Detail View: The AMICA Library: Oboe in C

AMICA Library Year: 
Object Type: 
Decorative Arts and Utilitarian Objects
Creator Name: 
Richters, Hendrik
Creator Role: 
Creator Name-CRT: 
Made by Hendrik Richters
Oboe in C
Title Type: 
Object name
Full View
Creation Date: 
before 1727
Creation Start Date: 
Creation End Date: 
Materials and Techniques: 
Ebony, ivory, silver
Classification Term: 
Aerophone/reed blown/double reed
L. 22 1/2 in. (57.2 cm); D. of bell 24 in. (61 cm); D. of upper section 9 3/8 in. (23.9 cm); D. of lower section 9 3/8 in. (23.8 cm); D. of foot 5 3/4 in. (14.6 cm)
AMICA Contributor: 
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: 
New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 
Credit Line: 
Gift of The University Museum, University of Pennsylvania, 1953

Hendrik Richters (1683-1727) is considered to be one of the finest oboe makers of his period. About 30 oboes survive from the shop he shared with his brother Frederik (1694-1770). Some, like this one, are lavishly decorated with expensive materials. The brothers used the state-of-art eighteenth-century technology to lathe instrument's ornamental turnings. The metal keys, engraved with floral designs, musical and dancing figures, where fashioned by professional silversmiths or engravers. French instrument makers invented the oboe late in the seventeenth century by redesigning the treble shawm. In contrast to the loud shawm, the oboist takes the reed between the lips enabling the player to control the articulation, volume, pitch, and quality of sound. This permitted more expressivity, a musical trait of growing importance during this period. To enhance playing technique, two keys, the C and E-flat, were added to the oboe. Since some players were accustomed to play with the right hand down and others with the left hand the E-flat key appears on both the left and right side of the 'swallow-tail' C key.

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