Trumpet in B-flat

Conn Musical Instrument Co. American

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 684

The streamlined and minimalistic form of this trumpet presents a strong American art deco aesthetic and captures the visual and musical style of the Jaz Age. Particuarly notable are elements such as its streamlined water keys, valve casings and touches, finger hook and braces. The instrument displays many decorative surface finishing techniques including hammering/planishing, mirror burnishing and sandblasting to produce a matte finish. The bell is rocker-engraved with stylized geometric motifs and a depiction of pan playing his pipes.

The instrument features Conn’s distinctive rimless ‘vocabell’, designed to increase the instrument’s volume, per Conn’s description in a 1933 edition of the Conn Loyalist:

The most popular trumpet on the market. Used by such first chair stars as Lebert Lombardo (Guy Lombardo), Jack Cavan (Charlie Agnew), Lamar Wright (Cab Calloway), Charlie Williams (Duke Ellington), David Glickstein (Broadway shows) and Eddie Camden (Don Bestor). The Vocabell rim is a single, integral piece of metal which allows it to vibrate freely. Conventional bells have a rigid wire in the rim which tends to muffle the tone and dampen out the delicate harmonics that are so essential to clear tone and rich coloring. Delicate instruments of Columbia Broadcasting Studio in New York show the Vocabell has from 12 to 15 decibels greater volume, is smoother and more even in scale, and is clearer and purer in tone than trumpets with the conventional type bells. Beautifully styled in modern manner. Medium bore, Bb and A, springs in bottom of valves.

The outfit is complete with original case and mouthpiece.

Trumpet in B-flat, Conn Musical Instrument Co. (American), Brass, silver plate, mother-of-pearl, American

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