Conn and Dupont "Four in One" Cornet, 1879
This "Four in One" (Eb, C, Bb and A) cornet had original finish,
but it was in rough shape and was missing many original parts.
The valve pistons were loose, split and bent from previous
abuse. The owner, Wayne Collier, has a couple of others in
better original condition but wanted this one to be brought back as
close to original as possible, including reproducing the missing
shanks, crooks, waterkeys etc. He would then have an original
looking example which he wouldn't be as concerned about playing
extensively, the more original examples being preserved for future
generations of cornet fans. I have a very similar example in my
collection, so I could replicate the missing parts very closely. The
most time consuming part to make was the waterkey and mount
for the Bb crook. It had to look exactly like the mass produced
parts, but by carving out of brass by hand. The dent removal
was quite easy and as rough as it looked, it didn't have many
previous repair attempts, which tends to cause the most difficult
work. After straightening the pistons, I sent them to Anderson
Silver Plating to be repaired, plated and refit to function better
than new. This cornet required new silver plating and I was
determined to preserve the original surface finish which was not a
high polish but not a sand blasted satin finish either. This was
accomplished by keeping the polishing to the absolute minimum
needed. After silver plating, it was finished off with rottenstone
and oil, a trick which I learned from Nick DeCarlis, who has a
real knack for restoring original cosmetics of plated surfaces.
This turned out to be one of the best playing Conn and Dupont
cornets that I've come across. It plays very good in both Bb and
Eb, a very difficult feature to design into a cornet. The last two
photos show this cornet next to my example with original finish.
Click on images for larger views.