I am a music professor and professional trombonist in the United States, and about 2 years ago, I purchased an antique double horn from Ebay Germany. The seller claimed the horn was an Alexander 103, but that the "linkage" was replaced many years ago with parts from Meister Hans Hoyer. Furthermore, the bell is a screw-bell (likely modified later), and there are two engravings on the bell--one on the "throat" that reads, "Meister Hans Hoyer", and one on the bell flare that reads, "M. Operahaz 9/19." Regarding the "Meister Hans Hoyer" stamp, I do not know if the entire bell throat was replaced with a Hoyer throat, or if Hoyer stamped their name on the throat after modifying the bell to be a screw-bell.
Regarding "M. Operahaz," I assume the "M" stands for "Magyar," and therefore this horn was played in the famous Royal Hungarian Opera House. I also assume that "9/19" could either be a month & year (September 1919) or an inventory number (the ninth instrument owned by the Opera House out of 19 instruments). Perhaps your archives contain an entry of a double horn purchased for the Royal Hungarian Opera house?
The seller insisted, however, that the main body of the horn is that of an Alexander 103, and it certainly looks very similar to all of the other Alexander 103 horns I have seen. I have seen one photo of a Hans Hoyer double that looks to be a copy of an Alexander 103, but if you look at the close-up view of the photo carefully, there are several differences. Here is a link to the photo:
I have also attached several more current photos of the horn, with close-up views from many angles. Two things may help you--the design on the rotor caps, and the strange "knobs" or "handles" on the main tuning slides to help players remove the tubing easily--I have never seen anything like them on any other horn--Alexander or Hoyer. I also included photos of the rotors with the covers removed, so you can see the numbers beneath.
Obviously, my horn is very old, and there have been several patches, but I wanted to find out if there was any way to determine for certain whether the body is that of an Alexander 103, or if the entire horn is a Hans Hoyer copy of an Alexander 103. The horn plays well, and both companies make great horns, but I'm just curious if anyone could help me trace down the horn's possible lineage. Thank you!
I linked to your post on the Horn People Facebook page and got these responses (apparently they are too shy to post them here ;-):
"The body seems to be an Alexander 103 from before 1960 from the style of the bracing and ornamental work. The bell section is unclear. An Alexander bell pre-1970 would have a triangular gusset brazed into the bell flare and we cannot see the inner bell flare to be sure from these photos. The bell rings are definitely not Alexander - even from pre-war (WW II) had a much more elegant bell ring set than what is in the photos. Even in these photos there isn't a good shot of the bell. If it is a Hoyer bell there will be only one brazing seam in the bell since it would have been made from one piece of hammered metal. Alexander as far as I know has always used the gusset until they started spinning bells much, much later. Even the bell of Bruno Jaenicke's 103 had the gusset and two brazing seams and this was the horn that he played with Toscanini in the New York Philharmonic way before WW II."
"This is a vintage 103 corpus maybe 50's or earlier and the bell branch has been replaced entirely. The extra engraving is custom for the opera house and if really wanted to know should contact them."
The following user(s) said Thank You: Eric Heidner
Thank you so much for the reply--it seems I was correct in thinking the main body is an Alexander 103, and the bell section (at least some of it) is by Hans Hoyer. I will take some more photos of the bell area to help identify how much of the bell has been replaced, but in the meantime, here are a few more photos that I didn't submit with my first posting due to the forum's limit of attachments. Feel free to share them with other forums. Thanks again!
if your horn is maybe not an original Alexander 103 pre war body repaired with a Hans Hoyer bell then there could be another origin.
I could think that your horn is one of the various labeled Alexander 103 Copies made by the of Hans Hoyer, team leader of the Horn manufacturing in the site Klingenthal, Eastern Germany, also known as B&S, or Weltklang.
It was called the Crönlein Modell, named after the master craftsman of Andreas Crönlein, who came over from Alexander Mainz to Markneukirchen and Klingenthal in the 30-ies to nelp establish and run a Brass Workshop in the Hess Company (which sites later became B&S). He also brought his knowledge etc to the new company and made a Alexander 103 pre war copy (mechanic of thumb valve, pattern of F horn loop, ....) in his new company which was then called the crönlein modell
The horn was labeled as either Gerhard Schneider Master Modell sponsored by Boosey and Hawkes, Weltklang solist or just Hans Hoyer.
I have a Gerhard Schneider Modell myself and it excatly looks alike (branches etc etc). you could also weight the horn and if it is in the 2950 gsm range (2800 gsm without the screw ring) it is very likely indeed such a horn as the alexander originals weight only 2300-2600 gsm.
However, I have no idea why there are the ornaments on the screm cap of the valves. Maybe finally the weight would reveal the possible true origin of the horn.