Upright serpent (Russian bassoon)

about 1820

Object Place: Belgium


Length 106.5 cm (41 15/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Maple, brass

Not On View


Musical Instruments



In C. The lowest tone is C. Made of bird’s-eye maple in the shape of a bassoon; stained light yellow. The instrument consists of a long brass mouthpipe, wing joint, butt, long (bass) joint, and a brass bell; all wood parts are tipped with wide brass bands. Six finger-holes in the front. Four round brass keys mounted in saddles which give the following tones: C-sharp, E-flat, F-sharp, and B. The B-key can also be used as an octave key. The E-hole is bored into both large bores of the butt.


Francis W. Galpin (1858-1945), Hatfield Regis, England; 1916, sold by Francis W. 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