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Ophicleide in C

This instrument is associated with the Cyfarthfa Band, one of the greatest and oldest virtuoso nineteen-century brass bands, founded in 1838 by iron magnate Robert Thompson Crawshay. It belonged to Sam Hughes, the most celebrated and the last great ophicleide player. It is a Hughes model ophicleide made of brass with silver trimming and keywork, having a U-shaped conical tube with flared upright bell. It has twelve modern-style cup keys mounted in posts with rods, affixed to plates. The left thumb keys have plastic(?) rollers. The instrument has a detachable, double-coiled crook with ligature screw and a water-key, and there is a large venthole on the bell flare. Nominal pitch: C.

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  • Decorative elements:Engraved silver rim with floral motifs on vent hole. Embossed ferrules and handrest-plate with foliage motifs.
  • Inscriptions:Stamped on bell: MÉDAILLE / DE / 1RE CLASSE / EXPOSITION / UNIVERSELLE / 1855 (all encircled) / Médaille (gothic script) / LONDRES 1862 / Exposition Universelle (gothic script) / PARIS 1867 / Médaille d'Honneur (gothic script) / EN ARGENT / ANTOINE COURTOIS / Breveté (cursive) / FACTEUR DU CONSERVATOIRE IMPÉRIAL / 88.rue des Marais St. Martin / Paris (cursive) / S. ARTHUR CHAPPELL / Sole agent / 45 New Bond Street / London (cursive)|Engraved silver plate on bell: S. Hughes (gothic script)|Engraved on bell flare: W. T. CRAWSHAY, Esq.
  • Hornbostel-Sachs category:423.213 Labrosones with fingerholes, with (wider) conical bore
  • Repository:Cyfarthfa Castle Museum
  • Measurements:Height: 1075mm; Bell diameter: 215mm; Bore at mouthpiece receiver: 14mm; Venting hole diameter: 71mm; Sounding length: 2560mm