Trombone on a Platter

I just added this unusual item to the Trombone History Timeline (17th century, 2nd half). The artistic medium, a decorative platter from the 17th century, is unlike any other that I am aware of, in terms of trombone iconography. I should point out that it is not entirely clear that the brass instrument portrayed is a trombone; the shape is certainly long enough and there appears to be a slide that extends past the bell, but the back bow of tubing does not seem to extend behind the player’s head and the grip is somewhat unusual for a trombone. Although it could also depict a slide trumpet, the date is a little late for that instrument, and there appears to be a slide that extends past the bell of the instrument, which would be unusual for a slide trumpet.


1674—Augsburg, Germany: A decorative platter by goldsmith Hans Jakob Mair depicting the “Apotheosis of Arts and Sciences” includes a figure playing what may be a trombone (see detail and full image below; public domain) (Royal Museum of Art and History, Brussels, in BALaT: Belgian Art Links and Tools).

mair bowl detailmair bowl resize