A Fine Early 20thC Hand Painted Petalled Edison Phonograph Sound Horn by The Tea Tray Company


Origin: American
Period: Early Twentieth Century
Provenance: Fagin`s Phonograph Emporium Collection
Date: c.1905-15   
Diameter: 22 inches
Length: 30 inches

With hand painted floral `Pansie` interior with rose ground and labelled `TCT` for the Tea Tray Co. within an oval, the eleven panel tin phonograph horn in Edison-Bell style hailing from Fagin`s Phonograph Emporium Collection, but originally made in Newark, New Jersey, USA.

The century-old un-restored flower horn is completely original, with no touch-ups or repainted flowers whilst the exterior exhibits some oxidation consummate with age, strangely, almost symmetrically to one half. The original TCT decal is still in good condition. The interior flowers have a few small areas of worn and flaking paint. These rose red flower horns were painted with water soluble fruit dye on un-primed tin surfaces, and the vast majority of them are now thus in poor condition today, this example is in better than average overall order.

TCT horns were sold with Edison phonographs as Edison were slow to market good quality horns themselves. The Tea Tray Company made petalled horns its speciality, having been a long established metal working concern already. The basic design for this kind of flower horn was invented by Hawthorne and Sheble’s Horace Sheble, who applied for a patent of a petalled horn in January, 1905. Petalled horns, referred to in the trade as ‘flower horns’ or ‘morning glory horns’, offered lower cost of manufacture than spun brass, and distributed the sound better in relation to the size. The patent for the familiar Edison morning glory horn was issued to Charles Eichorn in 1905, who sold the rights to the Tea Tray Company. The Tea Tray Company then manufactured Edison’s horns, as well as its own line of aftermarket amplifiers. This horn was sold in London at Fagin`s Phonograph Emporium who traded in the 1970's and 80's being a haven for phonograph collectables and equipment.

A superbly decorative item of yesteryear that would please the serious phonograph collector or simply make for a hugely original tabletop object for conversation and delight.