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Cerveny Tuba question

Postby reastman1952 » Wed Mar 19, 2014 1:52 pm

Cerveny 6.jpg
Cerveny 6.jpg (105.54 KiB) Viewed 1688 times
Would someone be able to tell me if there is a way to determine the near age of my Cerveny Tuba? I got it from my great-grandfather and would like to have it overhauled. I have several pics of him from the 1890's holding it so know what it "should" look like. It has the Louis Vitak emblem but says Sole Agent for United States only and after Vitak's name is Canton, Ohio. Under emblem is V. F. Cerveny & Fils, and Konigratz is spelled with 1 "G" and umlauts over the "O" and "A". Attached is a pic of the emblem. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Last edited by reastman1952 on Wed Mar 19, 2014 3:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cerveby Tuba question

Postby Dan Schultz » Wed Mar 19, 2014 2:12 pm

It will be difficult to put an exact (or even close) date of manufacture on the horn. Cerveny has been making instruments since 1842. The Vitak Company was an importer of European instruments and seems to have been most prolific in the 20's and 30's. Unless someone comes up with a better history of Louis Vitak... that should make for a pretty accurate story.

I've seen several Cerveny tubas with the same or very similar bell badge.
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Re: Cerveby Tuba question

Postby Mark Finley » Wed Mar 19, 2014 2:19 pm

I love to see more pics!
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Re: Cerveby Tuba question

Postby bisontuba » Wed Mar 19, 2014 2:21 pm

Hi-
Vitak,who imported Cervenys, was in Canton from 1891-1901 ( and then moved to Chicago from 1901-1930). Since the emblem shows the 1893 Exposition, the shield dates are c. 1894-1901--since you have a pic of your grandfather from the 1890's with the horn, I'd say the horn is c. 1895.
Put a pic of your grandfather & the horn on here--that would be neat. Restoring it and having a pic of your grandfather and the horn is really sweet!!
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Re: Cerveby Tuba question

Postby Lee Stofer » Wed Mar 19, 2014 2:29 pm

Look the instrument over very carefully, as even these old Cerveny tubas tended to have a serial number stamped somewhere on them, although it is typically rather small. i don't remember exactly where it typically is, but I would start by looking at the ferrule between the leadpipe and 1st valve or the mouthpipe receiver. You might have to do some cleaning to find it.
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Re: Cerveby Tuba question

Postby bisontuba » Wed Mar 19, 2014 2:53 pm

Lee Stofer wrote:Look the instrument over very carefully, as even these old Cerveny tubas tended to have a serial number stamped somewhere on them, although it is typically rather small. i don't remember exactly where it typically is, but I would start by looking at the ferrule between the leadpipe and 1st valve or the mouthpipe receiver. You might have to do some cleaning to find it.



Hi-
Lee is right--check the ferrule between the pipe and 1st v.
In addition, there is also a number underneath the bridge where the springs sit ( probably a parts/worker #).
Good luck!!
Mark

PS. This link to a post of mine may help....

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=59959&hilit=President%27s+Day
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Re: Cerveby Tuba question

Postby reastman1952 » Wed Mar 19, 2014 3:49 pm

Thanks everybody for responding. I'm quite proud of this horn and the man who played it. My great-grandfather, Alfred Eastman, played for several shoe factory bands (as well as his twin brother Albert, brother Fred, and brother-in-law Lorenzo) throughout the Easton/Brockton area of Massachusetts and came to Maine where he played in the Shrine Band and Augusta Symphony. The "bug" got passed down and I spent 20 years in the Navy Band as a Euphonium major, so you can see why I want this baby restored! Here are some pics I hope folks enjoy. I will add a couple pics of how it looks now as well. This thing sat in a camp attic for nearly 45 years before I got it.

I have a couple more pics of Alfred that I'll post when I get home.
Thanks again all!
Attachments
ManningsBand.jpg
ManningsBand.jpg (206.87 KiB) Viewed 1585 times
Eastman Brothers008.jpg
(L-R) Fred Eastman, Albert Eastman, Lorenzo Smith, and Alfred Eastman in the uniform they wore playing for Mannings Band in Easton, MA.
Eastman Brothers008.jpg (205.96 KiB) Viewed 1585 times
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Re: Cerveby Tuba question

Postby bisontuba » Wed Mar 19, 2014 3:50 pm

Priceless--really fantastic!
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Re: Cerveby Tuba question

Postby reastman1952 » Wed Mar 19, 2014 4:09 pm

jonesmj wrote:Priceless--really fantastic!
Mark


Thanks Mark. There's an old story that goes he was given this horn by a wealthy lady in Easton... that's all we knew. I tracked it down a bit last year and found out that there was a well-to-do prominent family in Easton at the time of the name of Ames. Oliver Ames was the governor of Massachusetts at the time. His wife, Anna Ames, was a patron of the arts and, according to the History of Easton, donated a substantial amount of money to aspiring musicians in the area. This blurb from the History of Oliver Ames High School.

"Anna C. Ames just may have done more for athletics in Easton than anyone in the town’s history. Mrs. Ames was the wife of Massachusetts Governor Oliver Ames, for whom Oliver Ames High School is named. Following Gov. Ames’s death in 1895, Mrs. Ames, then 55 years old, ramped up her support of the town’s youth. She established the OA High School band, and in 1902 commissioned the building of a gym on Barrows Street to be used for the development and maintenance of the physical wellbeing of the community’s young people."

The 1895 date could well be when Alfred was given this horn.
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Anna C. Ames
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Re: Cerveny Tuba question

Postby deholder » Wed Mar 19, 2014 4:37 pm

Wow just wow. That is a great story. Love the picture of the band. Can't wait to see more pics of the band and the horn. Thanks so much for sharing.
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Re: Cerveny Tuba question

Postby toobagrowl » Wed Mar 19, 2014 5:26 pm

Great pics! That Cerveny tuba looks like a Kaiser Eb to me.
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Re: Cerveny Tuba question

Postby reastman1952 » Wed Mar 19, 2014 8:29 pm

Mark and Lee, thanks for the info about where to find the serial number. Unfortunately, there is no number to be found there on the ferrule by the 1st valve and I can't see one anywhere on the leadpipe or connecting ferrules. Mark, that pic in your previous post is very close to the one I have but the bell is a bit larger (17") and the spelling of Konigratz is with 1 "G", with the two dots above the letters O and A. Was this an earlier horn? I did, however, locate a number under the bridge as you had. Mine is 1168, with a faint line down between each letter. Only other engraving I saw were notches etched into each valve cross piece (1 for first valve, 2 for second etc.) I'll keep looking though. Possible that no serial number exists? Attached are a couple older pics and several of the Cerveny as it is now.
Attachments
phot1656.jpg
The Walk Over Shoe band, playing in Oak Bluffs, MA. That's my great grandfather and the Cerveny.
phot1656.jpg (202.52 KiB) Viewed 1408 times
328539_336241599805247_156218859_o.jpg
The E.N. Welch band. Not a good shot of the tuba unfortunately.
328539_336241599805247_156218859_o.jpg (134.07 KiB) Viewed 1408 times
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Re: Cerveny Tuba question

Postby reastman1952 » Wed Mar 19, 2014 8:41 pm

The Cerveny as it is now.
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Cerveny3.jpg
Cerveny3.jpg (154.3 KiB) Viewed 1210 times
Cerveny2.jpg
Cerveny2.jpg (167.23 KiB) Viewed 1210 times
Cerveny1.jpg
Cerveny1.jpg (166.13 KiB) Viewed 1210 times
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Re: Cerveny Tuba question

Postby reastman1952 » Wed Mar 19, 2014 8:42 pm

More pics of the Cerveny.
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Cerveny6.jpg
Cerveny6.jpg (146.46 KiB) Viewed 1209 times
Cerveny5.jpg
Cerveny5.jpg (150.96 KiB) Viewed 1209 times
Cerveny4.jpg
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Re: Cerveny Tuba question

Postby bisontuba » Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:10 pm

Hi-
Great pics. Neat horn. Yours has the 'roller valves' also-neat.
Mine might(?) be a year or two earlier, but both of the same vintage. Same horn but you have a slightly larger bell.
Horn is not in bad shape. Thin metal--bell can be rolled out.
To have a horn belonging to your grandfather with pics of him using it---what a treasure :!: Restore it!

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Re: Cerveny Tuba question

Postby reastman1952 » Thu Mar 20, 2014 3:51 pm

jonesmj wrote:Hi-
Great pics. Neat horn. Yours has the 'roller valves' also-neat.
Mine might(?) be a year or two earlier, but both of the same vintage. Same horn but you have a slightly larger bell.
Horn is not in bad shape. Thin metal--bell can be rolled out.
To have a horn belonging to your grandfather with pics of him using it---what a treasure :!: Restore it!

mark


Mark, I've been trying to dig up more info about the Cerveny badges (medallions) in order to pinpoint a better time frame for manufacture. I've collected several badges from various sources and note particularly with yours compared with mine that there are subtle differences. I work as a graphic designer and noted that the font used on yours is decidedly different and more akin to the font used in the Chicago models. Check specifically, in Vitak, the use of the slanted serif on the "T" and how the "A" has a left swipe serif added at the top... just like subsequent usage out of the Chicago varieties. On mine, the font is very straight-edges, with a more 90-degree drop on the "T" and the "A" has flat serifs parallel to the baseline... a font almost indicative of a western-style font. Also, I'm now wondering if my badge was a mistake, or engraver's error, as it uses a single "G" in Konigratz, yet most of the others (so far) are Koniggratz (original spelling) or Koeniggratz. At any rate, I'm hoping that folks will submit pics of their Cerveny medallions with the idea that maybe we can pinpoint more accurately the manufacture date (if that's even possible).
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Simonetti 1900 EEb.jpg
Simonetti 1900 EEb.jpg (169.29 KiB) Viewed 1178 times
Mark's 1895.jpg
Mark's 1895.jpg (149.57 KiB) Viewed 1178 times
Eastman horn.jpg
My Cerveny abt. 1895
Eastman horn.jpg (246.39 KiB) Viewed 1178 times
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Re: Cerveny Tuba question

Postby bisontuba » Thu Mar 20, 2014 4:14 pm

Hi-
Very interesting to see the different maker's/importer's cartouche. With our horns both having Canton OH, and knowing Vitak was there 1891-1901, and having the 1893 Columbus marking on each, dating more precisely than 1894-1901 will be most difficult. Hence my approximate c. 1895.
Vince's horn is Chicago, Il, so it dates 1901-1930--much closer to the earlier date though IMHO.
Fascinating stuff.
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Re: Cerveny Tuba question

Postby butch » Thu Mar 20, 2014 4:31 pm

reastman1952 wrote:Also, I'm now wondering if my badge was a mistake, or engraver's error, as it uses a single "G" in Konigratz, yet most of the others (so far) are Koniggratz (original spelling) or Koeniggratz.


The spelling on your horn has to be a mistake, as the correct german name of that small town in Bohemia is "Königgrätz". Actually it should be "Königingrätz" because the town of "Grätz" became seat of the widow of two kings and the town was renamed to "Königingrätz" (Königin is Queen in german). But in the beginning of the 19th century it was shortened to "Königgrätz". By the time your tuba was built, Königgrätz belonged to the Austro-Hungarian empire.
(Sorry for the long and maybe annoying text, but I'm a historian. :oops: )

Regards Butch

PS: Maybe the misspelling is because your tuba is an early chinese clone of a Cerveny. :D :lol: :twisted:
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Re: Cerveny Tuba question

Postby butch » Thu Mar 20, 2014 4:43 pm

jonesmj wrote:With our horns both having Canton OH, and knowing Vitak was there 1891-1901, and having the 1893 Columbus marking on each, dating more precisely than 1894-1901 will be most difficult.


Victor R. Greene states in his book "A Passion for polka. Old-time Ethnic music in America" (page 55) that Louis Vitak opened his instrument retail business 1895 in Cincinnati.

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Re: Cerveny Tuba question

Postby bisontuba » Thu Mar 20, 2014 5:00 pm

butch wrote:
jonesmj wrote:With our horns both having Canton OH, and knowing Vitak was there 1891-1901, and having the 1893 Columbus marking on each, dating more precisely than 1894-1901 will be most difficult.


Victor R. Greene states in his book "A Passion for polka. Old-time Ethnic music in America" (page 55) that Louis Vitak opened his instrument retail business 1895 in Cincinnati.

Butch


Hi-
Interesting. I was going by Langwill. Vitak listed earlier in Canton as "buffer", "driller", in 1886 as music teacher; 1891-1901 as MI dealer, from 1901 in Chicago as agent (?sole agent) for V F Cerveny....no mention in Langwill re. Cinci....
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