Bohland & Fuchs Stencil Cornets

Post Franco-Prussian War to World War One

Bohland & Fuchs began as the workshop of Gustav Bohland after 1850 and it is said that Martin Fuchs entered into partnership with him shortly thereafter. The firm established in the town of Graslitz in Bohemia, a principality of the Austro-Hungarian empire. Bohland first appears as a brass maker from Bohmen (Bohemia) at a London exposition in 1861. Interestingly, he is credited with having been a motivator, at the urging of one Richard Ritter von Dotzauer, of the 1885 Vienna Conference on Concert Tuning Pitch, which subsequently was incorporated into the Treaty of Versailles establishing A=435 low pitch as a global standard (essentially A440).

The Society for History of the Germans in the Sudentenland also credits Bohland as having built the first “mechanical workshop (presumably meaning a factory with machine tools as opposed to all hand workmanship) in Graslitz. July 28, 1870, Bohland & Fuchs jointly acquired a house at #354 Long Lane (Langen Gasse) and subsequently a 2 story factory, formerly the Johann Kostler Harmonica Works, that was renamed the Bohland-Fabrik. Presumably, that was the mechanized factory to which they referred.

Like the Bauers of Vienna (or Wien in German), the Fuchs family had multiple instrument makers in it. These included Daniel Fuchs (1853-1938), the prolific Karl Fuchs, from 1895 to 1925, and Martin Fuchs (1831-1893). In 1865, in Graslitz, there was a restaurant on Baeumenstrasse belonging to a Martin Fuchs, though it is not clear if this was the same Martin Fuchs. In 1886, he became sole owner and head of the firm upon the death of Bohland. The company then passed to his son Johann in 1893. Upon Johann’s death, the instrument works passed to his son Hermann who remained at the head of the company until 1945.

While Bavaria did not join either Austro-Hungary or the Prussian Federation until WWI was looming, it, Bohemia, and Moravia were populated by people of a common culture derived from the melding of the cultures of former Romans with the Baii, Thuringians, Goths, Scirians, Allemanni (the core German tribe) and others. In 1919, the Treaty of Versailles  created Czeckoslovakia out of Bohemia, Moravia, Slovakia, Silesia and others. Over many centuries, Bohemia and Moravia had been infiltrated by Slavic immigrants, and developed a mixed culture.

Following WWII, the Germanic population of Bohemia and Moravia were forcibly evicted to Germany overnight in 1946. Graslitz, now in the Czech Republic which is constructed from Bohemia, Moravia and Southern Silesia, is renamed Kraslice. Like all Bohemian firms, Bohland&Fuchs was merged into the 1946 Amati state cooperative that survives independently today.

Bohland und Fuchs was the most successful and prolific of the Bohemian instrument makers, and while selling within the empire under their own name, such as this Austrian military trench bugle from World War One, the bulk of the company business was exports for stencil.

The line of cornet models detailed here below was poplar with American retailers from the 1880s until the start of World War One. B+F horns are sometimes stamped discreetly with those initials, or at times an anchor, on the second valve casing. Absent that, another identifying marking is that the valves are numbered in European fashion with three sequential numbers, and below the number on second valve of many will be another number, which is presumed to be the model number. The receiver reinforcing ring may be marked with one of the following origin locations:

·      Graslitz (1880s/90s)

·      Böhmen (1880s/90s)

·      Bohemia (pre-WWI)

·      Austria (pre-WWI)

·      Czechoslovakia (after 1918)

These cornets were marketed by major music and department stores,  and even instrument makers. These resellers and their brands include:

·       Sears and Robuck “Marceau Paris”

·       Montgomery Wards “Jules De Vere, Paris”

·       Lyon & Healy “Henry Gunkel, Paris”

·       Carl Fischer Music House

·       Vega (Vega Banjo prior to the acquisition of Standard)

·       C. Bruno & Sons “Henry Pourcell”

·       H.N. White “Superior by M. Bauer”

·       H.N. White “Superior Silver Star”

·       H.N. White “Silver Star”

·       H.N. White “Union”

·       H.N. White “Imperial”

·       “Imperial, Geo. Baring, Eng.”

·       “Imperial, London, Eng.”

·       “Champion, Silver Piston, Chicago”


Examples of the B+F stencil cornet line:

Model: #2

Description: A Courtois Arban Model clone.

Example: H.N. White “Silver Star”


Model: #3

Description: Besson-inspired short cornet.

Example: “Imperial, London, ENG.”


Model: #5

Description: A Besson-inspired short cornet visually similar to the Model 3.

Example: Sears “Marceau, Paris”


Model: #7

Description: A Besson-inspired short cornet (less common Besson wrap).

Example: H.N. White “Superior, M. Bauer”


Model: #8

Description: A Courtois Levy Model clone. {photo from Horn-u-copia}

Example: Champion Silver Piston


Model: #9

Description: A short cornet.

Example: H.N. White “Union”


Model: #11

Description: A York Perfectone clone.

Example: Sears “Marceau”


Model: #

Description: A twentieth-century format larger short cornet (no shanks). Also available with a low pitch slide (high pitch shown).

Example: H.N. White “Superior Silver Star”


Model: B+F “American Model”

Description: A Conn Perfected Wonder clone.

Example: H.N. White “Imperial”



Description: A C convertible wrap of unknown inspiration. {photo from}

Example: J.S. Marlor, Brisbane “Rapid Reliance”



Description: An obscure Courtois clone. {photo from}

Example: unknown. This horn appears in a C. Bruno catalog form the 1880s.

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