Conn Parlor Model • no. 11961 • 1885
This is the third Parlor model in my collection and is noteworthy as the earliest known example -- it was built right about the time the first Wonder models were being made.
While it had its original case, both the case and the cornet had been “restored” some years in the past. The case had some awful green material inside and had been recovered on the exterior as well. The cornet had been rather clumsily repaired, and some parts were replaced, such as the finger buttons, water key assembly and third slide. Much of my restoration efforts were spent simply trying to undo what had been done. The finger buttons, for instance, have been replaced with correct parts from a similar era parts Conn cornet. The waterkey, on the other hand, was duplicated by filing an oversized generic “blank” until it matched the original on my 1887 example. A “tip of the hat” goes to Mark Metzler, who improved upon some of my dentwork in the more difficult areas!
Much of the bell engraving was “soft” due to overbuffing during the long-ago restoration. From the text back to the bow was “re-engraved” by a specialist, after which the area was spot plated with gold, as it would have been originally, by myself. Valve caps, buttons, ferrules, and other trim were similarly spot gold plated.
In recovering the case, I decided to duplicate a very nice original Conn “Ultimatum” case I have, which used the less-common red interior. Conn switched to purple/yellow/red in the early Wonder period. Note the interesting method for storing the mute in the bell, with corresponding carved out areas in the side of the case. Some of these early to mid 1880s Conn cases used leather handles as shown, as well as the more often seen hinged “decks.”
The cornet is in high pitch, and had its original A shank and lyre. I constructed a repro Bb shank, and added a correct Conn mouthpiece and mute to complete the outfit.
Length (shank removed): 8.5”
Bell Diameter: 4.25”