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Natural Trumpet in D by Johann Leonhard Ehe III
Imperial City of Nürnberg, ca. 1750

NMM 7160. Natural trumpet in D by Johann Leonhard Ehe III, Imperial City of Nuremberg, ca. 1750. Side view

Front                                          Side

NMM 7160.  Natural trumpet in D by Johann Leonhard Ehe III, Imperial City of Nürnberg, ca. 1750 (between 1722-1771). Five-piece brass body, held together by five ferrules of alternating length (long, short, long, short, long) and a walnut block with probably original, light-green binding and two tassels. Overlapping tab seam in front of first yard. Possibly used in 1895 by the trumpeter Walter Morrow (1850-1937) for demonstration of short excerpt from J. S. Bach’s B Minor Mass and whole final chorale of Bach's Christmas Oratorio. Morrow is said to have borrowed the instrument from the lawyer William F. Blandford. Ex coll.: Edward H. Tarr, Rheinfelden-Eichsel, Germany. Joe R. and Joella F. Utley Collction, 1999.

The Maker's Signature

Note: Click on any image below to see larger image

Maker's signature engraved on bell garland

Engraved on the garland to the right of the first bow, extending over one-third of the bell and reading from the mouthpiece end:  M IOHANN LEONHARD / EHE IN NURNB.

The Master's Mark

Master's mark

The engraved master's mark, showing head of a man wearing a turban, facing right. The initials IL are to the left, while the initial E is to the right of the mark.

Bell Rim and Engraved Decorations

Bell rim and garland Bell rim and garland

Nürnberg rim, wire impressed in a leaf pattern (left). Tulip engraving and upper garland edge decoration (right) consisting of four straight engraved lines.



Receiver Ferrule

Short bow
Long bow

Bow 1 (short)

Bow 1 (long)

Short bow
Long bow

Bow 2 (short)

Bow 2 (long)

The ferrules are engraved with straight lines in varying numbers on the different ferrules.

Ball and Sleeves


Sleeve 1
Long bow

Ball is made of two-part, hammered, sheet-brass oval decorated with five engraved rings consisting of one to six lines. Sleeves have four engraved rings at each side of the ball consisting of three to six lines.

Accessories:  Two brass tuning bits (old, but probably not original) and a brass mouthpiece stamped P NAUMANN (reproduction of a baroque mouthpiece).

Sounding length:  2207 mm; internal diameter receiver:  11.9; internal diameter receiver minimum (at ca. 40 mm): 10.8 mm; bell diameter:  106 mm.

The dating of this instrument, ca. 1750, is fairly late in the overall timeline of Nürnberg trumpet production. This conclusion can be supported by such features as the restrained decorations and generally less ornate style, in comparison with earlier instruments, as well as the relatively sharp bell flare common to the later Nürnberg trumpets. Although it was a requirement in Nürnberg for all craftsmen to have distinguishable master's marks, there were three generic master's marks, with only subtle deviations, used by many of the different trumpet makers in the Ehe family dynasty. The signature and mark on this trumpet are slightly different than those used by other family members, including the shape of the first two initials in the master's mark, the word MACHT that is abbreviated to only an M, and, the fact that both first names are written out in their entirety. Therefore, this instrument has been attributed to Johann Leonhard Ehe III. Although an important Nürnberg trumpet-maker, Ehe spent the end of his life in relative poverty, like other metal craftsmen, during this period of decline in trumpet production.

Audio Excerpts of
Edward H. Tarr Playing NMM 7160
George Kent, Organist, Playing the Silbermann-Kern Organ of the
Temple of St. Jean, Mulhouse, France

1.  Jeremiah Clarke (1637-1707), "Trumpet Tune" from English Suite in D

2.  Jeremiah Clarke, "The Prince of Denmark's March" from English Suite in D

Note:  These excerpts are taken from Edward H. Tarr, Baroque Masterpieces for Trumpet & Organ, Vol. III (Nonesuch Records: 1978).

Edward H. Tarr holding Ehe trumpet

Lit.:  Robert Barclay, The Art of the Trumpet-Maker (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992), pp. 52, 59, 119, and 162.

Reine Dahlqvist and Bengt Eklund, "The Brandenburg Concerto No. 2," Euro-ITG Newsletter 2 (1995), p. 6.

Edward H. Tarr, "Trumpet," The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, Second Edition, Stanley Sadie, editor (New York and London: Macmillan, 2001), Vol. 25, p. 832, fig. 12a.

-------, "Natural Trumpet in D by Johann Leonhard Ehe II," "Historical Instrument Window," International Trumpet Guild Journal (June 2003), p. 68.

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