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Thread: Vintage, Unusual York 4V Euphonium - Ebay

  1. #1

    Vintage, Unusual York 4V Euphonium - Ebay

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-York...item3cf654b201

    This is a Buy-it-Now for $675, with a Make Offer option. In the second photo, you can see that it has been modified with extensions on the valve loops and to make it low pitch. It's a relatively unusual form and the four valves are not common from the period. Some condition issues, including a poor solder repair to the leadpipe. Still, this is an interesting old York horn, and might be a cool collector horn that could be a player, too. Silver plated. Just posted today.

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    3-valve Blessing B-350 Euphonium

  2. #2
    given the age, and the relatively large bell for the time, and 4 valves, I suspect this might have been originally intended as a Bb tuba (not BBb), and not a baritone (euphonium). JW York tubas are highly prized, pretty much anything else they made is not so much in demand.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by bbocaner View Post
    given the age, and the relatively large bell for the time, and 4 valves, I suspect this might have been originally intended as a Bb tuba (not BBb), and not a baritone (euphonium). JW York tubas are highly prized, pretty much anything else they made is not so much in demand.
    That certainly could me. I'm not sure of the actual age of that instrument, but "Bb Basses" were pretty common in the late 19th and early 20th century. However, all of the ones I have seen were 3-valve horns and designed more or less like the baritones of the time. They always seemed to me to have the dimensions of a euphonium, with the larger bows and taper.

    This particular York is interesting to me. It's off the beaten path for the 20s or that time period, which I suspect is the age of this one. I'd love to hear what it sounds like in the hands of a good player. I think it's a euph, and designed to be a euph. I can't afford it, so I'll never be able to try it, though.

    Note: after I posted this eBay listing, I saw that it had been posted before, during an earlier auction. It didn't sell that time. It may not this time. The price is a bit high for something off the beaten track.
    3-valve Blessing B-350 Euphonium

  4. #4
    Over at Horn-U-Copia, this York model, without the low-pitch extensions, is shown as a 1924 4-valve Baritone. Given the dimensions and large tapered section, I'd still call it a euphonium, but there was a lot of odd naming conventions at the time. It could also be classed as a Bb Bass. Four-valve tenor or baritone brass instruments were far from common at the time, too.

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    3-valve Blessing B-350 Euphonium

  5. #5
    I never completely trust anything that anyone posts at horn-u-copia. The serial number listed in the auction puts it at 1908. JW York serial numbers are pretty well documented.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by bbocaner View Post
    I never completely trust anything that anyone posts at horn-u-copia. The serial number listed in the auction puts it at 1908. JW York serial numbers are pretty well documented.
    Well, there are many misinterpretations there, but it is still an excellent resource for images of vintage instruments. Frankly, I think a 4-valve version would have been even more unusual in 1908 for any brass horn. Since they didn't give the full serial number, I just don't know. I have contributed images there, along with a series of old Sears Catalog pages with brass instruments. I have a 1908 original catalog, which has about the most extensive brass offerings of any year, as well as a 1927 one. Not a 4-valve brass instrument to be found anywhere in them, regardless of variety, and Sears offered three brands at the time, most imported Czech stencils, but they did have some Elkhart made instruments in the 1927 catalog.

    I still think this particular York horn is very interesting, and would love to have it in my hands for a while. That won't happen, though, but maybe someone here will grab it and write more about it. I hope so.

    Another note: The one on eBay has it's upper bow grafted from a lacquered brass version of the instrument. I'm amazed that one was found to supply the replacement. I think it's pretty amazing that someone went to the trouble, both to convert this to low pitch and to repair it with what must have been a difficult part to find. Could be that it's a great-sounding instrument, worth the trouble.
    Last edited by Garcky; 03-31-2015 at 10:02 AM.
    3-valve Blessing B-350 Euphonium

  7. #7
    There are catalogs from the 1860s and 1870s that show 4 and 5 valves as an order-able option on every instrument from high Eb cornet on down. It wasn't unheard of. And it'd make more sense for an instrument used as a Bb bass to have been ordered with 4 valves. But alas, either very few have survived or almost nobody actually ordered them that way!

    Agreed that there's lots of good info at horn-u-copia, but I just never accept anything I see there as being absolutely correct. I wish the images were of much higher resolution, too!

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