Two straight trumpets (or busines)

Two straight trumpets (or busines)

With the exception of the engraving on the right-hand bell, these two busines in G/F/D, based on the fragments found in Spring 1984 at Billingsgate, London, are ready for shipment!

The original trumpet fragments, probably dating to the early fourteenth century, are now housed at the Museum of London, whose curators were kind enough to allow me to spend a day examining them last month. I continue Dr. Graeme Lawson’s insistence on referring to them as fragments, since they show at least three separate stages of construction/repair/replacement, although they were unearthed as a set and were almost certainly used together. The workmanship of the bell and adjoining section was astonishingly good (the other two surviving sections being coarsely-constructed replacements made of tin) The metal of the original bell is extremely thin and cleanly worked, with a distinctive narrow folded garland which proved quite a challenge to replicate. Surprisingly, there is no decoration beyond the two balls, and no indication of a maker.

The sound of the replica, when paired with a mouthpiece based on Marcian Guitbert, Limoges 1442, is quite brilliant and direct, almost brash and with great impact without being overly loud, and yet with certain sweetness at the core. (Description partially from my colleagues Audrey Christensen and Mike Diprose). I expect a fine result when paired with shawms.

The next project will be to replicate the original leadpipe and mouthpiece. (My clients from the Landshuter Hofkapelle requested straight leadpipes and separate Guitbert-type mouthpieces rather than the as-yet-untried unitary Billingsgate-type.)

The next busine finished is earmarked for my colleague Ricardo Simian here in Basel, and then two for me.