American Capital trumpet 1843

Discussion in 'Vintage Trumpets / Cornets' started by Rtaylor, Aug 19, 2005.

  1. Rtaylor

    Rtaylor New Friend

    8
    0
    Aug 18, 2005
    I posted in the general forum about this trumpet but have had no replies. Maybe you guys will be able to help me.

    I've found an old silver trumpet for sale. The trumpet has engraved on it's bell "American Capital" and on the center valve is stamped "1843". The silver looks pretty good even though it is pretty well tarnished and could use a good cleaning and polishing. There does not appear to be any significant dents, dings, or scratches.

    Does anyone have any experience with these trumpets? I am thinking of buying it from him and having it reconditioned for my son if the concensus is that it is worth while.

    Any input is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. tom turner

    tom turner Mezzo Forte User

    779
    11
    Oct 25, 2003
    Georgia, USA
    Hi,

    Welcome to the Vintage forum . . . where most of the horns are even older than the old fart (me) who moderates this area!

    Almost surely this trumpet is what is called a "stencil horn." Back in the "Golden Era" of band instruments at the turn of the century (and give and take twenty-five years each way), there were so many horns sold.

    In addition to carrying the extremely well-known "popular" brands, a lot of music stores would contract for a maker to produce "private label" instruments for them. In this way they could avoid the price-shopping, haggling customers who would shop several stores to get the best price on a popular brand and push their own, more profitable brand.

    Ironically, there are still "stencil horns" being made today, and for exactly the same reasons!

    Some of the "stencil horns" of yesteryear were quite excellent, and were made by top companies in America or a handful of other countries that made the top-quality instruments of the day.

    Most, however, were mid or low-level quality horns for beginners. Some of these horns were also quality horns from great companies. However, others were from developing countries . . . and some were just as terrible as all these cheap Chinese and India-made trumpets of today one sees on e-Bay that sell for very low prices (that FAR exceed their playing quality)!

    IF . . .

    If you can reply and post photos of the horn in question we may be able to identify the maker of that horn though . . . for "stencil horns" are always made on existing tooling that a manufacturer already developed for their production horns.

    The only way to tell the quality for sure is to have an expert (including expert player) evaluate the horn for workmanship as well as the technical playing qualities of the instrument.

    As a general rule, stencil horns don't command much value in the decades after they are made . . . even the few brands of fine horns, since the knowledge of their origins has been forgotten.

    Hope this helps, and again . . . WELCOME!

    Sincerely,

    Tom Turner
     
  3. Rtaylor

    Rtaylor New Friend

    8
    0
    Aug 18, 2005
    Photos

    Thanks Tom,

    I appreciate your response to my inquiry about the American Capital trumpet. I don't know how to post a photo on your web-site, so here is a link to some photos of the trumpet.

    Click this link to view the trumpet

    Please let me know what you think about it. I would be interested to know what company made it, and if it is worth having it reconditioned.

    Robert
     
  4. bigaggietrumpet

    bigaggietrumpet Mezzo Forte User

    801
    1
    Jan 23, 2004
    Nazareth, PA
    Can you tell what the writing below the "American Capital" engraving on the bell is? It says "Made In" and below that is something else. But I can't decipher it on the pics.

    I have a few hunches as to what that might be, but nothing solid enough that I'll admit them in public yet.
     
  5. tom turner

    tom turner Mezzo Forte User

    779
    11
    Oct 25, 2003
    Georgia, USA
    Help, everyone, in trying to identify this trumpet/cornet:

    [​IMG]

    Tom
     
  6. Rtaylor

    Rtaylor New Friend

    8
    0
    Aug 18, 2005
    Hi Tom,

    It says "MADE IN" on the top line, and "USA" on the bottom line.

    I'll try to post the photos tomorrow from the office according to your instructions. My computer at home is so slow that I won't try to do it from here.

    I hope this helps.

    Robert
     
  7. Rtaylor

    Rtaylor New Friend

    8
    0
    Aug 18, 2005
    Here is a picture of the bell.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    I hope that this helps.

    Robert
     
  8. Rtaylor

    Rtaylor New Friend

    8
    0
    Aug 18, 2005
    Photos are up

    Hi Guys,

    I edited the above post to contain some photos that can actually be seen.

    I would still like to identify this trumpet and know if it is worth reconditioning it.

    Any and all input is greatly appreciated.
     
  9. Clarino

    Clarino Mezzo Piano User

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    0
    Nov 9, 2003
    Sheffield, England, UK
    It looks like it has a turn by the bell crook which could act like a tuning slide a la the Eclipse Equinox. Does this move, and is there a tuning slide in the normal position?
     
  10. nieuwguyski

    nieuwguyski Forte User

    1,518
    625
    Aug 9, 2004
    Santa Cruz County, CA
    That likely is a second, functional, tuning slide -- a feature that freed up the main slide to be used to tune the horn to A. I'll bet the valve slides have lines on them, showing how far to pull for A tuning.
     

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