The oboe is a double-reed instrument. It has a narrow conical bore and was developed from the shawm family of instruments. The oboe was made in three pieces from the Baroque period onwards. Like the clarinet and recorder, the oboe is part of a family of instruments, which includes the cor anglais and the oboe d'amore, among others (of which there are various examples in the Collection). Before 1770, the instrument was called the hautbois (French for 'high wood').
The Collection contains what is thought to be the oldest oboe in Britain; it is c1690 and is widely known as the 'Galpin Oboe'. The maker is unknown, but it seems it is either French or English in origin.