GUICHARD attrib. hand horn, c.1840

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A beautiful natural horn / hand horn / cor d’orchestre,


attributed to GUICHARD, Paris, c.1840.


Formerly in the Edward Croft-Murray collection, the instrument is


housed in an original red paper and suede-lined wooden box.


It has a full set of crooks, of which many are almost certainly


original to the instrument, and 3 original mouthpieces.



It is in very good playing condition (pitch 440 Hz) with


no major repairs.


There are 3 very small and insignificant 'dings', photos of which can


be supplied on request.



Its crooks, some very little used, are marked: SI, LA, LAB, SOL, FA,


MD, MB, RÉ, UT, and SIB on the whole-tone coupler for B flat 'basso' in


combination with the UT/C crook. The crook inlets / terminations are


quite small: 7.4-7.6 mm, except for the F crook (8.1mm). Interestingly, in


his Méthode de cor alto et cor basse of 1824, the legendary French


player and pedagogue Dauprat writes disapprovingly of the fashion to


name the E/mi crook: MD (mi dièze/E sharp) and also wonders why


there is no A flat crook. 


There is indeed an A flat crook with this horn, a very useful aid for


playing high passages written for the E flat/MB crook (as was implicitly


and prophetically recommended by Dauprat in his Méthode.)


Several features are typical of many horns by the Guichard workshop:


the ferrule joining the bell section, the crook receiver and coupler




The decoration of the painted bell is especially associated with a


number of instruments by Guichard, and also by Gautrot.


Designs similar in execution and colouring to the present instrument's


decoration can be seen on an unsigned two-valve horn in the R. J.


Martz collection (, on a Guichard clavicor (Musée de la


Musique, Paris E.747) and on a Guichard cor d’orchestre advertised on


ebay in 2013.


Other horns with chinoiserie for comparison are in museums: Huesca


Cathedral Archive, Spain; Historisches Museum, Basel, Switzerland


(1980.2274); GNM, Nuremberg, Germany (MIR 82 ); also on a “Bax”,


Bate collection, Oxford, (637 - bell only).



My own personal speculation is that this lovely horn was made under


Guichard's supervision by an apprentice in the master's


workshop; this would explain the lack of an engraved 'Guichard'




The horn is currently with its owner in South-West Scotland.


Contact information can be provided on request.



The photos can be viewed in greater detail

by opening and saving them.


Halstead Music acts as an agent only,

accepting no responsibility as a principal.








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GUICHARD attrib. hand horn, c.1840