Coach horn in C. Lower section of brass, upper section of plated brass or German silver, with three reinforcing ribs approximately 68 cm long. With leather case. Mouthpiece with silver rim is probably original. German silver bell-rim. Instrument is undecorated, but is inscribed: Presented to Charles Dickens in memory of Pickwick coaching scenes
The straight coach horn or post horn became popular in England during the early 19th century and was adopted as the regulation instrument for use by Royal Mail coaches. The horn was used by an on-board guard to signal arrival and departure, and to call attention to other traffic en route. The coach horn was still in use as late as 1914 on the London to Oxford mail service.