A Treasury of Horns!

I had the opportunity last week to speak with Craig Pratt, a longtime member of the Shreveport Symphony’s horn section, about his extensive collection of rare and interesting horns. Craig was generous enough to let me photograph some of these instruments, and offered very knowledgable comments about their history and design. His collection is surely one of the most extensive in the state, if not the entire region. You can view the collection by clicking here, complete with photographs, but if you are in a hurry check out the images below for a few of the most interesting horns. If you have any questions about these instruments I would be happy to pass them along. Thanks Craig!

C.F. Schmidt: Double Horn with Horizontal Thumb Valve (1900): This unique horn appears to be a one-off prototype, and to my knowledge (and Craig’s) never went into production.


Here’s a closeup of the valve section, seen from the other side of the horn.


Carl Geyer, Hunting Horn (Rare)

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Raoux, Cor Orchestra with Sauterelle 

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That first one is really interesting (I’ve never seen it before). I’m guessing the goal was to avoid some weight (4 double high valves vs. 3 single-high valves + one long smaller diameter valve). Was there some other goal in mind? The Lild design was similar and appears more successful at reducing weight (more shared tubing – http://www.rugs-n-relics.com/Brass/french-horns/1925-Lidl-FH.html). There is a german horn maker producing a triple horn with long valves similar to the Lild (http://www.cornford.de/Mod_3S_english_alt.htm).


Hi James,
thanks a lot for this post. I, of course, checked the whole collection of pictures on the website. The last pictures is a Harmon Mute for Frenche Horn, it is the first time that I see something like that, I just knew that they existed. Would it be somehow possible for you to ask Mr. Pratt what brand it is and what he knows about it?
All the best and many thanks,
Samuel Stoll


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