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                        The Arigra, the Exakta

                                                  and other octagonal trumpets

(achteckige Trompeten)

                             

      

The origins of octagonal trumpets can be traced back to two geographically close locations. Graslitz, now Kraslice in the Czech Republic and, at a distance of 18 km, Markneukirchen in the Southeast of Germany, the Saxonian Vogtland. An area that acted for years as the world's music store this region was called the Musikwinkel. Graslitz was where the Arigra trumpet came from, Markneukirchen was the home of the Exakta octagonal trumpet and others, made by members of the Migma and Sinfonia workshops.

            Graslitz 1912 view against the Eibenberg

Arigra and other Czech trumpets

ARIGRA is an acronym for Anton RIedl GRAslitz. Anton Riedl was born in 1861 and established his own company in 1885. Riedl was an accomplished maker of instruments, (rotary) valve blocks and bells and also a trader of other musical instruments. 

By the end of the 19th century there were 11 musical instrument factories in operation in Graslitz, employing some 300 workers and 16 merchants trading musical instruments. Graslitz then was part of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire

After WWI, Graslitz was part of the new Czecho Slovakian Republik. Production in Graslitz quickly recovered and at a time there were 59 musical instrument manufacturers in the area including such names as Bohland & Fuchs, F.X.Hüller, A.K. Hüttl and Julius Keilwerth. And Musikinstrumenten-Fabrik Anton Riedl, by then located at the Eibenbergerstrasse 835 in Graslitz (now: Wolkerova, Kraslice).

In 1931 Anton reached the age of 70 years as senior chef of his Musikinstrumentenfabrik in full physical and mental health, as the Zeitschrift für Instrumentenbau mentions. Riedl's son Hugo became partner in the Musikinstrumenten-Fabrik Anton Riedl from 17-01-1931 onwards (an OHG, Offene Handelgeselschaft). From 14-05-1938 Hugo Riedl is registered as the sole owner of Anton Riedl Musikinstrumenten-Fabrik, trade name Arigra. In a list of house owners in May 1945 Hugo is still listed at the address Eibenberger Strasse 835. After WWII Germans were expelled from what again became Czechoslovakia. In a list of German people that were expelled, Hugo is not mentioned, but Anna Riedl (49) is mentioned as owner of a factory, with a husband in Bavaria, departure provided by a train on October 11th 1946.

With the formalisation of the creation of the Amati collective in June 1948 (working back till 1-1-1947) Anton Riedl was one of the confiscated companies and workshops involved.

            

Anton Riedl ad                                                                                Anton Riedl sousaphones played in a youth orchestra around the 1933 Musikfest in Graslitz

There are not many of Riedl's instruments known to be around, maybe he made a lot of stencils. Some examples:

                

Anton Riedl tenor horn, between 1918-1936         Anton Riedl Arigra trombone, source Ebay 2013 

     

Anton Riedl Arigra rotary valve C trumpet, coll. Gerard Westerhof

 

Anton Riedl Graslitz rotary valve flugelhorn probably Bb, source Ebay 2014

     

Arigra piston Bb/A trumpet, source Ebay

Arigra Solo Bb trumpet with A valve, valves numbered 84, 85, 86  souce Ebay.at 2015

Arigra top action rotary valve Bb trumpet with A valve source ebay.de 2015

Logos

The (presumed) evolution of the logos Anton Riedl used. He must have started with 'Musikinstrumentenfabrik Anton Riedl Graslitz 835/Č.S.R. (835 being the address and Č.S.R. referring to Československá republika, the Czecho Slovakian Republik that existed from 1918 till 1939 and from 1945 till 1960). The trade mark Arigra was introduced and the Anton Riedl reference disappears. I guess the organic forms came first and then the more geometrical 'art deco' designs. The variety is fascinating.

    

Although Riedl made other instruments, he's best known for his octagonal Arigra trumpets. Friedel Keim describes them in his book Das grosse Buch der Trompete" as being inspired by the Jugenstil (Art Nouveau) style, the international style of about 1890 until 1914. But most often they are referred to as Art Deco style.

Art Deco

Art Deco was a design style popular from approximately 1925 through 1939. The name is derived from the style's origins at the the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes (International Exposition of Modern Industrial and Decorative Art) in Paris, although the term "Art Deco" was not commonly used until the 1968 publication of Bevis Hillier's art history book Art Deco of the 20s and 30s.

Art Deco was an opulent and purely decorative style that projected elegant modernism. Much of Art Deco style is based on clean geographic shapes with sunbursts, chevrons, zigzags, and octagons predominating. The increasing dominance of technology is reflected in images celebrating machines like railroads and airplanes. Sweeping curves in buildings reflected new trends in aerodynamic streamline vehicle design. Objects from the natural world (especially eagles) were presented in geometrically stylized designs.

As an aside it must be said that a lot of the horns for phonographs, invented in 1877, also were built with 8 (or more, or less) panels. To be researched a little more....

The Arigra octagonal trumpets have to be dated somewhere between 1925 and 1937, maybe even between 1930 and 1937. Maybe Hugo Riedl was the initiator/maker, as his father was in his seventies already by then. This was the period in which also other examples of art deco like trumpets appear on the market. Apart from their octagonal bell, the Arigra trumpets have a lot of art deco style details. There also is a remarkable, not to say incredible lot of variety between the instruments, not in their overall form but in details like the bracing, the engraving, the spins, the valve blocks. That's possibly because they were handmade over a longer period of time, or maybe the parts were sourced from diffferent makers.  

Braces

Most often the Arigra's have a hexagonal shaped spin as the main slide brace. But there are also some examples of otherwise formed spins, a double brace and several examples of a single diagonal brace, with different angles.

 

hexagonal spin

         hexagonal spin, combined with old style round brace

  Arigra Extra with octagonal spin

                  square spin  

    circular spin

diagonal single braces            

             double brace

 

no brace, probably because the in-between part in the main tuning slide is missing.

Valve block

A solid hexagonal valve block is found on part of the Arigra's. The other ones have 'normal' spaces between the hexagonal valve casings.

   

But there are also Arigra's with fluted casings.

Mouthpiece

An octagonal mouthpiece is part of the original Arigra set up.

  

Name engraving

Almost all the Arigra's have this shady lettering. The Arigra Extra has 'Extra' engraved instead of 'Arigra' (difficult to see). The difference with the normal Arigra lies in the shape of the spin. And there is an Arigra with an additional 'L. Tůma' engraved. L. Tůma, was a Prague firm, selling, renting and exchanging all musical instruments.

     

Most of the Arigra's also have engravings inside the bell, reflecting the engraving on the outside. Quite often the bells have handhammered facets.

Arigra Standart

There are a few examples of another Arigra model named Standart. This model has a round bell but quite some octagonal and hexagonal details in common with the octagonal model, like the valve casing, ferrules. It might be a precursor to this model, or a 'light' version. The model name, Standart instead of Standard, must be a statement....

Arigra Standart, valves numbered 58,49,60 coll. Gerard Westerhof

An Arigra Standart sold on Ebay December 2014 has on the middle valve a reference to a Britisch patent, numbered 486345.

Arigra Standart, valves numbered 67,68,69 source: Ebay.de

That patent, BRIT. PAT. 486345. was applied for on March 17th, 1937 by Heinrich Hermann Dick from German Markneukirchen. It refers specifically to the hexagonal valve casings and the solid valve block, and also mentions the valve heads being screwed inside the valve casings and the pistons provided with a projection registering in a groove in the casing. 

patent drawing showing the hexagonal solid valve block and caps and bottoms screwed inside

Heinrich Hermann Dick was the son of trumpet maker Heinrich Dick. Heinrich Dick in 1848 established a dealership for brass instruments in Markneukirchen which was expanded into a manufacturing and exporting company for musical instruments and accessories by his son. As a mail order firm they traded mainly string instruments. In the thirties all other instruments were added, as were mechanical instruments.

The conclusion must be that Dick tried to market the Arigra instrument in Great Britain.

A similar instrument was offered in September 2013 on Ebay with an asking price of $12.000. It didn't sell...

The hand hammered instrument with silverplating and gold wash has the name VOSCH engraved on the bell. The same Britisch patent number is engraved: BRIT. PAT. 486345. As the letters Vosch are very small you might think it's the name of the owner, but here's anotherer Vosch, owned by Daniel Becker from Essen (G). Again pretty much the same. Remarkable difference: it has 'Patent regd. 7733' on the valve block. Not clear what that means, as it's a pretty low number for German, UK or US patent....  The valve is marked 13. On the mouthpiece reciever of this Vosch there's a styled AR, suggesting again Anton Riedl as the maker. Which makes me think that Vosch might be a the trade/traders name.

Vosch, coll. Daniel Becker

 

Broadway

A Broadway, that was sold on the American market also looks pretty much the same. This instrument was sold in 2014 on the Swedish auction site Tradera. Hexagonal valve casings, thumb ring, ferrules and an octagonal spin, all like the Hermann Dick/Arigra/Vosch instrument. It looks like on the bell there's written 'American Model' and 'The Best of the World'.

Picalle Paris

A trumpet with a typical 'Arigra' valve block, spin and thumb ring and two digit number on middle valve, engraved 'Picalle Paris' as well as a naked lady.

Picalle Paris source: g.mu6 Ebay.com 2016

A similar trumpet with solid hexagonal valve block and round bell with 'Arigra' on that bell.

Arigra, valve numbered 24 A, source Aukro.cz 2016

Below is a trumpet with all the typical Arigra features, without the octagonal bell. The bell has no makers name but the frame is identical to one of the Arigra logo's above.

source g.mu6 Ebay.de 2016

 

Bohland & Fuchs

The trumpet below is definitely a Bohland & Fuchs. Bohland and Fuchs are established as a partnership in 1870, following the firm of Gustavus Bohland, which had been founded 20 years earlier, and flourished until 1945 when the firm was nationalized. By 1925, they had a workforce of 500. They were the first to use steam engines in their factory before WWI. Before WWII Bohland & Fuchs was one of the main brass instrument factories in Graslitz. During the war most factories were in the war industry. After the war, the production facilities of firms like B&F, Kohlert, Keilwerth, Hüller were merged into the AMATI cooperative (and in 1948 nationalized). So I guess the Bohland & Fuchs instrument will be pre-war. The instrument is engraved with the B&F logo and 'Paris' and a serial number 955 on the middle valve housing (with an anchor under the number). All three of the valves also are marked with "955" (and with 1,2,3 respectively).

 Bohland & Fuchs Paris, sr.nr. 955

                

Catalog page (ca 1925-1938) with the founders and trademark of Bohland & Fuchs       a view in the Bohland & Fuchs workshop

An almost identical trumpet, engraved Const. Riedl Nürnberg also has a small (B&F) anchor on the valve block and a serial number 1219. Konstantin Josef Riedl (Nürnberg 22-6-1869 - 19-1-1950) established his workshop in 1883. His son Konstantin Richard Riedl (Nürnberg 31-3-1900 - ? ) started in 1925. In 1930 the workshop was located at the address Hintere Kartäusergasse 5, according to the 'Buch der alten Firmen der Stadt Nürnberg' from that year. That's also the address that's on a logo in the case. The address doesn't exist any more, maybe it disappeared in the WWII bombings that destroyed 80% of the Nürnberg centre. Riedl also is known as an instrument trader.   

Const.Riedl Nürnberg, coll. Stefan Hackmann

The horns above have a lot of similarities with the Lignatone octagonal trumpet below, for instance the valve block and the bracket between the main tuning slide. Lignatone is a trademark that was used by the state owned AMATI company after WWII  for Czech export horns and other instruments.

Lignatone nr. 42 coll. Markus Wieghaus, Germany

Another trumpet, bearing the B&F anchor with serial number 793 has the name Imperator engraved.

Imperator B&F sr.nr. 793 source Ebay 2015

And this B&F trumpet bears the name VUS Berlin

VUS Berlin, sr.nr.1199 source Ebay 2016

V.F. Červený & Synové

A 1920's to 30's V.F. Červený & Synové Art Deco Trumpet was offered september 2011 on Ebay by a Canadian seller. It has a octagonal and rimless bell, 8 vertical ridges on the valve casings and hexagonal valve caps and bottoms.

V.F. Červený & Sinové

It is engraved with the name of the Czech brass manufacturer V.F. Červený & Synové (Červený & Sons) from Hradec Králové ('castle of the queen). The seller identified it as an Bohemian made Bohland & Fuchs (B&F) horn, due to the ship anchor stamp on the second valve. There is also a serial number 1459 located. (maybe only the valveblock was from B&F, as it looks very much like the valveblock of the B&F trumpet below.) The seller believed the instrument was probably manufactured as an unadorned stencil by B&F in Graslitz, and then finished in Hradec Králové. There was quite a free exchange of ideas, patterns, and parts in Bohemia and Vogtland in these days. A customer of Czech origin stated that the engraving pattern on the bell is common to Czech painted and etched glass and crystal. 

Amati

After World War II, in September 1945, musical instrument manufacturers in Kraslice merged on 17.10.1945 into a cooperative that was given the name "AMATI" (now: Amati-Denak). One of them was Anton Riedl. In 1948, the cooperative was nationalized. Some other firms incorpororated were F.X. Hüller & Co, Josef Glassl, Bohland & Fuchs, Julius Keilwerth, A.K. Hüttl, Franz Michl and Kohlerts Söhne.  An octagonal Amati trumpet was offered in 2013 on the German auction site Quoka. It's identical with the pre-war Arigra's, even in the lettering.

Amati    lettering

The typical Arigra spin and valve caps along with some octagonal ferrules is also found on this Amati from Kraslice. Here the valve casings have the vertical ridges that are seen on the Bohland & Fuchs trumpets (that also was incorporated in the Amati collective).

source Aukro.cz 2013

 

And a similar Amati with a rimless bell and serial number 14975:

  source: Ebay Kleinanzeigen 2015

 

This Bohland & Fuchs trumpet with serial number 1469 also has a rimless bell. And it has this typical 'Arigra' spin. It must be post WWII as it's engraved Kraslice, the Czech name of Graslitz that was used after the war. 

Bohland & Fuchs Kraslice sr.nr.1469 Ebay.de 2015

Princess

A pretty much similar trumpet with also a rimless bell is this one engraved Princess. Its has the numbers 108 and 461 on the middle valve.

Princess nr. 108 461, source Ebay 2015

Roland

This Roland has serial number 968 and the B&F anchor.

Roland sr nr 968 source Ebay.com 2016

R.J.Jackson Omega

R.J.Jackson Omega, valves marked 10, 11, 12  source Ebay.co.uk

A wrecked trumpet marked R.J. Jackson Omega popped up on Ebay UK in december 2014. It has octagonal valve caps and bottoms, octagonal B&F like ridges, a Arigra Standart-like spin and art deco engravings.

J Steijn Zaandam Imperial

Another B&F stencil with fluted casings and 'Arigra' spin, marked Imperial and traded by Dutch music shop J. Steijn in Zaandam.

J. Steijn Zaandam Imperial sr.nr. 536 source markptlaats.nl 2016

Dearman, London

Dearman is a trademark of John E. Dallas & Sons, who distributed the Czech B&F trumpets under the names Dearman Master, New Special, New Super. Octagonal and hexagonal details, art-deco engraving, it's all there. The bell also says 'foreign', which means that it's produced outside Great Britain

Dearman New Super source Ebay.co.uk 2015

 

Romeo Orsi

A similar valve block with the vertical ridges on the valve casings and a lot of other 'art deco' details are found on this trumpet engraved Ditta Prof. Romeo Orsi Milano Perfectum. It has a rimless bell. The spin slightly differs from the above ones.

Ditta Prof. Romeo Orsi Milano Perfectum. coll. Robert Woodruff, Pennsylvania US, before restauration (above) and after (below). Pinky hook and 3rd valve slide ring added, valve bottoms replaced with hexagonal ones

Romeo Orsi (1843 - 1918) was a clarinettist and an instrument maker in Milano. As of 1918 the firm was called Prof.Romeo Orsi. Ditta is the italian word for company and Perfectum was the top line of their instruments, in a constructional and esthetical way.

1938 catalog Ditta Prof. Romeo Orsi Milano, coll. Francesco Carreras, Pisa

This instrument is featured in the 1938 Orsi catalog and shows a hexagonal spin, braces, ferrules and valve tops, octagonal valve caps and bottoms. The instruments labelled "Perfectum" were top quality production of Orsi and included woodwinds as well as brass winds. It's an instrument not produced for many years since it's not in the 1932 catalog and disappears in the later catalogs. The similarities between the valve blocks of the Červený, B&F, Lignatone and Orsi instruments could indicate they came from the same valve block maker.  

AK Hüttl Kraslice

A K Hüttl Kraslice source Aukro.cz 2017

The above trumpet is marked AK Hüttl Kraslice. Anton Konrad Hüttl (started his workshop in 1877, in 1935 some 40.000 brass instruments a year were made. Together with Bohland & Fuchs Hüttl took care of 60% of the Graslitz export of brass instruments. And like B&F the firm was confiscated in May 1945, and became part of the Amati collective. Hans Hüttl worked from 1947-1954 in South Wales were Boosey and Hawkes gave him the opportunity to look for new export markets. This trumpet is not octagonal but hexagonal in it's details. The valve casings are marked 49, 50, 51. What's interesting is that it reads Kraslice instead of Graslitz, suggesting that it was made after WW II and somewhere before the start of Amati (although there seems to have been an transition period in which names like Bohland & Fuchs were used in combination wiith the Amati label).

Zolena (?)

  

This trumpet offered on Ebay in 2013 also has hexagonal valve casings and other hexagonal details and a hammered bell. The valve block is not of the solid type. Probably pre WW-II, the engraving is difficult to read, the seller's estimate is 'Zolena'. As it looks a lot like the above AK Hüttl, I guess he could be the maker.

Triumph

Another trumpet with a similar hexagonal valve block was offered on Ebay.de in 2015. It's engraved 'Triumph' and has a lot of hexagonal details.

Triumph valves numbered 4,5,6

It might be one of Hüttl's export products.

 

Chas E. Foote, London

Chas E. Foote, Ref 25, coll.:  Martin Littlewood UK

A more or less identical trumpet is engraved "Chas E. Foote" and "Ref '25'". Charles Edward Foote opened a music shop in 1920 at 232 Hornsey Road, London. It relocated to Soho in the 1930's. It has the same hexagonal valve caps and bottoms as the Thriumph and the Hüttl. The difference is that the instrument seems to be missing the piece that makes it play in Bb, that it's handhammered and has a rimless bell. Foote's instruments are often marked Ref, Super Ref or Ref Streamline.

Chas E. Foote Ltd. shop in London, UK

 

The Exakta and other octagonal bell trumpets from Markneukirchen

From the forties till the seventies octagonal trumpets were made by GDR makers from Markneukirchen operating in the Sinfonia and Migma groups, like Kurt Knoth, A.K. Wunderlich and Johannes Scherzer. "This peculiar shape of brass instruments was interesting to show orchestra's. That was going on already in the 1940s", says museum direktor Heidrun Eichler from Markneukirchen.

Brass instrumentmaker Mario Weller from Markneukirchen, who researches the history of 20th century brass instrument making in Vogtland, told me in March 2013: „Most of the brass instrument makers in the Vogtland made their octagonal bells out of standard bells, on their own rods. That's known for the workshops of Johannes Scherzer, A.K.Wunderlich and for the 12-sided version that came from the workshop of Erhard Sawatzki. The basic bells for all three workshops came from bell maker Heinz Nürnberger, formerly Firma Ernst Dölling, Markneukirchen. Heinz Nürnberger is known to have had his own 8 sided rod, that he lent to another Sinfonia member (Otto Meinel) when needed. Also known is that around 1950 instrument and bell maker August Reichel jun. made octagonal bells and sold them to Vogtlandian instrument makers.

Wunderlich's Exakta

The company A. K. Wunderlich in Markneukirchen was known for their 'Exakta' trumpets, but also build french horns and trombones. It was founded in 1907 by Alfred Wunderlich (26.05.1883 - 01.01.1969). His father and brother were both active as brass instrument makers. Alfred joined with this brother under the name „Gebr. Wunderlich“. Around 1938 his son Kurt Wunderlich (16.05.1908 - 10.05.1994) became his partner, hence the name A. K. Wunderlich ('A' for Alfred, 'K' for Kurt). In the shop at Mosenstraße 10 they had up to 6 people working. Many apprentices were trained, some of whom continued their craftsmanship in a workshop of their own.The company was dissolved in 1990.

The Exakta logo was used already by Alfred, so before 1938

Most of their octagonal trumpets were build from 1945 till ca. 1970/75, After that interest strongly declined.
Here's an Exakta, A.K. Wunderlich, with the caracteristic triangular spin that also is found on Sinfonia instruments, and gold lacquered valve caps and bottoms. The inside of the bell is also gold lacquered.

Wunderlich Exakta luxury version with goldlacquer on valve caps and bottoms and inside bell, coll.: Gerard Westerhof

Catalog "Alles für den Musikfreund', GHG Möbel- und Kulturwaren Bezirk, Karl-Marx-Stadt, Klingenthal

This Wunderlich Exakta is listed in a 1961 catalog from the Grosshandelskontor für Möbel-und Kulturwaren from 1961. It comes in three versions, with only the bell octagonal, bell and valve block octagonal and a fully octagonal one (except tubes).

In a 1962 pricelist it's offered for (DDR) DM 275, DM 365 and DM 400 for the luxury version.

Here's another Exakta, with an octagonal bell rim.

  octagonal bell rim

A.K. Wunderlich Markneukirchen Migma, (mouthpiece: WERMA Compakt 18)

A double-braced Exakta         

 

 A.K.Wunderlich ca. 1960, double brace,  coll. Trompetenmuseum Bad Säckingen

Wunderlich made these octagonal bell trumpets with hexagonal shaped valve casings but also with round valve casings. Hammered tubes are found on a lot of these trumpets, others are engraved.

 

The bell engravings also vary to quite some extent. AK Wunderlich and Markneukirchen and/or Migma are common. There's also an 'Originel Wunderlich'. 

 

Wunderlich also made Exakta octagonal trombones with double braces.

./instruments/Wunderlich/Wunderlich-Exacta-tbn.jpg source: Horn-U-copia

Migma & Sinfonia

Musical instrument makers around Markneukirchen were organised in cooperatives, for the purchase of materials and selling of products. Wunderlich was member of Migma, an acronym for "Musikinstrumenten Genossenschaft Markneukirchen", a cooperative with at a time several hundred musical instrument makers, established in 1943 and still existing. Other workshops were organised in Sinfonia, a production cooperative (PGH, Produktions Geselschaft) that existed as of 1960. In the seventies, wenn it became clear that with export of hand made instruments foreign currency could be acquired, the PGH Sinfonia was transferred into a 'Volkseigene Betrieb' (VEB Sinfonia), a state organisation. In 1984 the VEB SINFONIA became VEB Blechblas- und Signalinstrumentenfabrik Markneukirchen. In 1990 VEB B & S became the Vogtländische Musikinstrumentenfabrik GmbH (VMI).

Members of PGH Sinfonia were amongst others Johannes Scherzer, who in 1961 took over the workshop of his uncle Kurt Knoth (both using the tradename 'Rino'), Karl Mönnich, Albert Wolfram, Otto Meinel, Walter Mönnig, Erhard Sawatzki as well as the Philipp Reichel workshop with his 'subdivisions' Armin Glier and Klaus Wolfram.

The workshop of Kurth Knoth and his successor (and nephew) Johannes Scherzer made several hundreds of octagonal trumpets, according to Mario Weller. Kurth Knoth took over the Rino workshop from his father Emil in 1935, and moved it to the Mosenstraße 13 in Markneukirchen. In 1961 Kurt Knoth who was a member of Migma, joined the PGH Sinfonia. As of 1961 Johannes Scherzer was in charge of the workshop. The Scherzer workshop then in 1984 became part of the VEB Blechblas- und Signalinstrumentenfabrik.

Here's an octagonal trumpet engraved Kurt Knoth Instr.Baumeister with trademark Rino and sold through Migma, with hammered tubing and gold wash bell. Dated 1940 -1950 by the 2014 Ebay seller, but as it's engraved Migma it can't be before 1943.

A Rino octagonal trumpet with Sinfonia on the spin and Rino on the bell and pinky hook. As it's marked Sinfonia it must be later than 1960

Kurth Knoth Rino Sinfonia, valves numbered 37, 38 (2), 39  source Ebay.com 2015.

J.Scherzer

 Johannes Scherzer, Sinfonia, 1979 silver plated & gold lacquered, coll Heikki Moisio Finland

Here's another trumpet marked Scherzer, with octagonal valve casing, bottoms and caps, similar to those of the Kurth Knoth above. This one however has a hexagonal bell and hexagonal ferrules. It was offered on Ebay from 2014 till 2015 by instrument maker Simon Freyer in Friedrichsdorf, who believes it's a one off. The serial number is 4956, the valves are marked 37,38,39.

    Scherzer hexagonal trumpet, source Ebay 2014

Alberto, Albert Wolfram Markneukirchen

Albert Wolfram (+2007) who started his workshop in 1957 used the tradename Alberto. His son Gerhard Wolfram is the last known instrument maker in Markneukirchen still building octagonal trumpets.

 

Meister Albert Wolfram, Sinfonia, marked Alberto                                                                                                     A.Wolfram valve block marked V 1617

The octagonal trumpets of Albert Wolfram appear regularly at sites like Ebay.

Super

An octagonal trumpet with a valve block similar to the above Wolfram appeared on Ebay in 2016. It has the name Super on it, a number (624?) on the valve block and no Sinfonia spin.

Super, source Ebay.de 2016

Horst Voigt, Markneukirchen

An octagonal cornet was signed by Horst Voigt, Markneukirchen. Horst Voigt (1920 - 1994) was educated at A.K. Wunderlich and opened his own workshop in 1951. In 1953 his many years younger brother Helmut joined him.

Horst Voigt cornet Markneukirchenn

Joseph Pscherer

 

Meister Joseph Pscherer was born in 1909 in Eibenberg (7km from Graslitz, now Czech). According to Mario Weller, he got his education in Graslitz and worked from 1953 till 1978/1980 in Klingenthal, 7 km from Graslitz on the German side of the border. He passed away around 1996. Pscherer always worked alone and had his instruments sold through the Migma collective, and incidentally also through PGH Sinfonia, as Weller states. This instrument has no reference to either Migma or Sinfonia.  

Other workshops made octagonal trumpets under the Sinfonia name, some are only marked Sinfonia, without a maker.

A 1961 GDR catalog shows an octagonal trumpet, in luxury version. It has gold lacquer in the bell and on the bows. The catalog ("Alles für den Musikkfreund") was issued by the Grosshandelskontor (GHB) für Kulturwaren in Karl-Marx-Stadt (now Chemnitz). The GHB was a new wholesale organisation in the socialist GDR that existed as of 1960. 

catalog issued by GHG Karl-Markx-Stadt, 1961, source: Ebay 2016

Erhard Sawatzki's dodecagonal trumpetss

Erhard Sawatzki (03.08.1924) was educated at the A.K. Wunderlich shop from 1939 till 1942 and worked there till April 1963. He worked as in independent instrument maker from 1963 till 1990, being a member of Sinfonia, where his workshop had the number 4, as a prefix to their serial number. He made trombones, trumpets, flugelhorns, cornets, tenor and french horns in different models, some 2000 instruments all together. His specialty were dodecagonal trumpets, with bell, valve caps and tubes 12-sided.

Erhard Sawatzki, Sinfonia, 'Made in GDR', after 1963, before 1985  serial number 4 260, valve block marked X5230  coll. Gerard Westerhof.

                                     

                                                         Erhard Sawatzki SAMA Sinfonia after 1963, coll.Gerard Westerhof

Sawatzki sr.nr 4 1372, R17 on the valve block, coll. Silvio Notarbartolo

Sawatzki sr.nr. 41413 with a different main slide brace source Ebay.de 2016

Sawatzki, like Wunderlich, also made octagonal trombones.

   SAMA Sinfonia trombone, end 60's beginnng 70's, gold lacquer inside bell

Vega

Vega, an American maker of musical instruments from Boston, made a octagonal trumpet as well. Model Hi-voice, serial number 40143, refurbished in 2012 dates probably from around 1950. Vega started in brass production with the aqcuisition Standard Band Instrument Company of Boston in 1909. The Vega trumpets and cornets were popular with jazz artists as well as the later big bands and solo artists such as Miles Davis; they enjoyed a comfortable niche in the professional market. However, producing handcrafted professional horns without keeping an eye to the increasing demand for student instruments, the company dropped their horn production to concentrate on their stringed instrument sales. In 1970 Vega was bought by C.F. Martin.

Vega Hi-Voice, sr.nr. 40143 coll. Robert Adams, Atlanta US

Vickers

On Horn-u-copia.net there's a Vickers Octagon, with serial number 2025. The seller dated it between 1925 and 1935. The origin is unclear. One possibility is that it was imported by J.J. Vickers and Sons, who early into the 20th century had become the principal importer of musical instruments in the UK, offering everything except pianos. But that's just a wild guess.

Vickers Octagon

Couesnon Paramount

A Couesnon Bb/C trumpet with hexagonal valve slide knobs, valve bottoms and 5 ridges on the valve casings and a art-deco'ish geometrical design on the bell. The valve casings remind of Bohland & Fuchs.

Couesnon Paramount, serial number 5225, valve caps marked 34, 35, 36 source: Ebay.fr 2014

Besson London

Besson International sr. nr 128961

A Besson trumpet with fluted casings and hexagonal valve caps. Not a very clear picture but art deco engravings on the rimless bell.

No names

Then there are the unidentified octagonal trumpets. The first one, owned by Dieter Grosche, has similarities to the Markneukirchen trumpets.

                                         

                                                               

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

anonymous octagonal trumpet, coll. Dieter Grosche, Dusseldorf

Another no name trumpet, richly decorated. Valve caps hinting on Markneukirchen, as does the mouthpiece that goes with it (not necessarily original).

anonymous trumpet, mouthpiece marked SONDER A M Sch KLASSE, source Ebay.de 2016

The University of Edinburgh suspects it's octagonal trumpet to be 'possibly German, ca 1950'.

anonymous, coll. Edinburgh University

And a octagonal trumpet that's owned by Richard Jereb, Vienna. The octagonal form has been consequently continued in different parts, like the caps of the water-keys (made of copper, not brass), junction rods, all pipe junctions. Also the finger ring and the handles of the slides are octagonal. No makers name or whatsoever, only an 1 on the middle valve casing. A stylized violin key on the tuning slide. Valve casings resemble Kühnl & Hoyer although the owner doesn't believe it could be West-Germany. The combination of brass and nickel silver means it's not older than 1970, according to Mario Weller, who's also convinced it's not Markneukirchen made.

anonymous, coll. Richard Jereb, Vienna

Other trumpets with hexagonal valve casings

Eugen Schuster, Markneukirchen

The University of Edinburgh has a Eugen Schuster Aristrocrat trumpet with a hexagonal valve block. Eugen Schuster was a trader in Markneukirchen, trading  instruments under his trade mark Majestic Aristocrat and also Buescher and Selmer instruments. He built saxophones, between ca 1937-1951, but no brass instruments.

Full picture, coll: Univ. of Edinburgh

  Majestic Aristocrat, source: Markneukirchen Museum Forum, coll.: Lucius

This Majestic Aristocrat engraved trumpet also has a rimless bell. It has serial number 476 and a small anchor below the serial number indicating Bohland & Fuchs as maker of at least the valve block. The number 476 is also found on the upper and bottom valve caps, the hexagonal valve casings are numbered 1,2,3. Under spring valves, octagonal valve caps and hexagonal valve buttons.

The pinky ring and spin are resembling the Arigra. HUC features an Eugen Schuster Majestic Aristocrat with a different brace, stating that Schuster was a dealer from 1928-1932. The New Langwill Index lists Schuster as being active between 1925 and 1932.

  source: Horn-u-copia

The Majestic Aristocrat also came in a version with fluted casings, like the above mentioned Bohland & Fuchs instruments. This B&F instrument has serial number 491.

Eugen Schuster Majestic Aristocrat source Ebay.de 2015

Wonder Super

Source: Ebay 2014

A trumpet marked Wonder Super, round (rimless) bell with hexagonal valve casings, ferrules, valve caps and bottoms. Most probably from Belgium; Horn-u-copia lists a Wonder Super trombone engraved 'Fabrication Artistique'. Collector Peter Willemsen believes that Wonder Super was a tradename of Steenhuysen, a brass manufacturing company in Brussels. Pierre Steenhuysen worked for Mahillon before he started his own workshop in 1926. His grandson bought Mahillon in 1970. Steenhuysen made a Wonder model trumpet, and used similar hexagonal valve caps and bottoms and a rimless bell on other models/instruments, like the Swing Special.

source: 2ehands.be

Almost the same trumpet was sold under the name J van Dorpe, Courtrai (Kortrijk) also in Belgium. The main difference is the spin. It's engraved Model Wonder Professional.

De Prins Super

The hexagonal valve casings are also found on trumpets from Belgian maker De Prins from Antwerp. The De Prins Super trumpet features these hexagonal valve casings. De Prins and later Gebr. De Prins (brothers De Prins) were located in Antwerp, as of 1901. The brothers took over after WWI. Gebr. De Prins had a complete Super line of instruments. The company existed until 1980.

 

De Prins Super, gebreveteerd sr.nr. 17861, Antwerpen België source: Peter Willemsen

De Prins Gebrs Grote Prijs, Gouden Medaille  Antwerpen België  Super model 1950 gebreveteerd sr.nr. 13357 source: Ebay.de 2014

Boosey and Hawkes New Century

source Ebay.co.uk

A trumpet with hexagonal valves, valve caps and bottoms, an edgy pinky ring and lightning flash braces. The engraving says New Century Boosey & Hawkes Ltd 295 Regent Street, London W 1. Probably made in the 1930's (in any case after the merger of Boosey and Hawkes in 1930). It does not have the normal, and well documented B&H serial number. Nor are the valves numbered (with the serial) as they normally are on instruments from this company. In 2012 a British seller of a New Century has contacted Bradley Strauchen, a curator at the Horniman Museum where they keep all the B&H records, they have been unable to find any direct reference to the instrument at all and no trace of its manufacture. They both felt that it looked similar to models being produced in Czechoslovakia in the early thirties. Conn in the US had also brought out a tight wrap trumpet at this time so it was a bit of a fashion thing. They also felt that the date of manufacture is almost certainly the 1930's.

Conn Vocabell

Then there's one other famous art deco trumpet from the thirties that has to be mentioned, the Conn 40b Vocabell, produced between 1932 and 1941 by Conn in Elkhart, USA. Octagonal valve casings, and many of them have a fine art deco engraving.

           

Conn 40B Vocabell, 1932 sr.nr. 287706

King Silvertone

Another trumpet known for it's art deco engraving is the King Silvertone. Here's one from the early thirties.

  engraving close up

King Silvertone sr.nr.: 157.xxx  ca 1933

 

Arigra's around

There are quite some octagonal Arigra's around. Sven Grosch states there were some 2500 made, I don't know where that figure originates but it could be true. Some 62 are listed below.

 

nr. on valve block

 remarks

picture

picture

source

1A     coll. Markus Wieghaus, Oldenburg Germany

 .1

 

 

from coll. Eric Totman US

2A   ebay sale from Germany 2013
3 B on reciever  

for sale by Zetka, Prague, CR in 2011

3?

B on reciever

 

ebay sale by riomar6  Bulgaria

4   ebay sale by karolamoldzavodny, Oslo, Jan 2015
8A   coll. Jerome Davies UK
12A   coll. Jerome Davies UK
13 13 on the first valve casing (that's further smooth)  aukro sale april 2014
13 13 on middle valve casing and under valve cap, 9 K on mouthpiece reciever for sale Ebay.com by Hyges, Dec 2014
14A 14A on the middle valve    

19?

 'ca 1937' silver and gold plated

 

coll Heikki Moisio, Turku Sweden

23?

B on reciever

 

ebay sale by g.mu6 Germany in 2011

24A octagonal valve block, round bell for sale Aukro.cz April 2016 martmart1

27?

 

 

for sale from Czech Republik

35     ebay sale by erbgemma 2013
36 36 on the first valve and middle valve casing coll. Bob Woodruff
36 36 on the middle valve casing and on valves coll. Jos Weeland
37?   for sale on Ebay.com by  jropeman10 nov 2014

38

 

 

coll. Gerard Westerhof Netherlands

45   ebay sale from Norway by kyndovaz dec 2013
45   coll Dieter Grosche, Dusseldorf, Germany

50

 

 

coll Dieter Grosche, Dusseldorf  Germany

57?

 

 

ebay sale by g.mu6 Germany in 2009

57?   ebay sale from Czechia by jropeman10 in 2014
59 (?)   for sale on Ebay by g.mu6 Germany in 2014

83

 

 

for sale by Eric Totman US in 2009

94

B b on reciever. Before and after restauration by Rick Ita

coll. Robert Adams, Atlanta US
9x   for sale by gebrauchte-blasinstrumente.eu feb 2016
107 107 on middle valve casing and on all the valves coll. John C. Hallam UK
  valves and valve casings  marked 10, 11, 12 for sale by Steve Ward, Quinton, US in 2015
  13, 14 A, 15 on valves    for sale in July 2014 Prague aukro.cz

 

valves marked 16, 17 A, 18

 

coll. Dieter Grosche, Dusseldorf Germany

 

15, 19, 19 on valves

'1930's?'

 

from coll. Eric Totman

 

  28, 29, 30 on valves and valve casings for sale in Jan 2015 Ebay.de blechjeck13
  52, 53, 54 on valves   for sale Dec 2014 Ebay.de dr.m._de
  79, 80, 81 on valves '1920- 1930'   coll. M.Rippert, Germany

 

 

 

for sale from Russia

 

 

 

for sale from Oslo, Norway

 

A13 on backside  of first valve

'1925'

sold in 2010 from Augsburg, Germany

 

 

 

coll. Sven Grosch Germany

 

 

 

for sale 2013 at Nastroje Hudebni, Czech Republic

 

 

 

ebay sale by g.mu6 Germany in 2009

 

 

 

for sale by Czech seller

nr ?   sold in 2011 through Lauritz.com Danmark

 

 'ca. 1925'

 

coll. Phil Holcombe, St Pete Beach Florida

 

Arigra L.Tůma Praha

 

coll. Robert Adams, bought Eric Totman US

 no nr.

 

 

ebay sale by g.mu6 Germany in 2009

 

 Arigra Extra US

 

sold by Quality Brass, Iowa US in 2011

    sold through Szabar, Czech, in 2012
  B on reciever   ebay sale by g.mu6 July 2013
      ebay sale by g.mu6 Oct 2013
- new reciever, double brace, one missing Aukro sale, Ostrava, Dec 2013 and again Feb 2014

 

 

 

for sale from The Netherlands

 

 

 

for sale in 2008 by Tony Bingham UK

  dated 'around 1940' by the Museum   coll. Germanische National Museum, Nurnberg
      coll. Ptuj Ormož Regional Museum

 

 

 

from picture gallery Yorkmaster

      coll. D. Antonio José Ortega Bernal, Spain
  '1895/1905'   coll. Musikinstrumenten-Museum des Staatlichen Instituts für Musikforschung Berlin
    for sale in 2014 on Tablica.pl
45? no Arigra name on bell or elsewhere   for sale april 2014 Ebay Germany
  '1920 - 1930'   coll. M.Rippert, Germany
A   for sale July 2014 Ebay.de g.mu6
      for sale September 2014 Aukro.cz Oldrich50
      for sale September 2014 Aukro.cz bibi09
      for sale September 2014 Aukro.cz Vodnikovic
      for sale Okt 2014 Ebay.co.uk g.mu6
      for sale Nov-Dec 2014 Ebay.com g.mu6
    for sale Feb-March 2015 Ebay.com by andrejkocis
      for sale June 2015 Ebay.es lasercorte
      for sale Aukro.cz nov 2015  Jika1234
  Engraved 'Tužkař I-22' for sale Aukro.cz April 2016 jankov1234
      for sale Aukro.cz May 2016 modryslonik
      for sale Aukro.cz November 2016 dave194
      for sale Aukro.cz Januar 2017 profesor615

 

 

 

 

coll. Schloss Kremseg

If you have any more information about the Arigra or other hexagonal, octagonal or dodecagonal trumpets, or have comments, corrections, suggestions or picture submissions, if you feel any content is in violation of copyright, or for information regarding this site's content, please contact me

Sources

Trompetenforum

Museum Markneukirchen forum

Horn-u-copia

G.Dullat Der Musikinstrumentenbau und die Musikfachschule in Graslitz von den Anfangen bis 1945

The New Langwill Index

Ebay and the rest of the internet

Links

Jazzophon and Normaphon

Keilwerth brass instruments

Zobo and Songophone

Top action rotary valve trumpets