eBay: a couple of weird Reynolds Contempora cornets

Discussion in 'Vintage Trumpets / Cornets' started by contempora, Dec 8, 2005.

  1. contempora

    contempora New Friend

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    Jan 17, 2005
    Burnsville, MN
    Two new listings have me scratching my head - wondering if anyone here can shed some light.

    [1] http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=7372821501

    Claims serial number 62280, which would make it an early 1960s horn, probably RMC era (1961-1963). However, the bell engraving is consistent with horns made before 1946. The valve casings appear to be one piece rather than the two-piece brass/nickel or brass/copper casings I've seen on every other Contempora.

    More confusing is the body itself. The wrap style is unlike any Contempora or even King Master; the tubing from the leadpipe is underslung like a Contempora but instead of entering the third valve on the performer's left side, wraps around the front of the valve section and enters on the front right. Speculation might be that someone's taken an old Contempora bell and stuck it on a different body; anyone familiar with what body this might actually be?

    [2] http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=7372981818

    The "Dizzy Gillespie" Contempora... everything about this one seems wrong. It looks like an Olds Ambassador body circa '66, the engraving pattern is unlike any other Reynolds horn, no tone ring on the bell... I'm thinking someone "tweaked" their Ambassador and had some custom engraving done... or it could be legit. UPDATE: serial no. 61851, so probably also a RMC-era horn.
     
  2. PhatmonB6

    PhatmonB6 Mezzo Piano User

    653
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    Jan 16, 2005
    Minnesota
    All I can say is if you have doubts about it do not bid. you save some cash that way :cool:
     
  3. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    4,529
    8
    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    And the way that bell is bent looks questionable; appears to have been "bent over the knee" without the benefit of annealing & filling to protect against collapsing and then had a brace tacked on.

    I'd be keepin' my hands in my pockets at that auction.
     
  4. contempora

    contempora New Friend

    48
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    Jan 17, 2005
    Burnsville, MN
    Oh, no bidding for me - I'm just a trombone player. I was mostly curious from a historical Reynolds perspective... see the URL link in my signature.
     
  5. tom turner

    tom turner Mezzo Forte User

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    Oct 25, 2003
    Georgia, USA
    Hi ElShaddai,

    I too saw the weird wrap on the "Reynolds" cornet and noticed a strange bell on a cornet (I believe) a few days ago on eBay. Unfortunately, I didn't copy the photo and then blow it up to compare them against known Reynolds valve bodies. However, I remember thinking, gosh that cornet's leadpipe wrap comes into the third valve body on the wrong side!

    I'm swamped this week preparing for four events I'm playing at that run virtually back-to-back this weekend so I let my curiousity wait.

    Maybe next week it will slow down a little.

    BTW, did you see the most beautiful and fully engraved, GOLD-PLATED and brand-new vintage Contempora F. Horn that sold for a song on eBay this past week?

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Rare-Gold-Plate...ryZ16215QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

    It is a documented, factory show horn . . . surely a one-of-a-kind from the Norlin years that was liquidated to a music store owner when Norlin finally folded. It just came out of the vault! I wish it wasn't Christmas time!

    Sincerely,

    Tom Turner

    PS: If you missed bidding on this one, DON'T LOOK . . . for it will make a grown man cry!!!
     
  6. contempora

    contempora New Friend

    48
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    Jan 17, 2005
    Burnsville, MN
    Yep - that one was actually listed about a year ago I think with a BIN of $5000. They came down quite a bit... I got permission to grab the photos and they're showcased on the site here:

    http://www.contemporacorner.com/FE03.html

    I should do something more with them, but I got busy and just wanted to make sure they were preserved. It's a 1970 horn - actually made in Fullerton at the Olds plant (the brass horns were made in Fullerton, the nickel horns in Abilene, according to sources). That's why the letter refers to it as an Olds double horn rather than a Reynolds - took me a long time to sort that one out...
     
  7. jazzinbb

    jazzinbb New Friend

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    Apr 8, 2005
    Central Illinois
    I agree with you on the first cornet - I bet it's a Contempora bell on another manufacture's body.

    Every one I've seen has the two piece valve bodies. I've seen some nickel and some copper, but all were two piece. In addition, I've never seen one without either a third valve ring or trigger, and this one doesn't have either.

    FWIW - I've seen several OLDS specials and Ambassadors with Contempora Bells installed...
     
  8. jazzinbb

    jazzinbb New Friend

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    Apr 8, 2005
    Central Illinois
    BTW - I saw the "naked" Contempora trombone on your website. Any idea why Reynolds used a tinted lacquer on the Contempora?
     
  9. contempora

    contempora New Friend

    48
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    Jan 17, 2005
    Burnsville, MN
    Good catch on the third-valve ring/trigger. I had taken another look at this yesterday and thought it might be a Medalist body with a modified leadpipe wrap, but even the Medalist had a 3v ring...

    Really?! Tell me more if you can - I'd be very interested to here more about this. Any ideas as to the timeframe involved? thanks!
     
  10. contempora

    contempora New Friend

    48
    0
    Jan 17, 2005
    Burnsville, MN
    As to why, I have a couple of theories rolling around my head:

    [1] I've seen a couple of comments that King used colored lacquers at various times in their history - Foster Reynolds came from HN White (later King) and it could be that it was a practice he brought with him.

    [2] Need to check dates, but it could be a competitive response to the Conn coprion bell and/or some of the Olds stuff, e.g. old Recording models with the Rey-o-loy bells.

    Whatever the reason, I think they were trying to accent the higher copper levels in the Bronz-o-lyte bell and differentiate from the yellow brass and sterling silver bells that they'd been making up to that point. I received an interesting note a while back about a mid-1940s Contempora trombone that did not have a tone ring and had a more golden colored bell than orange.

    The Contempora bass trombones eventually came to be known as "the Tangerine Trombones" due to the copper levels...
     

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