Clarify Terminology Please - Round Stamp Sov Horn

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by EIBB_Ray, Feb 27, 2006.

  1. EIBB_Ray

    EIBB_Ray Member

    I'm quite confused about the whole history of Boosey and Hawkes and Besson.

    I'm trying to figure out if a tenor horn listed as a Boosey and Hwakes round stamp Sovereign and a Besson Round Stamp Sovereign are really the same thing or not. Does the round stamp or globe exist under both the B & H and Besson naming, and if so is one more valuable than the other.

    So, in other words, I think, is a Sov a Sov? and is a B & H round stamp sov the valued instrument everyone is talking about or is that esteem, reserved solely for the Besson Round stamp sov (if it really exists)

    Sorry, don't see enough of them here to be clear on the history and naming....any clarification appreciated.
  2. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    As far as I know:

    B&H (the music publisher) moved into instrument making at the end of the 19th century and bought the French instrument manufacturer Besson in the early to mid 1900s, along with woodwind manufacturer Buffet & Crampon, and a few others. For a while all their instruments were manufactured under the name Boosey & Hawkes, until in the late 80s they revived the Besson brand name (much as Volkswagen have recently revived Bugatti). So their "Sovereign" range of instruments went from being Boosey & Hawkes Sovereign to Besson Sovereign, although they were manufactured at the same site. When they made this swicth they stopped using the round Sovereign stamp on their instruments. Some would argue that the decline in quality began around this point, although I've got a perfectly acceptable early Besson cornet.

    So an instrument that is a "round stamp Sovereign" is one manufactured between the mid 70s and early 80s under the B&H brand rather than the Besson brand. BE WARNED - this is off the top of my head and I may have got the dates wrong! I'm sure someone will correct me if so.;)
  3. EIBB_Ray

    EIBB_Ray Member

    so , in terms of a "round stamp" horn, it really is only a B & H Sovereign.
  4. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    The only correction I would have is that the Besson and B & H brands were both used at the same time, and I don't believe that Besson was ever completely suspended as a brand name. If I remember correctly, B & H was used as the brand name in Britain and the Besson name in the US and other countries. I know that the National Capital Band was buying Besson cornets in the late 1960s (first instrument I ever played was a Besson 10-10 in around 1969, my teacher's cornet).

    I also remember instruments stamped with the brand name Besson, and then a legend underneath (in small letters) "manufactured by Boosey & Hawkes Ltd".

    The round stamps did disappear around the same time as the B & H brand.
  5. EIBB_Ray

    EIBB_Ray Member

    and so, the REAL bottom line, is did I miss out on a deal on a B & H Sov. Round stamp tenor horn (SP) that went to 525 GBP?

    I really wanted to bid on it, but just wasn't sure about the names and history and whether a plum was a plum...
  6. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    My opinion is that the round stamp Sovs are far superior to the later ones. I have a round stamp euph that was purchased c. 1983 and it is still in fine playing shape (although I much prefer my Yamaha these days). The NCB purchased a Sov euph c. 1997 and it literally fell apart (at several joints) in less than five years.
  7. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

  8. EIBB_Ray

    EIBB_Ray Member

    yes, that one.

    Sure the plating was worn in places, but I didn't see any major scuffs. The thing I was quite nervous about was not seeing anything of the valves to have an idea of the amount of wear.

    So, do you think it went for about what it's worth?
  9. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    - because of the situation with Besson, prices are a little inflated in my opinion! A better condition Sov. round stamp went for £900+ a few days ago and another for £630 (which seems to be the upper limit for these horns on eBay!). Newer Sovereign models usually fetch £800-900 second hand.
  10. Redhorn

    Redhorn New Member

    The 'round stamp' is visible on the 3rd picture on brassnecks link.
    Yes, that was a good price! These B&H sovs are rare, and in many peoples opinion are much nicer than the Besson Sovs. I've got two Besson Sov horns, and a year ago managed to get hold of a B&H Sov (for more than THAT!) and in my opinion the B& H is a much nicer instrument. Slightl;y heavier, but sounds lovely!
    I recently sold a 10 year old Besson SOv for MUCH LESS than I paid for a 30 year old B&H sov!
    These are rare- for a horn they're normally going for around £6-£800. If you see one, snap it up!
  11. EIBB_Ray

    EIBB_Ray Member

    That was my sense when I was initially looking at it, I was just nervous about whether I was really sure of what I was looking at so I hesitated and didn't post my question here until it was too late.

    I might not have gotten it anyway, there was a late furry in the bidding, so it looks like at least 3 bidders who knew what it was worth.
  12. Redhorn

    Redhorn New Member

    I bought mine by doing a search on google. It was listed on a music shop site, being sold on someones behalf. Seems to be quite a few like this out there, just a question of finding them!
  13. Redhorn

    Redhorn New Member

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