Metalwork Gallery Animations: Ear Trumpet

Ear Trumpet, made from Old Sheffield Plate,around 1820

Click here to view an animation showing how the ear trumpet was made:Ear Trumpet

This Old Sheffield Plate object is an Ear Trumpet. It was probably manufactured in Sheffield around 1820. An ear trumpet would be used by those who were hard of hearing to amplify sound directly into the ear. The design of the trumpet is almost telescopic. It is composed of three parts that slot into each other. This means that it can be taken completely apart if desired. This would make the trumpet easy to transport.

Today, the Old Sheffield Plate is heavily worn in places and the underlying copper is clearly visible. This is particularly apparent on areas of the object most affected by use, for example the earpiece.

Each of the three parts has a mount decorated with acanthus leaves. This was a popular floral decorative motif during the 1800s. The mounts are either made from silver, or from thinly stamped sheets of silver filled with white metal (a generic metal alloy often containing zinc or tin).

Filled mounts would be cheaper than those made in solid silver. However, they had the added benefit of the underlying metal being silver coloured. This meant that wear would be less obvious than if the mounts were made from Old Sheffield Plate.

This object forms part of the Bradbury Collection of Old Sheffield Plate.

To view other object animations click on the links below:

Cigarette Box

Moustache Tablespoon

Pea Knife

Turtle Soup Tureen

To find out more about objects in the Metalwork Gallery, go to the Metalwork Objects in Focus, Millennium Gallery, Sheffield learning journey. To find out more about the Metalwork Gallery, go the the Metalwork in Sheffield learning journey.

Document icon Learning article provided by: Museums Sheffield: Millennium Gallery | 
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