Dating the production of an instrument - more help needed please

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Phil Green, Apr 18, 2012.

  1. Phil Green

    Phil Green Supporting Member

    I posted this in the Classified section but despite help from Mr. Cattanach haven't managed to date production of the instrument. Any more help would be appreciated

    A friend of mine is selling her son's tenor horn - it's a round stamp Sovereign. She bought it second hand from Yardley's of Birmingham (anyone else remember them?!) so probably before 1983 or so.

    I've offered to put it on here for her but would like to try and date the horn (the production!) so as to be as accurate as possible when describing it for sale.

    Could anyone suggest a website I can go to to find out the info - I've Googled "dating" and "my horn" and didn't get the right sort of site.

    Any help would be appreciated.

  2. julian

    julian Active Member

    Have replied to you under Classified's with detail of The Horniman Museum in London. They hold all the existing records from the old Boosey and Hawkes factory. If anyone wants to date a B & H instrument (and many Bessons) this is THE website to visit. It can all be downloaded as a pdf and is a great free resource for anyone interested in dating instruments. If your really sad they have a study library with factory build sheets, you can even see who built and plated your instrument and to whom it was origionally supplied!
  3. Phil Green

    Phil Green Supporting Member

    Hi Julian,

    Many thanks. Unfortunately I still can't get a date from this website. The Serial number is A00xxx - nothing seems to have a number that low. Perhaps I'm being stupid but am struggling a little...........

  4. simonium

    simonium Member

    Sovereigns weren't made before 1972 and I believe that euphoniums and cornets were the first produced. 560000 dates from 1974. The next number it could be would be 600*** and that's 1976. 700000 dates from 1983. Are you sure the instrument has not been replated and the serial partially covered?
  5. julian

    julian Active Member

    Hi Phil,
    I've never encountered any B & H Sov's with a serial number starting with a letter.
    We need to remember that this info is taken by the museum staff directly from the B & H factory records, and although obviously mistakes can be made it has to be the most accurate info available.
    Most of us know the rough dates that round badge Sov's were produced and agreeing with Simoniums logic, are you 100% sure that for whatever reason, that the 'A' is not a distorted 7?

  6. iancwilx

    iancwilx Well-Known Member

    Could the "A" be a 4

    ~ Mr Wilx
  7. simonium

    simonium Member

    I believe that "4" is a serial number that didn't apply to Sovereigns. I have a PDF that I downloaded ages ago from the Horniman site which specifically starts the final chapter of Boosey & Hawkes from 1974 and serial number 560000.

    Also are the number stamped with fairly large digits unevenly? This would also hallmark the horn as a very early one.
  8. simonium

    simonium Member

    Another option would be has the bell been replaced? On modern Besson instruments if you order a replacement bell you supply the serial number for stamping / engraving purposes but this wasn't the case previously.
  9. Phil Green

    Phil Green Supporting Member

    Here are some snaps- sorry they're so large


    Attached Files:

  10. simonium

    simonium Member

    Curiouser and curiouser! I would hazard a guess by the detailing, the case and the type of stamp that this is late 1970s model. If you said 1977 you wouldn't be wrong.
  11. fsteers

    fsteers Member

    Are you sure that's the serial number rather than a part number?It's been 10+ years since I owned either a Sov or Imperial (and they were euphs), but if memory serves, both bells had part numbers beginning with "A0" on them, in addition to the serial number.
  12. Paulst7

    Paulst7 New Member

    I live down the road from the Horniman museum and would be happy to enquire with them if you would like? They have a huge range of info from the besson/boosey period and beyond. I think you need to book a session at the actual records office but the musuem itself is open all day long. If they dont know then no-one will really.
  13. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    I doubt it matters that much. Advertise it as a Round Stamp Sov. And my 'guestimate' sale price would be around the £600 - £800 mark.
  14. Missy_Gracie

    Missy_Gracie Member

    and the main question- have you sold it yet? I'd love to date a tenor horn, unfortunately I'm married to an eb bass!
  15. Phil Green

    Phil Green Supporting Member

    Hi, not sold yet - I'll be putting an advert in the classified section as well as on when the horn is ready to go out into the big, wide world again.