submitted by HEATHER ZAHN
Founded in Brussels, Mahillon & Cie. (company) created and sold both wind and brass instruments. Within only a few years of forming, they had opened a branch in London and became one of the most important wind instrument manufacturers in Belgium, even supplying the army. Mahillon and Cie. remained a family firm until 1935 when it was taken over and run under an altered name.
This horn, on loan from Keith Berg of Dunster, was made in the late 19th century in a style common to France. Although generally called a French horn, the horns are not French, but instead originated in Germany, and through the years the design was refined throughout Europe, including Belgium and France. Made of brass, and silver-plated, this particular horn has elements that are familiar to both valveless and valved horns.
A French horn builder himself, Keith is reconstructing replacement parts out of brass that are missing. When completed, the horn will vary slightly from its original form, but will be in keeping with standard horns from the period.
The Mahillon horn and other instruments will be on display at the Valley Museum and Archives until April 2nd. On opening night, February 16th, join us at 7pm for food and watch locals play historic instruments, as we explore music through the Valley’s history up to modern times. Take a look at how instruments are made and how they can shape a valley.