London Dome Ear Trumpet (1)

Here are some clues that indicate this is a fake home-made ear trumpet.

  1. Notice the rough and sloppy soldering job.
  2. This "London Dome" has the top of the dome soldered on. I have not seen any genuine London Domes with separate tops soldered on. They are all made from one piece of spun brass so there are no joins in the dome itself.
  3. The patina seems to be "contrived" to look antique. Typically genuine London Domes are either shiny or painted black.
  4. London Domes are typically made out of brass or tin, not copper.
  5. This "London Dome" is not acoustically correct. Notice that the earpiece comes out near the top of the dome. Genuine ones come out right at the bottom of the dome.

  6. London Domes work as parabolic reflectors. Thus the ear tube curves up inside and ends near the top of the dome. This one just has the tube soldered to a hole in the dome wall. There is no inner part of the tube. Compare with this "see through" genuine dome internal ear tube. (Scroll down to the last picture.)
  7. The ear piece doesn't look right with the 2-step design. They are typically smoothly rounded so as not to irritate the ear canal.
  8. Furthermore, the ear pieces were made out of bakelite, gutta percha, hard plastic or ivory, not bone.
  9. Crudely finished London Domes don't come with fancy grills. Such grills are reserved for the "high class" ear trumpets.

Conclusion: All in all, this "London Dome" displays its phony characteristics everywhere you look. It was obviously produced, not to work like genuine London Dome's were, but to fool the uneducated collector of old ear trumpets.

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