Keyed ocarina – FIEHN, Heinrich


Category Flageolets & recorders
Maker FIEHN, Heinrich
Marks and inscriptions [????]
Golden prize stamps & lettering
Period 1830-1900
Place of origin Vienna, Austria
Description Ocarina by Heinrich Fiehn with tuning slide and two keys
Materials Terracotta, nickel silver
Dimensions Length 185 mm
298 g
With case 380 g
Condition Working condition
Special features Tuning slide and two keys
Accessories Original case
Price (€) €480.00
Ref 1133


Keyed ocarina – FIEHN, Heinrich

This terracotta ocarina was made in Austria by Heinrich FIEHN (1846-1920). He was one of the most important and successful ocarina makers of his time. This particular ocarina is particularly special and rare since it features a tuning slide and two keys.

Heinrich Fiehn registered a patent for a tuning slide for his ocarinas in 1881. It was possible to adjust the tones up and down with the tuning slide. For example, the tuning slide was pulled outwards to increase the internal volume of the ocarina’s resonating chamber. The pitch was therefore lowered. Tuning slides enabled the ocarinas to play in tune with other instruments like the piano. Heinrich Fiehn also added two nickel silver keys to some of his ocarina models for playing high F# and G.

The ocarina has ten holes and is made of terracotta with a black glaze. It is in very good condition and is supplied in its original, albeit very used case. There seems to be a part missing for the mouthpiece, which was maybe made of ivory or bone. However, the instrument is completely playable.

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