Slide trombone (tenor in B flat), Boosey & Co., London, c. 1875


Object name
circa 1875
Object number
Gift from Ealing & District YMCA — 1934-05-24


Tenor in B flat, plated brass throughout with ornamental garnishes. Formerly owned by Sir Edward Elgar. Elgar's friend, Dora Penny (immortalised as Dorabella in the ‘Enigma Variations’) recalled of his trombone playing : ‘On one occasion he got up and fetched a trombone that was standing in a corner and began trying to play passages in the score. He didn’t do it very well and often played a note higher or lower than the one he wanted, in fact anywhere but in the ‘middle of the note’; and as he swore every time that happened I got into such a state of hysterics that I didn’t know what to to. Then he turned on me: ‘How can you expect me to play this dodgasted thing if you laugh?’ I went out of the room as quickly as I could and sat on the stairs, clinging to the banisters till the pain eased, but it was no good. I couldn’t stop there as he went on making comic noises, so I went downstairs out of ear-shot for a bit.’ Even the most accomplished musician can find learning a new instrument challenging!


Length: circa 1130mm (slide closed).


owned by Elgar, Edward