In Previous Instruments of the Month

Natural Trumpet in E-flat

John Nichols

London, 1846

Sterling silver

National Music Museum No. 7162

Widely used throughout Europe between the 16th and 18th centuries, the natural trumpet played important roles in chamber music and military ceremony. Many of the most renowned trumpets were made in Nuremberg, Germany, which became a natural center of the craft due to its proximity to iron deposits.

This ceremonial natural trumpet, made by John Nichols, represents the enduring role of the natural trumpet in Royal proceedings and is currently on display at the Carolina Music Museum. Visible above the bell are the marks of the maker (I. N.) and of the London Assay Office, which regulated and authenticated sterling silver objects. The instrument also bears representative stamps of a lion passant (England), a leopard’s head (London), the letter “L” (year), and the cameo of Queen Victoria, monarch at the time. Nichols produced multiple silver ceremonial trumpets for the Queen, and many currently reside in the Tower of London.


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