Boosey and Hawkes

Discussion in 'Vintage Trumpets / Cornets' started by bigaggietrumpet, Mar 20, 2005.

  1. bigaggietrumpet

    bigaggietrumpet Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 23, 2004
    Nazareth, PA
    Ok, there are actually two parts to this question. 1) I was reading the other day, Clive Cussler's "Raise the Titanic". Excellent book. In it, he references to a Graham Farley, who was supposedly a solo cornetist onboard the Titanic, and that he played a presentation grade Boosey and Hawkes cornet made around 1911 or so. Would anyone happen to know if this is actually valid information?

    2) I know Boosey and Hawkes was a real company. Anyone know if they were ever any good? Personal experience?
  2. laurie

    laurie Pianissimo User

    Jan 17, 2005
    I dont know of the connection with the Titanic so cant answer that. There is a picture of a Boosey & Hawkes "Presentation" cornet at
    Click on cornets, then click on "B"It takes a while to load.
    Were Boosey&Hawkes cornets any good? My word they were! They were the mainstay of British,Australian and NewZealand brass bands for many years. I learnt to play on them and currently own a rather nice "Imperial" model Bb, and an Eb Soprano.. During my time in Brass bands I also played on Boosey flugel horns and Soprano cornets (Imperials and Soveriegns) They were all very fine instruments.

    NSW Australia
  3. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Forte User

    Oct 11, 2004
    Farnham (a place too smal
    Impossible - Boosey & Hawkes only came into existence in 1934. Before that they were two different companies - Boosey & Co. and Hawkes & Son. Both of these made instruments, so it is perfectly possibly that it was made by one of these companies.

    The top end Boosey & Hawkes trumpets were very well regarded over here (UK). Used in a variety of situations from orchestra to big bands. I have an old Hawkes & Son Clippertone Bb/A (in fact I have two) which is just fantastic when taken up above the stave. Such a light sound, very easy to play delicately.

    More recently (can't recall the dates, but I think it was around 1970ish) Boosey & Hawkes took over Besson and was found producing the Besson Sovereign instruments, primarily used in the British Brass Band scene.
    There was also the B&H 400 - which was originally the Boosey & Hawkes student line, but they sold that off to another maker, along with the name. The quality was not great to start with and got worse. After a long battle The Music Group (the group that owned Boosey & Hawkes at the time) finally put a stop to them using that name a couple of years ago.
  4. bigaggietrumpet

    bigaggietrumpet Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 23, 2004
    Nazareth, PA
    Interesting. He probably meant Boosey & Co., or just didn't know enough to know the difference.

    By top end, what models are you referring to?
  5. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    A friend of mine recently aquired a Boosey & Hawkes Sovereign cornet - he says it looks and plays like a dream, and since he is a long time brass band veteran, he'd know.

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