Ophicleide – SMITH, Henry


Category Other musical instruments
Maker SMITH, Henry
Marks and inscriptions HENRY SMITH / MAKER / WOLVERHAMPTON
Period 1830-1900
Place of origin Wolverhampton, England
Description Bass ophicleide, nominal pitch: 8-foot C, eleven keys by Henry SMITH
Materials Brass
Dimensions Height 1080 mm, Bell diameter 185 mm, 2,720 g
Condition Restored, fully functional
Accessories Full restoration photos
Price (€) €5,250.00
Ref 165



Ophicleide – SMITH, Henry

This bass ophicleide is fully restored and looks sensational! It was made some time around 1840 by Henry SMITH (ca. 1818-1884). Henry Smith was part of the Smith family of brass instrument makers – his father John Smith and his two brothers, George and Charles based in Wolverhampton, England. Henry Smith made brass and copper instruments, plus he was a music seller for various other items such as string instruments and pianofortes.

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This ophicleide now has 11 keys – 8 at the front and 3 at the rear. When it came to us, it was in a very sorry state, with years of damage and a missing key. A master brass instrument maker based in Germany has fully restored this ophicleide to its former glory. A new key was made and its new leather pads were specially made for this instrument. The hand rests were replaced and the whole instrument has been fully cleaned and lovingly polished. It was a marvellous project finished in 2023 and recorded with photos – supplied together with the instrument to its new owner.

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