about 1807–13
Thomas Key (active 1800–1853)

Object Place: London, England


Length 89 cm (35 1/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Pearwood, brass

Not On View


Musical Instruments



In C. The lowest tone is C. A tube and a short butt made of pearwood. Consists of the following parts: a long brass crook; a finger-hole tube, upon which are are located six finger-holes bushed with ivory and twoo round brass keys on saddles, a very short butt with a brass key, a long bass joint, and a brass bell with an oval orifice. Brass tips and a brace join both tubes at the top. The keys give the following tones: C-sharp, F-sharp, and B; the key-holes are also bushed with ivory.


Stamped on wood section just below bell: KEY / LONDON ' [unicorn head] / 2 PALL MALL; stamped on wood section with finger-holes: KEY / LONDON / [unicorn head]


Before 1904, apparently used in either the Oaksey Parish Church, Wiltshire County, England [according to the London Exhibition, 1904], or a church in Shropshire County, England [according to Galpin upon acquisition]; by 1916, acquired by Francis W. Galpin (1858-1945), Hatfield Regis, England; 1916, sold by Galpin to William Lindsey (1858-1922), Boston, Massachusetts; 1916, gift of William Lindsey, in memory of his daughter, Leslie Lindsey Mason, to the MFA. (Accession Date: October 5, 1916)

Credit Line

Leslie Lindsey Mason Collection