Replica Schreiber Model Cornets
The first two photos to the left are an Eb soprano that I recently built for Eric Totman. You wouldn't need any more evidence of Eric's devotion to his hobby of collecting brass instruments than to see a tattoo on his left shoulder. It pictures a fanciful antique cornet from his imagination unlike anything that exists or that I could create. In recent years his collecting has focused on these "teardrop" shaped instruments with bells over the shoulder made by Louis Schreiber for just a few years in the late 1860s. A result of this very short production and over a century of obsolescence is that they are extremely rare today. There are about 40 instruments known to exist today of all sizes and including cornets with bell front. The Schreiber instruments with bells over the shoulder were made in Eb soprano, Bb cornet, Eb alto, Bb tenor, baritone and bass and Eb bass with three or four valves. The only size missing from Eric's collection is the Eb soprano. There are three Eb soprano examples known in museums and a private collection that will never become available and Eric has given up on the hope of finding one. For that reason, he asked if I was willing to make one. He didn't know that I had made one in Bb about 15 years earlier for collector Doug Lehrer (third photo on the left). I had made this with only a few very grainy photos to guide the design and I had to first determine which instruments in the photos were the Bb cornets. I had worked on an Eb alto and a Bb baritone, but had never seen the smaller instruments up close. Also, when studying photos of instruments, it seemed that no two were the same in details. When I had Eric's Bb cornet in the shop for restoration, I was very happy to find that I had gotten the size and shape of the Bb cornet very close even though I had copied details such as the bracing from the alto that I had worked on previously. Neither of these replicas have Shreiber's patented water valves as seen on all the originals other than the Eb soprano. While I have recreated a couple of these for restorations of original instruments, including Eric's cornet, the additional cost would have been difficult to justify. I copied the distinctive shape of the valve levers very closely, which adds to the unique design. The valves and bell are the same as I use on my other Eb sopranos which are copied from an original by E.G. Wright. The engraved name shield seen in the last photo is the same size and shape of those on original Schreiber instruments.