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016 Three Tube (Lrg) Porteous Wind Instrument – Registered 1845 (Special Edition)

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For this special edition SPOTLIGHT we are focusing on a first time publication of a large size  three tube 1845 Registered Porteous Wind Instrument. It has been seen that the three tube was thought to be just slightly smaller than the four tube model. So far three models have been found to date. That would be a three tube, a four tube, and most recently a remarkable six tube that was the subject of last month’s special edition SPOTLIGHT. —– Perhaps there is a five tube yet to be found ?? In the mean time we present a new model, a LARGE size three tube. The tubes themselves are proportionately larger. However the tops are almost the same size. The larger whistle being only slightly wider there.

By itself little can be seen that is different. However the four tube measures 93mm while the three tube measures 99mm. The workmanship is the same. Who Porteous contracted to make these is not known. It had been assumed that Stevens and son made them, but it is proving dubious at this point in time of manufacturing ( i.e. 1845 ) So now let’s examine them side by side…

Here is a comparison of the smaller three tube next to the four tube heretofore thought to be the only size. You might also reference More Whistles page 66 by Martyn Gilchrist.  ( Picture courtesy of the Alan Kipping collection from the UK. )

So you can see another model is now known !!! A great discovery which widens our vista, and adds to the hunt and knowledge for us all. What are we now looking for and why ?? Well at this point a five tube 1845 Registered Porteous Wind Instrument would be possible, and larger sizes than previously thought !! One recorded news clip describes him making different sizes, so it would be logical to think he made a large four tube. Whether that was extended to the six tube will have to wait — to be found.

The tubes themselves are also larger as seen next.

The workmanship is exactly alike on all of the Wind Instruments. All are screw on tops, albeit ‘rough’ in application — something that would be improved upon dramatically in time. Notably these Wind Instruments ceased to be made at some point in time between 1845 and approximately 1860 when he shifted direction. Whether it was too bulky to use or too expensive to make is not known. Perhaps just a different contractor ?? However Richard Porteous did move on to smaller and higher quality whistles as discussed in Mays SPOTLIGHT. TWG


Posted June 16, 2013

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