Bell section of a thin brass trumpet: 14th century
© Museum of London
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Bell section of a thin brass trumpet with a slight dent in one side. There are three more sections that fit together to form the complete trumpet. This is the oldest surviving complete medieval trumpet. It was possibly used at sea for signalling ship-to-ship. The bell and section one are made of sheet brass (copper-zinc alloy), the other sections of copper-zinc-tin alloy. A decorative flag or pennant may have hung from the hole in the rim of the bell. The four sections could be dismantled for carrying – they were found together, with one straight section tucked inside the bell. The trumpet was found during archaeological monitoring of building works at Billingsgate (City of London) in 1984. It may have been dropped overboard from a ship in the late 1300s.
1360 AD - 1400 AD