Oboe/19th Century Oboe?


I recently purchased what appears to be a very old oboe from an antique shop.  From browsing the web, it seems that this instrument is a 19th century oboe.  How can I find more information about this oboe, who made it, when it was made, etc.?  I've attached a composite image showing the oboe and key mechanisms.  Would this instrument have any historical value?

 The instrument seems to be complete and the exterior is in reasonably good condition except for one missing pad, missing thread wrapping at the upper tenon joint and some minor damage at the end of the bell.  The bore is very dirty and has several cobwebs, so it obviously has not been played recently.  I would like to clean this up, replace the pad and put the instrument back to use.  Can this be done without destroying any historical value the instrument might have?

 Thank you for any information or advice you can give me about this instrument.

Dear Dennis

I am sorry that I am late in replying. There have been some nasty viral infections in the UK this last few months and I picked one up. Horrible it was too!

Interesting oboe though. THanks you for the pictures. Are there any markings at all on this oboe? There is usually something on the bell or other joints. even very faint markings would be a clue to the maker. If you can photograph these and send those to me I can be of more help. Send them to :


It is boxwood instrument with ivory finial and trimmings going down to bottom B and not B flat which was common enough in the 19th century.
There are no rings and some of the keys are in saddles by the look of them. It therefore has a strong look of the German oboes of the 1820s made by Carl Golde and others in Germany - using the left hand to play the bottom B rather than the thumb on the back as in the Koch oboes from Vienna. Both these types have 13 or 15 keys. Seller was another oboe player who favoured this design. The French designs of Triebert and others began to use rings in there key systems.

I would certainly clean the oboe out, it will not affect it at all and make it play by adding missing pads.

Let me know if you have more pictures you can send and I willtake this further for you.

Best wishes



All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Geoffrey Bridge


Professional oboist with many years experience. Former pupil of Leon Goossens. Solo artist for Arts Council of Great Britain. Freelance recitalist/broadcasting/orchestras. Former Head of woodwind teaching in Hampshire, England. Questions on repertoire, playing styles, reeds, cane selection and processing.


St Andrews University Royal College of Music, Aberdeen College of Education Licenciate of the Royal Academy of Music General Teaching Council certificate Broadcast solo recitals/performed with major symphony orchestras/Music Club recitals/writings on double reed matters

Chairman and Trustee of the British Double Reed Society International Double Reed Society Association Hautbois Francais Orchestral Manager of Southern Pro Musica Orchestra/Aberdeen Sinfonietta

Double Reed News/Australasian Double Reed Society magazine/International Double Reed Society

LRAM, Cert Ed

©2017 About.com. All rights reserved.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]