Loading Spinner

Wind Instruments

Wind instruments include any instrument that is played by blowing into an opening. These instruments usually consist of some type of hollow tube with a hole to blow into and holes or keys to change the tone as notes are played. Some wind instruments use single or double reeds to add vibration to the sound. Others require the musician to vibrate his or her lips while blowing into the hole. Wind instruments include flutes, clarinets, oboes, bassoons, saxophones, trumpets, trombones, and many others.

The oldest wind instrument is the flute, dating back about 35,000 years. Other wind instruments evolved as instrument makers attempted to improve the tone and style of various instruments. Early reed instruments appeared around 3000 B.C. and brass instruments appear in drawings from ancient Greece and Rome. Wind instruments appear in orchestras, concert bands, marching bands, small ensembles, jazz bands, and small performance bands of all styles including country and rock and roll.

As with other musical instruments, collectors of antique and vintage wind instruments usually focus on one specific type of instrument. Value is directly related to condition and antique instruments in as close to original condition as possible fetch the highest prices. If an instrument is not playable, or if it has had extensive repairs, its value will decrease significantly.


Quick Facts

  • The format of the modern wind ensemble was established in 1952 at the Eastman School of Music in New York. Called the Eastman Wind Ensemble, the group was modeled after the wind section of the Wagner orchestra
  • A Selmer Model 26 trumpet owned by trumpet virtuoso and Big Band leader Harry James was sold by Heritage Auctions in 2010 for $11,950
  • The sarrusophone was invented in 1856 as a replacement for oboes and bassoons in outdoor marching bands. Vintage sarrusophones in excellent condition can sell for more than $5,000

Recommended Items at Auction

See all items

HALTON CLARKE Collect Trumpet Horn+Case
Nov 17, 10:00 AM EST
HALTON CLARKE Collect Trumpet Horn+Case
by The Benefit Shop Foundation Inc
Est: $200- $400
$32 Bids
Vintage Alfred Arnold Bandoneon, Germany
Oct 30, 10:00 AM MST
Vintage Alfred Arnold Bandoneon, Germany
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$101 Bid
Old trumpet mouth piece
Nov 17, 6:00 PM EST
Old trumpet mouth piece
by Captain Ahab's Antiques
Est: $30- $60
$200 Bids
Vintage Besson Crescendo London England Trumpet
Oct 30, 1:00 PM EDT
Vintage Besson Crescendo London England Trumpet
by Kavanagh Auctions
Est: $40- $15,000
$400 Bids
KAHLENBERG S-1 BRONZE AIR HORN
Oct 30, 10:00 AM EDT
KAHLENBERG S-1 BRONZE AIR HORN
by Milestone Auctions
Est: $800- $1,000
$2000 Bids
Cyclists Bugle
Nov 13, 10:00 AM EST
Cyclists Bugle
by Copake Auction Inc.
Est: $50- $100
$200 Bids
ANTIQUE M. HOHNER HARMONICA NO.7;
Oct 28, 11:00 AM EDT
ANTIQUE M. HOHNER HARMONICA NO.7;
by Premier Auctions Live
Est: $130- $180
$100 Bids
M HOHNER "THE CHROMONICA" HARMONICA;
Oct 28, 11:00 AM EDT
M HOHNER "THE CHROMONICA" HARMONICA;
by Premier Auctions Live
Est: $80- $120
$100 Bids
FIRE CHIEF SPEAKING TRUMPET w/ CORD
Oct 30, 10:00 AM EDT
FIRE CHIEF SPEAKING TRUMPET w/ CORD
by Milestone Auctions
Est: $200- $400
$500 Bids
AN ANTIQUE BRASS AND SILVER REGIMENT BUGLE HORN
Oct 30, 10:00 AM EDT
AN ANTIQUE BRASS AND SILVER REGIMENT BUGLE HORN
by Antique Arena Inc
Est: $100- $150
$100 Bids
Horn whistle - 4 inches
Nov 17, 6:00 PM EST
Horn whistle - 4 inches
by Captain Ahab's Antiques
Est: $25- $75
$200 Bids
M HOHNER MARINE BAND HARMONICA W/ CASE!
Oct 28, 11:00 AM EDT
M HOHNER MARINE BAND HARMONICA W/ CASE!
by Premier Auctions Live
Est: $40- $70
$100 Bids
Trombone, Germany, 20th century,
Nov 05, 10:00 AM CET
Trombone, Germany, 20th century,
by Historia Auktionshaus
Est: €0- €0
€800 Bids
bp parity badge
Golden Ton Trompete in Koffer
Oct 30, 11:00 AM CEST
Golden Ton Trompete in Koffer
by Auktionshalle Cuxhaven
Est: €0- €0
€500 Bids
Antique horn instrument
Oct 26, 11:30 PM EDT
Antique horn instrument
by Baker's Antiques and Auctions
Est: $900- $1,000
$5000 Bids
Antique fire department trumpet
Oct 26, 11:30 PM EDT
Antique fire department trumpet
by Baker's Antiques and Auctions
Est: $900- $1,000
$7000 Bids
Vintage fire department presentation trumpet
Oct 26, 11:30 PM EDT
Vintage fire department presentation trumpet
by Baker's Antiques and Auctions
Est: $900- $1,000
$7000 Bids
Antique solid brass horn
Oct 26, 11:30 PM EDT
Antique solid brass horn
by Baker's Antiques and Auctions
Est: $200- $300
$1500 Bids
Antique brass horn
Oct 26, 11:30 PM EDT
Antique brass horn
by Baker's Antiques and Auctions
Est: $100- $125
$750 Bids
Olds Ambassador Trombone
Oct 29, 9:30 AM EDT
Olds Ambassador Trombone
by Merrill's Auctioneers & Appraisers
Est: $50- $100
$500 Bids
Vintage Chemnitzer Concertina
Oct 30, 10:00 AM MST
Vintage Chemnitzer Concertina
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$100 Bids
(4pc) Wood Recorders, Phillips London
Oct 30, 10:00 AM MST
(4pc) Wood Recorders, Phillips London
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$100 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Wind Instruments


EJ'S Auction & Appraisal

EJ'S Auction & Appraisal

Captain Ahab's Antiques

Captain Ahab's Antiques