COLLECTION: Musical Instruments

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Bassoon

1792
Origin: Great Britain, England, London
OL: 49 3/8 in. (excluding bocal)
maple, brass
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1987-766,A
Wooden conical wind instrument sounded with a double reed. Instrument has four wooden sections with two brass ferrules, a metal crook (bocal, the original missing). Instrument has six brass keys which voice the notes F, G#, low D, B flat, E flat, and F#.
Label:Like the bass viol, the bassoon sometimes served in churches without organs, where their deep voices provided a harmonic foundation for vocal music. Bassoons were also used in military bands, in chamber music, and in the theater. This instrument has a history in the upper Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, and with its six keys, is typical of late eighteenth-century English bassoons.
Provenance:Acquired in the 1940s at an auction in Strasburg, Virginia (Shenandoah Valley), from a Clarke County (Virginia) estate.
Mark(s):"PROSER" stamped on boot joint at top below ferrule, as well as three other joints (indistinct); "London/1792" stamped at end of boot joint above bottom ferrule; serial number "134" stamped on the upper end grain of the boot section.