserved and available for any buyer who wishes to revert it to its former 'uncomfortable' state!

Weight:  2.4kg / 5lb 5oz.

NB: There is currently no case with this horn, but a variety of new or 2nd-hand cases is available at modest extra cost.


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ZIMMERMANN (C.F. SCHMIDT) with rebuilt piston 4th valve