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Thread: FS: Boosey & Hawkes Imperial 4-Valve Compensating Euphonium

  1. #1

    Thumbs up FS: Boosey & Hawkes Imperial 4-Valve Compensating Euphonium

    We have here a somewhat rare horn from the mid-1950's (The serial number is 235340, which places it around 1956.) This horn was made with bright silver plating, although there is substantial pitting visible as we as evidence of repairs. The valves look questionable, but I can't tell how much is due to wear. The pitting on the overall plating and the appearance of the valves look like some outside influence (atmospheric?? submersion??).

    The buy-it-now price is $1,400 and the B&H models are fairly rare in the USA (most here are Bessons). This is an auction and the starting bid is currently $900.

    New valve photos added. The valves look much better than I thought they would, assuming the stuff on the 3rd valve is surface corrosion and will come off with a little work.

    THIS SOLD FOR $900 - WOW!

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/233100465685


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    Last edited by davewerden; 01-28-2019 at 05:08 PM.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    Alliance Mouthpiece (DC4)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Summerfield, Florida
    Posts
    1,590
    That is the same model and year of my B&H Imperial which has a serial number of 226507. I got it a little over two years ago, and it is in absolutely excellent condition. And I paid a remarkable price (low) of $1K for it!! It is a great horn, and I use it several times a year. This horn is the same vintage and model that Harold Brasch, the famous euphonium soloist in the U. S. Navy Band from 1936-56, switched to and single-handedly started and influenced the change in the United States from Conn's, King's, etc. to the four valve English compensating euphoniums. It is a sweet horn.
    John Morgan
    The U.S. Army Band (Pershing's Own) 1971-1976
    Adams E3 Custom Series Euphonium, Wessex EP-100 Dolce Euphonium, 1956 B&H Imperial Euphonium
    Adams TB1 Tenor Trombone, Yamaha YBL-822G Bass Trombone
    Kingdom of the Sun Concert Band, Ocala, FL (Euphonium)

  3. #3
    I have a 1974 B&H Imperial that is in fabulous condition. I bought it a couple of years ago from a shop in England for around $2500. It had been completely refurbished, re-silvered and actually looks a bit like a Besson Prestige in some ways now. Large shank receiver and valves taken from a 967. I bought this to replace a similar Imperial I had in the 60's that I sold and regretted. But I can't believe how well it plays.

  4. #4
    I also agree with John Morgan and pvflanigan. My B&H Euphonium (Ser 223***) is one sweet sounding horn. Although I paid more money for mine, I was content with my choice as it had been evaluated by Ron Partch of Partch Brasswind in Toronto, Ontario Canada. I still take my horn to Ron for its annual tune-up.
    Euph Loosh
    Imperial by Boosey & Hawkes 4-valve Euphonium (mid-1950's)
    MPs: Kosikup 1 1/2, Bowman BB2 Euro shank, Denis Wick 4AM; Marcus Bonna case

  5. #5
    What does the group think: this instrument (needing work, unspecified) v a new Wessex Dolce for about the same $$?

    Tim

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by timster View Post
    What does the group think: this instrument (needing work, unspecified) v a new Wessex Dolce for about the same $$?
    It depends on your needs/tastes.


    • A classic B&H/Besson has a sound that is unique and attractive, with great projection. They are built like tanks. There are many of these in use that are 50 years old (or older). They have maintained value quite well over the years. If you bought an old B&H/Besson and took care of it, the resale would probably be what you paid for it. In the case of a horn like the one listed here, it appears you could increase its value with some work (either elbow grease or some shop work).
    • A Wessex will have a more "modern" sound (smoother, but without the classic "character") and a bit better intonation. Wessex is working hard to raise quality of the Chinese factory and has made good progress. But the long-term track record is unknown. It is encouraging that some of the Chinese horns now have some miles on them. Snorlax just sold a 4-year-old Mack Brass that was doing fine and there are some older than that and still in use. Their resale has help up well, given good care. I guess we'll just have to wait a while to see how they do after 50 years
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    Alliance Mouthpiece (DC4)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  7. #7
    Listing has been updated with a new link and pricing information. This is now a standard eBay auction, starting at $900.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    Alliance Mouthpiece (DC4)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  8. Quote Originally Posted by John Morgan View Post
    That is the same model and year of my B&H Imperial which has a serial number of 226507. I got it a little over two years ago, and it is in absolutely excellent condition. And I paid a remarkable price (low) of $1K for it!! It is a great horn, and I use it several times a year. This horn is the same vintage and model that Harold Brasch, the famous euphonium soloist in the U. S. Navy Band from 1936-56, switched to and single-handedly started and influenced the change in the United States from Conn's, King's, etc. to the four valve English compensating euphoniums. It is a sweet horn.
    For which I have mixed feelings, because the King/Conn/Olds/Reynolds/Martin, etc., instrument, to my ears, blends better with woodwinds as well as brass than does a typical Besson/B&H style Euph in a concert band setting.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Hidden Valley, AZ
    Posts
    870
    Quote Originally Posted by iiipopes View Post
    For which I have mixed feelings, because the King/Conn/Olds/Reynolds/Martin, etc., instrument, to my ears, blends better with woodwinds as well as brass than does a typical Besson/B&H style Euph in a concert band setting.
    Which most assuredly is the fault of those other instruments

    DG
    1966 Besson 181 highly modified New Standard
    1918 Hawkes & Son euph 3&1 original
    1915 York Bb tenorhorn original
    2019 Wessex Tornister

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