Soprano keyed bugle in E-flat. Brass tubing. Four nickel silver keys for right hand with circular flat flaps and leather pads. One rotary whole-tone valve for left hand. One shank attached with screw tensioner. Mouthpiece missing. Nickel silver maker's plaque on bell is engraved: Joseph Higham/MAKER/Victoria Bridge/MANCHESTER/Regist.d 7.th July 1852/No. 61
A rotary valve was incorporated into this bugle to increase its range. The valve is Higham's 'clear bore' patent, designed to be free blowing.
Joseph Higham was a prolific instrument maker and manufactured wind instruments for the army. Higham worked to improve valve design and in 1857 filed a patent for his 'Clear Bore' rotary valve, designed to be free-blowing. This keyed bugle with one rotary valve was patented in the same year. The addition of a rotary valve enabled the keyed bugle to play in a wider range of keys.