Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Bassoon

Maker:
Dominique Antony Porthaux (French, ca. 1751–1839 Paris)
Date:
1790–1800
Geography:
Paris, France
Culture:
French
Medium:
Maple, brass
Dimensions:
L. 51 in. (129.4 cm)
Classification:
Aerophone-Reed Vibrated-double reed
Credit Line:
Purchase, Clara Mertens Bequest, in memory of André Mertens, 1999
Accession Number:
1999.307 a,b
Not on view
The most modern feature of this bassoon is the speaker key at the wing joint, meant to facilitate the playing of the highest notes. The instrument comes with two wing joints for high and low pitch, the original bocal, two boxes of period reeds, and its original case. Porthaux's basson foreshadows what later in the nineteenth century came to be called the French bassoon, as opposed to the German bassoon, featuring a colorful, slender and slightly nasal sound.
Marking: (stamped beneath a crown) "PORTHAUX / A / PARIS"
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