Eb Cornet by E.G. Wright, Boston 1868

E.G. Wright started building brass instruments in Boston about 1840.  This Eb cornet was made towards the end of his life in 1868.  It was presented to Henry Hanson in Arlington, Mass, the leader of the local town band by members of the band.  Today it is hard to imagine a world without the many choices that we have for entertainment but every town of any size had at least one band and the leader was considered a leading citizen of the town.  While the area had been settled by Europeans in the early 17th century, the population was just over 3000 and the town had just changed its name from West Cambridge to Arlington in 1867.

This cornet came to me in well preserved condition, with it's original mouthpiece and mouthpipe shank.  It would have originally had crooks to D and C, judging by the fact that the second slide is removable.  This was only the case in Wright's Eb instruments that were intended to be crooked to lower keys as well.  It also retains the original presentation document.  It is extremely rare to find such documents.   Today we might think of an instrument of these proportions as a trumpet but during the golden age of brass bands it was the Eb cornet that provided the soprano voice in American bands.  This narrow bell model was called the "Leader's Pattern".  It is made of German silver, with three side action rotary valves of .421" bore and bell diameter of 4 7/8".   Length with mouthpipe shank removed is 11 7/8".