Natural trumpet

1581, Manufacturer: Anton Schnitzer



Natural trumpet

Nuremberg has been one of the most important centres for instrument-making ever since the Renaissance. One of the most significant instrument-makers there was Anton Schnitzer (ca. 1557-1608) who is responsible for what must be the most magnificent trumpets in the world. The solid silver tube of this Schnitzer trumpet from the Ambras collection is embellished and engraved with muses holding instruments. The ferrules, mouthpiece fitting and the bell are gold plated. The mouthpiece is unique its deep cup together with the long bell of the instrument gives a dark sound. Quite apart from its purely musical significance, the instrument is an object of remarkable craftsmanship. The silver-plated brass tube is decorated with engravings along its entire length. At the bell the scale-like ornaments change to leaf motives. Engravings on the bell display allegorical female forms (muses?) with musical instruments: lute, harp, cornetto and trombone. The mouthpiece, ferrules and garland of the bell are also engraved and gilded. The following signature in openwork design runs around the edge of the bell: »MACHT.ANTON.SCHNITZER [crown] A. MDLXXXI«. (bd/rh)

Julius Schlosser: Die Sammlung alter Musikinstrumente. Beschreibendes Verzeichnis, Wien 1920.

Ausstellungskatalog: Für Aug' und Ohr. Musik in Kunst- und Wunderkammern, Schloß Ambras 1999, Wien 1999.
Rudolf Hopfner: Masterpieces from the Collection of Historic Musical Instruments. A Short Guide through the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna, Vol. 1, Vienna 2019.

Location: Neue Burg, Sammlung alter Musikinstrumente Saal 10

Object data

Object Name

Natural trumpet


Germany, Nuremberg




Anton Schnitzer (Nürnberg)

Image rights

Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Sammlung alter Musikinstrumente

Inv. No.

Sammlung alter Musikinstrumente, 248

100 Meisterwerke - Fanfarentrompete - Anton Schnitzer

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