It is made of brass. It has clear lacquer, and it has become darker the years I have had it. I tested several JK tenors for 2-3 years before I found mine. I thought I would choose a JK Shadow, but after testing I liked this one much better. I bought it from Howarth Of London, they had two very, very nice JK tenors: the one I bought and one to which was a special model with even darker finish. To me, it was not the finish that was important, but how it plays and how it fits in my hands.Mind if I ask for the materials and finish of this horn? Is this available also in alto?