Nuremberg brass

From the 16th to the late 18th century, one German city became the capital of brass instrument making: Nuremberg. A number of families, who organized themselves strictly into guilds and exported throughout Europe, dominated the field for several generations. The most famous families were Ehe, Hainlein and Haas, and several important examples of their instruments can be found in the mim collection. Each family had its own distinctive trademark: a turbaned head or a star for the Ehe family, a hare for the Haas family and a hen for the Hainlein family.

Trumpet, Johann Wilhelm (?) Haas, Nuremberg, 1694 (inv. 0470)

This spectacular trumpet bears the inscription "MACHT / Iohann / WILHELM / HAAS IN / NVRNBERG 1694" and the initials "IWH" above a leaping hare with its head turned backwards. It is the trademark of another member of the renowned Haas family. Its brass tube is curled in five coils and heavily ornamented, just like the bell festooned with cherub's heads in relief, floral decorations and artificial gemstones, which were probably added later. This instrument remains a mystery because it has undergone repair and alteration during its history. It shows traces of work by modern tools and is therefore not in its original condition (Source: Klaus 2006).

Trumpet, Johann Leonard (II) Ehe, Nuremberg, 1690-1724 (inv. 1177)

This more traditional trumpet is attributed to a member of the third generation of the Ehe dynasty (which counted five), considered to be the most important family of brass instrument makers in Nuremberg. It has all the typical characteristics of a baroque trumpet: a mouthpiece, three straight tubes connected by two bows, a bell with its garland, a ball and a wooden block bound with cord to keep the instrument rigid. This was the most widespread model from the 16th to the late 18th century, even if curled or completely coiled versions also existed at the same time.


Haas trumpet
Ehe trumpet