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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

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Conn Brass Trombone w/ Case
May 25, 10:00 AM MST
Conn Brass Trombone w/ Case
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$554 Bids
F.E. Olds & Son Ambassador Brass Trumpet in Case
Jun 22, 10:00 AM EDT
F.E. Olds & Son Ambassador Brass Trumpet in Case
by Premier Auction Galleries
Est: $75- $150
$201 Bid
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Honer Organette& Rosecraft Bugle Bugle
May 30, 10:00 AM EDT
Honer Organette& Rosecraft Bugle Bugle
by Barry S. Slosberg Inc
Est: $50- $100
$201 Bid
Charles Missenharter Silver Plated Cornet
Jun 08, 10:00 AM EDT
Charles Missenharter Silver Plated Cornet
by Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers
Est: $200- $400
$1001 Bid
A PAIR OF PRESENTATION FANFARE TRUMPETS BOOSEY & CO
Jun 04, 10:30 AM BST
A PAIR OF PRESENTATION FANFARE TRUMPETS BOOSEY & CO
by Dreweatts 1759 Fine Sales
Est: £200- £400
£1201 Bid
(4) DECORATIVE INSTRUMENTS FROM THE HIT FACTORY
May 30, 11:00 AM EDT
(4) DECORATIVE INSTRUMENTS FROM THE HIT FACTORY
by Westport Auction
Est: $50- $10,000
$501 Bid
Bugle
May 30, 9:00 AM EDT
Bugle
by YaShawn Auction House
Est: $500- $800
$2000 Bids
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Hohner Melodica Soprano in Etui, gut erhalten, L-33 cm
May 31, 11:00 AM CEST
Hohner Melodica Soprano in Etui, gut erhalten, L-33 cm
by Auktionshalle Cuxhaven
Est: €0- €0
€150 Bids
Bach USA Student Trumpet With Case
Jun 01, 9:00 AM EDT
Bach USA Student Trumpet With Case
by Dana J. Tharp Auctions
Est: $100- $200
$400 Bids
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gr. Hohner Mundharmonika "Chronomica 280 C" in orig. Etui
May 31, 11:00 AM CEST
gr. Hohner Mundharmonika "Chronomica 280 C" in orig. Etui
by Auktionshalle Cuxhaven
Est: €0- €0
€300 Bids
Boxed Hero Harmonica, 48 holes, model No M1001, made in Shanghai, China.
Jun 02, 11:30 AM AEST
Boxed Hero Harmonica, 48 holes, model No M1001, made in Shanghai, China.
by Because Auctions
Est: AUD20- AUD30
AUD100 Bids
Boxed Hero Harmonica, 48 holes, model No M1001, made in Shanghai, China.
Jun 02, 11:30 AM AEST
Boxed Hero Harmonica, 48 holes, model No M1001, made in Shanghai, China.
by Because Auctions
Est: AUD30- AUD40
AUD100 Bids
HARMONICAS, LOT
Jun 13, 12:00 PM EDT
HARMONICAS, LOT
by Legacies Old & New, Inc.
Est: $0- $0
$100 Bids
Olds Ambassador Brass Trumpet & Case
Jun 01, 10:00 AM EDT
Olds Ambassador Brass Trumpet & Case
by Roland Auctions NY
Est: $100- $300
$500 Bids
Wood, Carving, Natural, Decor, Collectible, Whistle, Owl
May 29, 6:00 PM CDT
Wood, Carving, Natural, Decor, Collectible, Whistle, Owl
by Easterly Auction Company
Est: $0- $0
$80 Bids
Fireman's Brass Speaking Trumpet, Ca. 19th C., L 20.75" Dia. 7.5"
Jun 13, 11:00 AM EDT
Fireman's Brass Speaking Trumpet, Ca. 19th C., L 20.75" Dia. 7.5"
by DuMouchelles
Est: $100- $200
$500 Bids
Bugle
May 28, 9:00 AM EDT
Bugle
by Wehrly's Auction Service
Est: $0- $0
$20 Bids
Silver Tone Vintage Cornet For Display
May 25, 7:00 AM PDT
Silver Tone Vintage Cornet For Display
by California Auction Company LLC
Est: $0- $0
$100 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Wind Instruments


Auktionshalle Cuxhaven

Auktionshalle Cuxhaven

Because Auctions

Because Auctions

DuMouchelles

DuMouchelles

Barry S. Slosberg Inc

Barry S. Slosberg Inc