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Annotated Checklist of
Trumpet and Cornopeans with Disc Valves by John August Köhler
in The Joe R. and Joella F. Utley Collection of Brass Instruments

(in chronological order)


Trumpet ca. 1838
Cornopean ca. 1843
Cornopean ca. 1851



NMM 7126 & NMM 7063. Trumpet and Cornopean by John August Köhler, London, ca. 1838 and ca. 1843. Joe R. and Joella F. Utley Collection, 1999.

Left: NMM 7126. Right: NMM 7063.

NMM 7126. Trumpet in F by John August Köhler, London, ca. 1838

NMM 7126. Trumpet in F by J. A. Köhler, London, ca. 1838. Joe R. and Joella F. Utley Collection, 1999.

Sigature plate soldered to bell of NMM 7126. Trumpet in F by J. A. Köhler, London, ca. 1838. Joe R. and Joella F. Utley Collection, 1999.

Cast plate with raised letters soldered to bell: BY HER 35 [engraved] MAJESTY'S / ROYAL LETTERS PATENT / Royal Arms [lion and unicorn] / KOHLER SOLE MAKER / 35, HENRIETTA STT / COVENT GARDEN LONDON; on side of plate: J, SHAW / INVENTOR. Embossed on garland: KÖHLER MANUFACTURER HENRIETTA ST. COVENT GARDEN LONDON. Owner's inscription engraved on back of bell: Scots Fusilier Guards / No 4. Valve cases and touchpieces stamped 1 and 2.

Serial number: 35.

Four-piece (two tube segments, tuning slide, and bell), double-loop brass body. Overlapping tab seam (width of tabs 4 mm). Saxon rim, iron wire insert. Garland with serrated upper edge in semicircular, embossed acanthus-leaf pattern; richly embossed with tendrils below signature. Helically fluted receiver ferrule surrounded with royal flowers (clover, thistle, and rose); other ferrules with six engraved and impressed lines.

Two disc valves ("patent lever valves") lowering the pitch a whole tone (first valve) and a semitone (second valve). Clock spring with tension-regulating disc. First valve: inner moving slides; second valve: outer moving slides. Windway: second valve, first valve.

Accessories: Conifer case, originally painted green; three single-coiled crooks for E-flat, D, and C; three tuning bits with ears for F (low pitch), E (low pitch), and E (high pitch, not original); two mouthpieces: one German silver, one brass with silver plating, the latter stamped BUTLER LONDON.

Sounding length: 1744 mm (F), 1768 mm (F low pitch), 1840 mm (E high pitch, not original), 1861 mm (E low pitch), 1963 mm (E-flat), 2092 mm (D), 2368 mm (C); internal diameter receiver: 11.7 mm, internal diameter minimum (at 32 mm): 10.7 mm; bore diameter: 11 mm (inner slides); bell diameter: 120 mm.

Resembles Köhler's two-valve "Patent Lever Trumpet" shown at the Great Exhibition, London, 1851, claiming "that the tones produced by the complementary windways are all insured of equal quality as the new valve [the disc valve] allows a perfectly free and circular passage through the whole windway of the instrument - a desideratum never before attained."

Lit.:  Sabine Klaus, "Trumpet in F and Cornopean in B-flat by John August Köhler" in "Historical Instrument Window," Edward H. Tarr, editor, International Trumpet Guild Journal, Vol. 31, No. 4 (June 2007), p. 60.


NMM 7063. Cornopean in B-flat by John August Köhler, London, ca. 1843


Signature plate soldered to bell of NMM 7063. Cornopean by John August Köhler, London, ca. 1843. Joe R. and Joella F. Utley Collection, 1999.

Cast plate with raised letters soldered to bell: BY HER 382 [engraved] MAJESTY'S / ROYAL LETTERS PATENT / Royal arms [lion and unicorn] / KOHLER SOLE MAKER / 35, HENRIETTA STT. / COVENT GARDEN LONDON; on side of plate: J, SHAW / INVENTOR. Valves stamped 1, 2, 3.

Serial number: 382.

Five-piece (leadpipe, two small bows, tuning slide, bell), single-loop brass body. Overlapping tab seam (width of tabs 2.5 mm, sloping). Variant of French rim, in which the bell edge is rolled inwards; iron wire insert. Ferrules with one engraved line and one impressed line surrounded by two engraved lines respectively.

Three disc valves ("patent lever valves") lowering the pitch a whole tone (first valve), a semitone (second valve), and a minor third (third valve). Clock spring with tension-regulating disc. First and third valves: inner moving slides; second valve: outer moving slides. Touchpiece push-rods guided in tubes. Windway: second, third, first valve.

Accessories: Funnel-shaped brass mouthpiece with silver rim; three brass crooks stamped F, G and A; five tuning bits with ears, one stamped B, the others without stamps (one for A, the others for low-pitch alterations).

Sounding length: 1370 mm (B-flat), 1456 mm (A), 1510 mm (A-flat), 1634 mm (G), 1836 mm (F); internal diameter receiver: 11.4 mm, internal diameter minimum (at 76 mm): 10.8 mm; bell diameter: 120 mm.

Resembles Köhler's "patent lever cornopean" displayed at London's Great Exhibition, 1851.

Lit.:  Sabine Klaus, "Trumpet in F and Cornopean in B-flat by John August Köhler" in "Historical Instrument Window," Edward H. Tarr, editor, International Trumpet Guild Journal, Vol. 31, No. 4 (June 2007), p. 60.

Sabine K. Klaus, with contributions from Robert Pyle, "Measuring Sound:  BIAS Aids Understanding of Brass Instruments," NMM Newsletter 37, No. 3 (December 2010).


NMM 7064. Cornopean in B-flat by John August Köhler, London, ca. 1851


NMM 7064. Cornopean in B-flat by J. A. Köhler, London, ca. 1851. Joe R. and Joella F. Utley Collection, 1999. Signature plate soldered to bell of NMM 7064. Cornopean by John August Köhler, London, ca. 1851. Joe R. and Joella F. Utley Collection, 1999.

Cast plate with raised letters soldered to bell: BY HER 858 [engraved] MAJESTY'S / ROYAL LETTERS PATENT / Royal arms [lion and unicorn] / KOHLER SOLE MAKER / 35, HENRIETTA STT / COVENT GARDEN LONDON; on side of plate: J, SHAW / INVENTOR. Valves stamped 1, 2, 3.

Serial number: 858.

Five-piece (leadpipe, tuning slide, two small bows, bell), single-loop brass body. Overlapping tab seam (width of tabs 2.5 mm, sloping). Variant of French rim, in which the bell edge is rolled inwards; iron wire insert. Ferrules with one engraved line and one impressed line surrounded by two engraved lines respectively.

Three disc valves ("patent lever valves") lowering the pitch a whole tone (first valve), a semitone (second valve), and a minor third (third valve). Return spring in guiding tube of touchpiece push rods. First and third valves: inner moving slides; second valve: outer moving slides. Windway: second, third, first valve.

Accessories: black leather case; brass crook stamped F; two brass tuning bits with ears; silver-plated brass mouthpiece with radial throat, made between 1888 and 1937, stamped EMBOUCHURE PAYEE / GUILBAUT / BSGDG / COUESNON & C[I]E / 94 RUE D' ANGOUÊME / PARIS / No. 1.; two crooks, one stamped "SI , the other one LA · B. The parts with French inscriptions are not original.

Sounding length: 1399 mm (B-flat), 1480 mm (B-flat, not original), 1514 mm (A-flat, not original), 1781 mm (F); internal diameter receiver: 11.4 mm, internal diameter minimum (at ca. 45 mm): 9.8 mm; bore diameter (inner slides): 11 mm; bell diameter: 122 mm.

Differs in some details from the 1851 exhibition model, most notably in the use of return springs in tubes instead of clock springs.

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