Single Horn with semitone valve
Besson, Rue d'Angoulème à Paris, 1910
Very nice and elegant horn by Besson, Rue d’Angoulème à Paris. The serial number (75214) can be dated quite easily: it was -nearly certainly- built in 1910.

This horn has a rather curious transposing rotary valve on the tuning slide, lowering the pitch with a semitone when opened. The narrow-flare bell is finished with a garland, which indicates that the instrument was most probably intended for professional use. The marking “système prototype” on the bell, quite common with Besson instruments as many were custom-made could mean this particular horn was made as a factory experiment, for exposition or for a particular player.

French instruments with a fixed leadpipe were not very common in this era, as most Franch players preferred the crook changing sytem until the 1920’s. The instrument was completely reconditioned by Daniel Kunst in the spring of 2010