Maker: Giosue Esposito (Naples, active late 19th century)

Date: 1881

Geography: Naples, Italy

Culture: Italian

Medium: Maple, nickel-silver

Dimensions: Overall height: 51 3/4 in. (131.5 cm); External dimensions of box: 10.8 x 21.2 x 55.5 cm (4-1/4 x 8-3/8 x 21-7/8 in.)

Classification: Aerophone-Reed Vibrated-double reed

Credit Line: Purchase, Clara Mertens Bequest, in memory of André Mertens, 2003

Accession Number: 2003.150a–g


A revolutionizing model of basson, with twenty-four nickel-silver keys, was developed by the bassoonist Luigi Caccavaio in Naples. Its novelty concerns all major aspects of the instrument: bore, length of the wooden sections, and the key system which incorporates elements of the Boehm system. The Caccavaio-Esposito model was too different from the mainstream bassoons to be adoptable by bassoonists.