19th Century Orchestral F Trumpet by Friedrich Alwin Heckel

While the Heckel name is best known as makers of bassoons that are preferred by most professional players of that instrument, it was also the name of a maker of trumpets used in many of the great European orchestras in the late 19th and first half of the 20th centuries.  Freidrich Alwin Heckel was a first cousin of Wilhelm Heckel, who developed the modern German bassoon, which was later perfected by his son, Wilhelm Hermann.  They were all born into an instrument making family, in the business from 1831.  This instrument, based on the engraved name, appears to have been made before F.A. Heckel was appointed as an instrument maker to the Royal Court of Saxony in 1889.   According to "The New Langwill Index", he had been making brass instruments under his own name since 1866.   This trumpet has some design features that were continued in the later, more famous trumpets in Bb and C, including the braces and wide bell garland.  Nothing is known about the history of this particular instrument; like so many other treasures, it was offered in an on-line auction with an inaccurate description.  It retained only the original Eb tuning slide, but using the overall length supplied by the seller and scaling the photographs, I was able to determine that it would be pitched in F with single curve tuning slide.  That was enough for Boston period trumpet specialist Chris Belluscio to buy it and eventually have me restore it for him.  While it was in quite rough condition, fortunately the valves and slides are in very good condition.  One of the hardest parts of the restoration process was in making the missing third valve lever end.  I also made a replacement for the missing F slide and an extension bit for low pitch.  Being in high pitch (approximately A=450Hz), it was likely intended for use in both bands and orchestras.  The length with mouthpiece removed is 16", the bell rim diameter is 4 7/8" and the bore measures .441".