Bronze endblast trumpet
Place details: EUROPE. Ireland, Republic of / Ireland County Cork Kanturk. Local Name: Unknown. Materials: Bronze Metal / ?. Processes: Riveted / Forged (Metal) / Hammered / Perforated / ?. Dimensions: L = 455 mm Diam [mouth hole] = 40 mm Diam [bell] = 90 mm Max L [small separate section] = 100 mm Maker: Unknown Field Collector: Unknown When Collected: By 1872 Other Owners: Probable history: by 10 May 1864, acquired by ohn Windele (1801-1865); 10 May 1864, acquired from Windele by Robert Day (1836-1914); 13 May 1864, acquired from Day by A. H. Lane Fox (later Pitt Rivers). Pitt Rivers sent this object to Bethnal Green Museum for display, as part of the first batch of objects sent there, probably in 1874. This object was listed in the Delivery Catalogue as having been transferred from South Kensington Museum in 1884 This object was listed in the Delivery Catalogue as having been transferred from South Kensington Museum in 1884. It was probably displayed at Bethnal Green and/ or South Kensington Museum between 1874 - 1884. PRM Source: Augustus Henry Lane Fox Pitt Rivers founding collection Acquired: Donated 1884 Other Numbers: 130 J 6
KEYWORD: Musical Instrument / Trumpet / CLASS: Music / ?.MUSIC CLASS: 4. MUSIC NAME: Flute.
Object description: Bronze endblast trumpet, horn-shaped with six projections and four holes around the end. [SM 19/08/2008]
Publications history, trails & websites: Listed as number 8 on pages 146-147 of 'Late Bronze Age Horns from Cork and Kerry', by Joan E Rockley, in Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society, Vol. 109 (2004), pp. 137-156. Rockley writes: 'Number 8 - Kanturk, Co. Cork. Very little is known of the circumstances surrounding this discovery. It is now in the collection of the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford, numbered 1884.112.2. / Comments: A damaged Class 2 end-blow horn in the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford, formed part of the "original" Pitt Rivers collection. It is described in their Topographical Files for County Cork as follows: ["]Bronze trumpet, end-blast, horn shaped, with six bosses near lower end; divided into two sections formerly rivetted together, with four spike-like projections on upper section, mouth piece missing. Found in digging a drain at Kanturk.["] The "Black Book" entry described it as a having a "fragment of straight piece attached". / Coles (1963, 354 ['Irish Bronze Age Horns and their Relations with Northern Europe', by John M. Coles, in Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, Vol. 29 (1963), pp. 326-56]) listed the two parts separately, but felt that they "probably form one instrument". / There was no indication as to how this instrument came into Pitt Rivers' possession; however, it is very likely that he acquired it when based in Cork in the 1860s. As Lane Fox, he purchased many artefacts from Cork antiquarians, mainly through Robert Day, who also introduced him to the Cork Cuvierian Society. An entry in the Day Account Book (1863-1869, 1 A/260/53) on 10 May 1864 noted that he (Day) purchased a "Bronze War Trumpet" from Windele for £4 14s. 0d., and it is possible that he was acting on Lane Fox's behalf as, several days later, on [146/147] 13 May, the Account Book showed that he was sold a "trumpet" by Day for £10 9s. 0d. The circumstances of this find in the Topographical Files for County Cork in the Pitt Rivers Museum are very precise and suggest that Lane Fox was given these details when he bought the instrument. This is the only example from the south of Ireland in the Pitt Rivers Collection and, although the place of discovery was not given in Day's Account Book, it may well be the Kanturk find.' See also the listing in the Table (page 152) and Appendix (p. 153). [JC 1 7 2016]
Illustrated in colour as Figure 11.1 on page 243 of 'Later Prehistoric and Roman Europe' by Joshua Pollard and Dan Hicks, in World Archaeology at the Pitt Rivers Museum: A Characterization, edited by Dan Hicks and Alice Stevenson (Oxford: Archaeopress, 2013), pp. 240-261. Caption (same page): 'Figure 11.1 Fragment of bronze end-blast trumpet, with six conical spikes and four rivet holes around the end. Late Bronze Age in date, this object is from the Pitt Rivers Museum founding collection and is record as recovered during 'digging in a drain, Kanturk, County Cork' (PRM accession number 1884.112.2; MacWhite 1945:105).' [Reference: MacWhite, E. 1945 Irish Bronze Age trumpets. Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland 75(2): 85-106.]. [MJD 24/06/2014]
This object was selected for a Museum Top 10 application (mobile app) available on the Android and iOS store from 2013 to 2016. An image of the object was accompanied by the following text: 'Trumpet, Ireland, Late Bronze Age (1000 –500 BC), Country Cork, Ireland. Inv: 1884.112.2 (Pitt Rivers Founding Collection). This trumpet was acquired by General Pitt-Rivers, possibly when he was stationed in Ireland on military service in the 1860s. It is recorded as being found when "digging in a drain at Kanturk, Country Cork". One suggestion is that it was used in battle. Noise played a major role in ancient warfare and the sound of a Celtic war trumpet could strike fear into enemies’ hearts. Instead of producing just one note, the player could vary the shape of his lips to produce a variety of deep, low sounds. Many Bronze Age horns and trumpets have been found in Ireland. This example is typical of the type found in the southwest of the country, featuring a ring of spikes or cones and a series of holes near the mouth, but otherwise plain along its length. Such horns are said to be technically superior and different to those found in more northern parts of Ireland. The trumpet would have been cast in a double mould. The mould probably included at the narrow end (missing here) an extension loop to attach it to a belt or baldrick, plus additions to create the ring of decorative spikes. As such this instrument is a fine example of the skills and techniques employed by the smith in the complex process of metal casting.' [HA 07/01/2016]
Illustrated in colour on page 20 of The Pitt Rivers Museum: A World Within, by Michael O’Hanlon (London: Scala, 2014). Caption (same page) reads: ‘9 Bronze end-blown trumpet (incomplete); recovered during drain-digging at Kanturk, County Cork, Ireland. Late Bronze Age Length 455 mm Donated by General Pitt-Rivers 1884.112.2’ [MJD (Verve) 18/2/2016]
Research notes: This object could have been obtained by Pitt Rivers when he was stationed in County Cork between 1862 - 1866.
In a letter to Jeremy Coote dated 15 September 2003, Dr Joan Rockley writes: 'Lane Fox acquired a significant amount of material from the south of Ireland when he was based in Cork and it is likely that this was purchased by him [i.e. Pitt Rivers] from either John Windele (1801-1865) or Robert Day (1836-1914) who were dealing in antiquities at that time'. (Letter in RDF.) [JC 17 9 2003]