E.G. Wright Bb Cornet with Piston Valves
This is another treasure from Steve Ward's collection. It wasn't an extensive restoration job as you can see in the photos, but it is a unique cornet worth knowing about. I had to remake the third slide crook, two pull knobs and one finger button and deal with a few split seams, minor dent work and a few other details. It is a well preserved antique and the only known example of a piston valve cornet made by E.G. Wright. Wright was, of course, better known for his rotary valve instruments of all sizes and fine keyed bugles, but in about 1866 he introduced piston valve cornets to his offerings. Bb cornets made by Courtios were becoming very popular among famous soloists and Wright had already copied them in rotary valve form about ten years earlier. This instrument used the same bell, mouthpipe and valve bore (about .462") in a form that looked more like the Courtois and Besson instruments that inspired it.
After the formation of Boston Musical Instrument Manufactory in 1869 and the death of Wright in 1871, Boston continued making this model cornet. There must have been pressure, either internally or externally, for Boston to create something more special. Within a few years, this "morphed" into a cornet with larger bore and larger bell and eventually the One Star, Two Star and Three Star Cornets. I've covered this topic fairly thoroughly in my pages on Boston Cornets and Early Three Star Cornets and I'm happy to present the "missing link" here.