Brass post horn


Category Other musical instruments
Period 1830-1900
Place of origin Germany
Description Brass post horn with mouthpiece
Materials Brass
Dimensions Height 198 mm
Bell diameter 132 mm
Weight 350 g (without tassels!)
Condition Working condition
Accessories Decorative red and blue silk cord with tassels
Price (€) €320.00
Ref 1047


Brass post horn

A post horn is a valveless cylindrical brass instrument with a cupped mouthpiece. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, stage coaches were used to carry letters and parcels. People were also transported and had to endure extremely bumpy rides and often accidents. Along each route or road, there were stations or ‘stages’ where the stage coaches stopped.

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The postillion was the person who guided the horse-drawn coach while actually mounted on the horse or pair of horses. A coachman would control the horse from the actual vehicle itself.

They blew the post horns to announce their arrival at or departure from postal stations. This meant that everything could be ready for when they arrived, including for example, a change of horses. Post horns went into disuse with the modernisation of postal systems. Yet the post horn remains a symbol of mail systems in many countries, including Germany with the Deutsche Post for example.

This German post horn is made of brass with circular coils. Its mouthpiece is also crafted in brass, but was perhaps previously silver plated. The instrument features an open tone-hole, known as a Quartloch [fourth hole], which was used to transpose all notes of the natural scale a fourth higher. The lovely, decorative red and blue silk cord with tassels may indicate that it was used for the Prussian post.

Normally, post horns remained the property of the state and not the postillion who would have it on loan. Now is the rare chance to actually own one yourself 📯

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