Wood & Ivy Cornopean


Mostly known for supplying woodwind instruments, Wood & Ivy were only in business between 1837 and 1847.  Located in London, they probably sold mostly imported merchandise.  The engraving on the bell indicates that this cornet was sold through another dealer, Townsend in Manchester.  This early English style cornet or cornopean was probably made in Germany.  It is well known that several shops in Markneukirchen were supplying keyed bugles and valve brass instruments to the English market and the decorative engraving on the bell garland of this cornet is very much in the German style.  It is a very good copy of the models that were popular in England at that time with three Stölzel piston valves and "clapper key" which was used for trills.  It plays in Bb with the mouthpiece inserted directly into the mouthpipe and has crooks for Ab, G, F, E and Eb.  This is another typically German practice, compared with the French and English custom in which there would be a short shank for the nominal pitch, Bb in this case, and a smaller diameter mouthpiece shank.  It is missing the original A shank, which would have been about 3" long.  It is well preserved with original case, dust caps which cover the finger buttons and mouthpiece with Sterling silver overlay.  When I received it the case contained a second Sterling overlay mouthpeice that appears to be for a keyed bugle.

It is made of brass with German silver trim.  It is 10 1/8" long with mouthpiece removed, the bell diameter is 4 7/8" and the bore measures .450".  History of Wood and Ivy and Townsend from William Waterhouse, "The New Langwill Index", Tony Bingham, 1993.  If you are interested in learning more about early soprano valve brass instruments, the absolute best source of the latest knowledge is to be found in "Trumpets and Other High Brass" Volume 3 by Sabine Klaus.