Valencian Proto-Trombone

Today I added the below caption and image to the Trombone History Timeline (15th century). This is very early in trombone history; if accepted as an actual trombone, the sculpture rivals the oldest examples of trombone iconography. As with any instrument, there were likely many years in which the trombone’s basic shape and dimensions were being worked out. Stewart Carter proposes a trombone with a shorter slide in the trombone’s earliest years (Carter, The Trombone in the Renaissance). This visual representation would seem to fit that idea.

c. 1482-1497—Valencia, Spain: A sculpture of a beast playing a proto-trombone is featured among numerous fantastic sculptures in the Contract Hall of the Llotja de la Seda (Lonja de la Seda), a civic building in Valencia’s historical center. Although the instrument’s slide does not extend beyond the bell, the back bow of tubing does extend to the player’s shoulder (see below image; special thanks to Elies Hernandis Oltra).