Search results

Start typing

William Shaw

Trumpet 1787

Embossed silver | 68.0 x 11.5 x 16.0 cm (whole object) | RCIN 72313

Your share link is...


  • Harmonic trumpet of silver, in ten pieces, each hallmarked, engraved with maker's name. Decorated with five 'garnishes' of spiral fluting and with embossed garland around bell rim; 'floating' mouthpipe; bound with silver cord. In box lined with dark blue velvet.

    William Shaw also made the instruments used by the State Trumpeters. This one has very unusual tuning devices and was certainly made for orchestral use. It can be played in E flat, D, C and B flat.

    Both George III and Queen Charlotte had their own bands or small orchestras. The King's was composed of older, chiefly English, performers, while Queen Charlotte's Chamber band attracted some of the leading foreign instrumentalists in London at the time, such as the viola da gamba player C.F. Abel, the oboist J.C. Fischer, and the Queen's piano teacher Johann Christian Bach, son of Johann Sebastian Bach.

    'When I came into the Japan-wainscot room, I found it to my surprise filled with all the capital musicians - Bach & Abel, Cramer the celebrated violin, five or six violins, Gordon, and another violoncello, 2 opera double basses, hautboys, horns, tenors, Beir the clarionet, Richter the bassoon, Weiss the German flute, Fisher the houtboy, Millico & Grassi, & the chorus singers. When the concert began, the royal children (the younger part) stood arranged in the same room with the music - the King sometimes came out, & the Queen also...'
    The Diary of James Harris (1709-80) as Secretary to Queen Charlotte, 3 May 1774

    Engraved on instrument William Shaw, London, 1787

    Supplied for George III's private band

  • Medium and techniques

    Embossed silver


    68.0 x 11.5 x 16.0 cm (whole object)

The income from your ticket contributes directly to The Royal Collection Trust, a registered charity. The aims of The Royal Collection Trust are the care and conservation of the Royal Collection, and the promotion of access and enjoyment through exhibitions, publications, loans and educational activities.