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Vintage JW York & Sons Cornet



 
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jcpearce
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Joined: 05 Aug 2010
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Location: Columbus, OH

PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 8:03 pm    Post subject: Vintage JW York & Sons Cornet Reply with quote

I have a JW York & Sons cornet and was wondering if anybody out there knew anything about this horn. My dad picked it up at a pawn shop with the case about 15 years ago, and since I'm a trumpet major now, he gave it to me. While the maker is JW York & Sons, on the bell it says "Professional" and the serial # is 8654. I was looking online and one site dated at 1903, but I was wondering if I could get more info on the specs. If anyone knows anything, it'd be cool to hear. Thanks.
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Bill Dishman
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 9:00 pm    Post subject: York Cornet Reply with quote

Contact Nick DeCarlis at VintageCornet.com. He knows everything!

I just got a York C trumpet this summer. Very nice horn.

I also got a Besson (London) Bb/A (hgh and low pitch) cornet dated 1890 that is a really sweet horn.

Bill Dishman
Gainesville, Florida
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Christian K. Peters
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Location: Eugene, Oregon

PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 9:30 pm    Post subject: Vintage JW York cornet Reply with quote

Hello all,
I have a York Professional also. I picked mine up at a flea market and paid $25 for it. It came with the case, but all the extra slides were missing. The case is marked with "Cornet 2 Ambridge High Band," in stencil. This serial number is 24890. Yours is pretty early, for sure. My horn has a fixed leadpipe with no receiver and plays in low pitch. Yours probably in high pitch??? I have been contemplating a valve rebuild, as the valves leak badly. I had the valves re-plated on an old C cornet, and its' playability improved greatly. I think that this York would be a pretty good player also, though I heard that the Monarch's may be better horns all-around.
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Christian K. Peters
Oregon Brass Society
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jcpearce
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mine has both Bb and A tuning slides.
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tom turner
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 1:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

If the old surviving specimen is in great shape (always important) the York Professionals are really fine cornets from that era!
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royjohn
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Location: Knoxville, Tennessee

PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 5:54 am    Post subject: Vintage JW York and Sons cornet Reply with quote

I have two of these, but they both need a valve rebuild and I would suppose any cornet of this age would unless it has already been done at some point. My two are slightly different, with different bell flares and therefore one plays a bit darker than the other. I think a valve rebuild and restoration would make a good one of these worth $600 to $800 or so and be a good investment. They are very nice vintage horns. Rich Ita of the Brass Instrument Workshop is a big fan of these and could probably provide more info. Putting some really thick oil in one would probably give some idea of how it might play when rebuilt, but remember the valves might also need to be aligned and leaks fixed on a horn this old, so the comparison is not exact.
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royjohn
Trumpets: 1928 Holton Llewellyn Model, 1957 Holton 51LB, 2010 Custom C by Bill Jones, 2011 Custom D/Eb by Bill Jones
Flugels: 1975 Olds Superstar, 1970's Elkhardt, 1970's Getzen 4 valve
Cornet: 1970's Yamaha YCR-233S . . . and others . . .
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jcpearce
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Location: Columbus, OH

PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, it definitely needs a valve reconstruction, but other than that, it's tip top. I'm really trying to find out some history on my horn, but it's really difficult.
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royjohn
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Joined: 12 Jan 2005
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Location: Knoxville, Tennessee

PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 8:46 pm    Post subject: Vintage JW York and Sons cornet Reply with quote

You will find some info and pictures at Horn-u-copia. Just register at the site to be allowed access to it. I checked a serial number list and it appears that the Professional model cornet was made from about 1903 to 1915 based on the date-able horns extant in the list. At the 1903 end this makes sense, since the name of the company was changed to JW York and Sons in 1900. This also makes sense in that the cornet has a receiver rather than taking various lead pipes.

JW York also had a hand in making the famous Boston Three Star cornet and the Professional is mentioned as being of similar quality to that horn. As I mentioned earlier, Rich Ita is rather fond of these horns and he is a peerless repairman and expert on early cornets, so I would respect his opinion. Also, as I mentioned earlier, based on the fact that the two I have have slightly different bells, it may be that York made different models the way Bach does today (e.g., 229 and 239 bells on C trumpets, 37 and 72 bells on Bb's).

I'm not sure exactly what other information you'd like to have on this horn. I'd say it was used on a lot of Victorian bandstands and would be an ideal instrument for some of the Clarke solos and similar music from that time period. If it were me, I would consider a Curry vintage style cornet mouthpiece for it or something similar.

To me, this is a "real" cornet. Not too long after this period, Jazz players such as Armstrong went over to the trumpet, the Big Band Era started and trumpets became more popular than cornets. Then cornets were redesigned to sound more like trumpets. Even things like the King Master cornet of the 30's and 40's, as nice as they are, sound a lot more like trumpets than the earlier cornets did. The earlier cornets had a more lyrical and sweeter sound, possibly more small scale and less cutting. I love my trumpets, but I also love my cornets for the different timbre and the evocation of a long lost era that has much to recommend it.

Enjoy!
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royjohn
Trumpets: 1928 Holton Llewellyn Model, 1957 Holton 51LB, 2010 Custom C by Bill Jones, 2011 Custom D/Eb by Bill Jones
Flugels: 1975 Olds Superstar, 1970's Elkhardt, 1970's Getzen 4 valve
Cornet: 1970's Yamaha YCR-233S . . . and others . . .
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jcpearce
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Joined: 05 Aug 2010
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Location: Columbus, OH

PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks so much, Roy, for this information. I'm definitely excited to find all these things out. When I go back home to Atlanta, I'm definitely going to have to go see Rich Ita about this horn. I'm in Milwaukee right now, and people in Milwaukee keep telling me to take it to Charlie Melk. Since you say Rich has somewhat of a specialty on antique cornets, I'll probably go see him.
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tom turner
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2010 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep, Rich has 'em hanging from the rafters . . . vintage parts horns that is and he's restored, collected and sold fine vintage cornets and such for many a year now.

You'll enjoy visiting Rich's home/shop when you are back in ATL.
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ThePorge
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Joined: 09 Mar 2012
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Location: Canton

PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 5:50 pm    Post subject: You're Right Reply with quote

I was in Rich's shop today and you're right. JW York & Sons all over. He got the rattle outta my valves today in a short time and had me on my way. Seems like a genuinely nice person who will take the time to help you out. He also has a fabulous Great Dane.
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