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Thread: W.A. Pfretzschner 3-valve Oval Tenorhorn, looking for info

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Indianapolis, Indiana

    Question W.A. Pfretzschner 3-valve Oval Tenorhorn, looking for info

    I recognize that this is not a standard British Euphonium, but I am looking for any information or opinion regarding this instrument, please. I recently purchased an old German Tenorhorn and intend to have it cleaned and restored to at least playing condition.

    The seal on the bell reads "W.A. Pfretzschner • Musik Instr. • Markneukirchen i.S" and features a coat of arms with a lyre. I know that Markneukirchen is a town in Germany where many instrument makers are located.

    There is no apparent serial number on the instrument, but you can see below that there are sets of the number 3 stamped into various places on and around the valves. I am curious about what this means, as the same numeral appears to rule-out the order of valves...

    There are dents throughout, but the most severe damage was apparently caused by trying to force loose the valve casing on the end. You can see that the top rotary valve cap (which ends up being on the backside of the instrument as its played) isn't screwed closed all the way either...

    • Does anyone else have an oval Tenorhorn from this manufacturer?
    • Does yours have a serial number?
    • Can anyone estimate a year of production?
    • Are there any opinions of this brand?

    I probably over-paid for this instrument, especially in its condition. I paid $200. ...But the valves work! Except that the hidden spring mechanism isn't fully functional on every valve... By hidden, I mean that there are no visible springs, which makes me think that the springs themselves are inside the wheels/discs to which the finger plates are attached.

    Thanks for any information you can offer!
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  2. #2
    According to horn-u-copia, Pfretzschner was in business from 1834 - 1945. (never mind they mention G.A. as the initials, as the webmaster does make some typo's now and the picture on that page you can clearly see it says W.A.)

    You could (or maybe even should) register there and upload your pics and questions in their forum as well. They are very knowledgeable on these kind of vintage instruments.

    Oh, by the way, I love the way the 3d valve tubing bends...beautiful!
    Last edited by MarChant; 06-26-2016 at 01:03 AM.
    Martin Monné
    • Wessex Festivo, 4-valve compensating (2017)
    • Hirsbrunner HBS 378 Standard, 4-valve compensating (1983)
    • Mahillon Bass Saxhorn, 4-valve (1927)
    • Anton Hüller Tenor Horn, 3-valve (Early 20th Century, HP, wallhanger)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Hidden Valley, AZ
    Cute horn, very much worth getting back to playing condition.

    1966 Besson 181 highly modified New Standard
    1918 Hawkes & Son euph 3&1 original
    1917 Conn C/D/Eb mellophone original
    1915 York Bb tenorhorn original

  4. #4
    I have no real information to add, but it looks like it is A) quite old, and B) in very good shape for its age! I think it is likely to be a very fun instrument once it is playable.

    Nice job on your photos, by the way. I can be hard to get our cameras to cooperate in such close quarters.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  5. Nice oval tenor.
    In Russian (and i think in German also) tradition, the oval tenor (in B) is the "peck" instrument. And the oval alto (in Es) is "peck" also.
    Unfortunately in modern Russian wind bands tenor parts is played by the trombones and alto parts played by horns.
    Today survived only oval baritone. But it is a melodic instrument with a unique timbre.

  6. #6
    It looks early 20th century to me, 1900s, 1910s, but it could be a little earlier or a little later. There isn't much to go on. Those clockwork springs are always a big pain. You'll have to have someone rebuild them. I've heard it can be almost impossible to do as a DIY. You could also have them replaced by modern linkages if you didn't care about keeping the instrument original.

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