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Historic Oboes

Veriam Music Trust's Henry Kusder baroque/classical oboe, London, Double Reed Collection (D010)

Henry Kusder, London

Double Reed Collection (D010)

Instrument: Oboe

Maker: Henry Kusder

Region: London, England (Flask Row, Chelsea)

Era: Baroque style, Classical era

Date(s): 1762-1801

Keys: 1

Stamp: Kusder / London / (double headed eagle icon – Langwill marks this as a ‘Griffin’)

Henry Kusder was active as a London woodwind instrument maker between 1762 and 1801, the year he died (27). Jansen describes Kusder as a mysterious figure, having little to no record of his name in any known directory, register or archive (28).

This Oboe, although made in the early classical era, is baroque in style. Kusder continued to make some baroque style instruments in the classical period, and this one either pre-dates his transition to making classical style instruments, or was built in keeping with the baroque style intentionally.


There is an ‘anonymous’ oboe held at Edinburgh University which doesn’t have any visible markings in the wood, but is labelled Kusder on the inside of the bell joint. The same label states the instrument was previously owned by Mozart. The ‘anonymous’ oboe and this Kusder oboe look very similar in construction and design.

Ref: (27) William Waterhouse, 'The New Langwill Index' (1993), p. 219

Ref: (28) Will Jansen, 'The Bassoon Vol. I' (1978), p. 421

A. Morton, London

Boston Collection (B042)

Instrument: Oboe

Maker: Alfred Morton

Region: London, England

Era: Romantic

Date(s): 1880s

Stamp: A. Morton / & Sons / London (shield icon with initials)

Veriam Music Trust's A. Morton romantic oboe, London, Boston Collection (B042)

Alfred Morton, in his early life, apprenticed with Austrian woodwind instrument makers, the Uhlmann family. He also worked under the well-known maker Savary, and was seen by some as Savary’s successor (13).


He established his own workshop in London C1874. He died in 1898 (14).


He is credited by Langwill and Jansen as being the first to line the bassoon’s wing joint and boot joint bores, having done so from as far back as 1875 (15, 16)


Ref: (13, 14, 15) William Waterhouse, 'The New Langwill Index' (1993), p. 273

Ref: (16) Will Jansen, 'The Bassoon Vol. I' (1978), p. 445-46

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