Miniature Cornet by M.J. Kalashen
The first photo to the left looks like a typical late 19th century copy of a Courtois cornet except for the large mouthpiece and buttons. The second photo that includes a Courtois Bb cornet immediately reveals that it is about half normal size. It is actually pitched in G, making it just under 3/5th the size of a Bb cornet. I have no information about the purpose or maker of this tiny cornet, but I would assume that it was strictly for novelty value. I haven't seen another like it, although I have seen photographs of half size instruments made by a few European makers. I believe that the others were made later in the 20th century, such as those by Louis Aubertin and, of course the King half size Liberty model trumpets of the early 1930s. It is very playable, although with the odd little mouthpiece, it's hard to judge just how good it is. This cornet is stamped: "M.J. Kalashen / New York".
Mark J. Kalashen, born in Russia in 1867, immigrated to New York in September of 1892 and was in the business of repairing musical instruments by 1903 and selling imported instruments shortly after that date. This cornet was likely made in Europe before 1910. All the other instruments sold by Kalashen that I know of are very standard band and orchestra instruments that were popular at the time. He did sell European style rotary valve brass, but most are the styles that were more popular in the US in the early 20th century. Kalashen was granted one US Patent in 1915, covering his design for interchangeable high and low pitch mouthpipes with a fixed crook and tuning tube on the end. The clamping mechanism also
allowed for the fine tuning.
This instrument was a part of the Jack Coleman collection (a customer of mine since 1977), given by his widow to the Fiske Museum, Claremont, California in 2004 and now resides in the Musical Instrument Museum in Scottsdale, Arizona.