This horn was made by A. Legner, of Pribram, a town near Prague, probably in the last half of the Nineteenth Century. There is no little finger hook, nor evidence that one was ever installed. The horn is very similar to Dick Martz's Vienna horn, made in Brünn by Josef Cidrich; the design differs from the usual one of Uhlmann, pictured near the bottom of Martz's web page.
Vienna horn specialist Hans Pizka says that both the bell flare and the tubing are quite different from the horns used in the Vienna Philharmonic, the design being similar to horns made by A. Rott of Prague. Pizka dates it as after 1860 and before 1900. The bore of one leg of the first valve slide is .451 inches; the bore of the other leg is .457 inches.
Though Pizka says "I suspect it was in the higher military pitch of the old Austrian-Bohemian-Hungarian monarchy," it plays at A=440 Hz with the non-original crook I have. However, the intonation is not good at all, necessitating several alternate fingerings, such as 1-2 for E on the bottom line (fifth partial) and 3 for A in the second space, to get some notes in tune. This is probably owing to the crook, and, according to Pizka, is not characteristic of Vienna horns in general. Of course, without the original crook it is impossible to be certain at what pitch it was originally built.
Notice how the second valve slide extends upward at an angle from the back of the horn, touching the player's palm. Spit drains downward into the main tubing and is emptied with the other valve slides and the main tuning slide.
This is the only engraving or other marking anywhere on the horn.
The crook is known not to be original, and was obtained from Paxman's in London by a previous owner. It does not fit the receiver perfectly and has a tendency to wobble, which I find quite disconcerting, unless firmly and carefully seated.
Created 21 Jul 2001.
Revised 24 Nov 2009.