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Did I make a really dumb purchase or is this of any value


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GideonT
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Joined: 14 Nov 2017
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Location: Nashville TN

PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 12:30 pm    Post subject: Did I make a really dumb purchase or is this of any value Reply with quote

Hello, my first rotary trumpet just arrived today. In the original listing on a German auction house website they listed it as piccolo trumpet and said it was probably the smallest playable trumpet on earth, since there were two other piccolo trumpets next to it in the total 1800 lots I assumed it was a listing error. They were not joking. I payed $800, and I’m a highschool student so that is a lot to me, I should have emailed about the size to be sure. look at the original pictures, it looks like a full size because there was nothing to scale next to it, then look at me holding it in my hand. I’m nervous and haven’t even tried to play it yet, it blew air through t and I’d be impressed if I could make a sound through the ridiculously small mouthpiece. It is actually a trumpet though, the mouthpiece is removable and the valves are just mini rotary valves, I really want to know if anyone can help me identify the maker, besides the bell engraving there is no brand anywhere on it. It’s in perfect condition. Is it worth anything?

https://ibb.co/ijA3mc
https://ibb.co/d6c5zx
https://ibb.co/nmb9Rc
https://ibb.co/cgfsex
https://ibb.co/gh1LXH
https://ibb.co/iagb6c
https://ibb.co/gnMnCH
https://ibb.co/kPM9Rc
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Last edited by GideonT on Fri Apr 06, 2018 1:19 pm; edited 1 time in total
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snichols
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm. Well, I'm not qualified to say whether it's a good deal or not, because I'm not sure what it is, but I will say it's an interesting purchase, for whatever that's worth. That being said, in the future it might not be the best idea to spend that amount of money without having any idea what you're buying. I'm curious to see what knowledge other folks might have...
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oxleyk
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you have a link to the auction site?
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cbclead
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 1:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with snichols - it's certainly an interesting purchase.

My initial thought is it's a miniature reproduction of a rotary made by the manufacturer for store displays and traveling salesmen. John Hagstrom plays something similar in this video.


Link


It could be rare and possibly valuable depending on what it actually is.
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GideonT
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 1:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

oxleyk wrote:
Do you have a link to the auction site?


http://www.mehlis.eu/en/
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GideonT
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also thought of the mini Kings, but I have never heard of a mini rotary trumpet. Unlike the kings though, the mouthpiece is proportional to the trumpet itself which makes me question if it is even meant to be played
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oxleyk
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Contact them and demand your money back.
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GideonT
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

oxleyk wrote:
Contact them and demand your money back.


Sadly I’m not sure I could, they did say in the listing it was small. The only issue was the photos not providing scale.

Also, I did manage to make a noise on it, it played a middle C but I have no idea how I did it so I’m still working it out

Ok finally managed to go down to g in the staff and up to c above staff, I use barely any bottom lip at all. Doesn’t sound like a toy at least!
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evolution
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, if you wanted to have a normal rotary this wasn't your luckiest day. Condition looks good and it was much much work to build this thing; everything including the mouthpiece is made in a smaller size and so you can't take normal trumpet parts. It is all made by hand. So it should have a worth. But if it is a cool player, too - I don't know. If you think it sounds okay and the receiver isn't to small, try to find a mouthpiece that fits your size and the receiver. Perhaps a cornet shank cut down would make a testdrive possible.

The rotary valves made with the springs inside and the bearings look like a work from the 70ies. Since there is no name on it but it is hand engraved and hand made it could be a funny master piece. You can show off all your skills to the jury but it isn't the "normal" trumpet that everybody takes to the brassinstrument-makers-exam.

Perhaps you find a rotary-trumpet nerd that sees all the work in this smallsize trumpet that pays you as much as you paid. Perhaps it is a great trumpet if you have a matching mpc. I can't say anything wise about the worth.
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GideonT
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

evolution wrote:
Hi, if you wanted to have a normal rotary this wasn't your luckiest day. Condition looks good and it was much much work to build this thing; everything including the mouthpiece is made in a smaller size and so you can't take normal trumpet parts. It is all made by hand. So it should have a worth. But if it is a cool player, too - I don't know. If you think it sounds okay and the receiver isn't to small, try to find a mouthpiece that fits your size and the receiver. Perhaps a cornet shank cut down would make a testdrive possible.

The rotary valves made with the springs inside and the bearings look like a work from the 70ies. Since there is no name on it but it is hand engraved and hand made it could be a funny master piece. You can show off all your skills to the jury but it isn't the "normal" trumpet that everybody takes to the brassinstrument-makers-exam.

Perhaps you find a rotary-trumpet nerd that sees all the work in this smallsize trumpet that pays you as much as you paid. Perhaps it is a great trumpet if you have a matching mpc. I can't say anything wise about the worth.


Not sure you saw my pictures, I’m holding the mouthpiece in my hand, it is two thirds the length of my pinky and my hands are average size. The receiver is less than a centimeter in diameter at most. Thanks for the info
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evolution
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I saw the pics. Flugelhorn or cornet shanks are smaller. That is why I would try one of those to get a normal cup with a shank cut down to your receiver.
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HERMOKIWI
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is a cool horn, very unusual and seems to be similar in size to the mini Kings (which are hugely collectible). Since the horn was properly described in the listing it doesn't matter that it was not displayed next to anything that gave it a visual scale size perspective.

Put it on ebay, set a Buy it Now at $800 (or more) and see what happens. Whether a horn is "collectible" or not and what the horn is worth is in the eye of the beholder. One thing you won't have to worry about: You won't have any competition, there will be nothing else like this listed for sale. Just be sure you describe it fairly and accurately. Showing it next to a full size trumpet will probably increase the perception of its value.
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GideonT
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i just noticed some numbers under the bar that supports the linkages and keys and also underneath the valve caps, here are some pictures.

Valve stamps
https://ibb.co/jSnVGc
https://ibb.co/joaBNH
https://ibb.co/cvvQGc

Inside of bell
https://ibb.co/cxYLGc

I can’t tell if that is a 6 or 9 under the “valve bar,” (it seems more like a 6 to me) but I think that could correspond to the order in which it was made, this one being the 6th or 9th made. Just a guess. There is a 4 under the 3rd valve cap and a 5 stamped on the side of the valve. The other valves also have numbers under the cap and on their sides, but the order is random. I’ve seen this on other vintage horns before and I think it is just that way because the manufacturer made a bunch of indenuical valves for multiple instruments and chose them randomly for each horn. So maybe multiple of these exist, and this one is the only one on the internet, or it was taken good care of so it’s the only one still in good shape. I notice the inside is very orange, so I’m cleaning it now.
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Robert P
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's possible both are true - you made a dumb purchase in that it wasn't an informed purchase but it might be worth something. It's also valuable as a lesson learned.

$800 is an expensive lesson though - dang.
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Brad361
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would have to probably put it in the dumb purchase category, at least at 800, especially if your intent was to use it with an ensemble.
But hey, I have no idea how (or if) it plays, you’re in a better position to evaluate that.

Brad
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HaveTrumpetWillTravel
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's impressive! Posting here is a good idea. I'd also try posting on reddit. Google image searches don't produce anything similar. It does look like it has some value just because it is so unique.

Ideas on playing it:
-Maybe someone could 3-D print you a larger mouthpiece?
-I've played on my leadpipe with no mouthpiece and it doesn't sound great, but is possible, so if you could get a good sound out of it that would be pretty cool.

If the description was misleading, I think you could ask about returning it. For instance, if they didn't provide length or width, then calling it a "small piccolo" would be misleading, when this is really something quite different from that.

The idea to resell here or on ebay isn't bad. Someone here might be interested too, especially if you could post a video getting a decent sound out of it.

Good luck!
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GideonT
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I’ll post a video when I can just so you guys can hear what I have managed to do. Going back to normal Trumpet after an hour of messing around literally felt like I was playing the tuba and it took a bit to get used to it, so I have to be careful of that. It is very hard to start making noise that isn’t only air and it is very hard to find the exact embochure needed, but when I do I can actually play it. The valves are smooth after a short hot water bath and rotary oil cycle.

My local library as well as one of my school science classes have 3D printers so I’m definitely going to attempt to model a mouthpiece that is slightly bigger for it.
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Daniel Barenboim
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 12:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is no such thing as dumb purchases, only dumb purchasers.



DB
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HaveTrumpetWillTravel
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 12:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just in terms of figuring out what it is, here are some other ideas:
-Write to whatever the German version of Trumpetherald is with a picture to scale asking if anyone has seen one before.
-Write to some of the famous German rotary trumpet makers and ask if any of them have seen anything like this.
-Do an image search for small rotary trumpets in German.

Good luck!
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evolution
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 1:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

in Germany there ist www.trompetenforum.de
Another good resource might be the brassinstrument-museum with its own forum
http://museum-markneukirchen.de/forum/portal.php

Numbers on rotary trumpets are quite usual. Normally there is a serial number and on some parts of the trumpet are some digits to show a) the manufacturer that he assembles the matching parts b) the customer that the trumpet has matching numbers.
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