Sarrusophone. Nickel silver-plated brass body and keywork. Keys are pillar mounted with leather pads. Two sets of finger rollers. Socket for music card holder. Some keywork missing/removed. Crook/reed missing. Bell stamped: HENRY DISTIN/MAKER/9 & 10 Gt. NEWPORT St./LEICESTER SQUARE/LONDON/No8210
The French bandmaster Pierre-Auguste Sarrus, in collaboration with the Paris instrument maker Pierre-Louis Gautrot, patented the Sarrusophone in 1856. The sarrusophone was developed to replace the oboe and bassoon in the military band and thus create a uniform tone colour for the family of double-reed instruments. Nine different sizes were made ranging from the sopranino in high E flat to the contra bass in BB flat or C. Although they were introduced into French bands, and the contra bass in C was sometimes used to replace the contra bassoon in the orchestra, they were not widely adopted outside of France as their tone was considered too course to act as an effective substitute to the oboe or bassoon.