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.