French Horn/what horn is this?



Hi Alan.  I'm delighted to have stumbled across this site, as I think you might be able to help answer my question.  Decades ago I was a serious horn student studying with Clevenger, with dreams of being a career symphony player.  But once I matured enough to realize my abilities just couldnít get me to that level, I set my horn down and went for a non-musical career.  I have always remained in love with the instrument, and for 30 years Iíve been constantly on the lookout for good deals on quality horns, in order to recondition them to give away to deserving students who are serious, and who need a good instrument.  I wonít buy cheap Chinese horns, or any models that experienced players know to avoid, because theyíre not going to help a developing student.  Many sellers omit important info from their ads like make/model/serial, but over the years Iíve seen most every horn made in the West and can usually identify the make and model just by looking at photos.

But I canít identify this one.  Can you?  See photos attached.

The price is quite reasonable for a full double.  The seller says the horn is ďpretty oldĒ but gives no details.  This info, plus the photos, is all I have to go on.  Iíll have to drive 8 hours round-trip to see this horn and assess its condition.  Iím willing to do it if thereís a reasonable chance itís a quality instrument.  Any ideas who made it?  If you recognize this horn, do you have any thoughts on it?

Thanks in advance,

Hi, I think it's a pre-Farkas Holton. Compare the pictures here of the Holton 76 from 1960. Same wrap and thumb mechanism. It all looks fairly clunky and certainly unlike any other model.

So according to the traditional story of how Holton-Farkas horns came about ( if you haven't read it already see here ) it should be pretty rubbish! But an interesting piece of history. I've never had my hands on one. I guess Farkas was comparing it to other professional models, could be ok, but then again if it's 55 years old it might have leaky old valves and need a plating job. Who can tell...

Anyway, thanks for asking, happy to have solved the mystery at least. Let me know how it is if you decide to investigate!


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Alan Jones


Can answer just about anything on playing the horn, repertoire, buying instruments, repairs, care and maintenance


25 years of professional playing and teaching in the UK


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