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Super fancy Conn 40K

Postby Kirley » Tue Jan 23, 2018 3:24 pm

I've never seen anything like it.
Top of the line engraving and strange pinkish finish (rose gold?).
Also, super cool 2-piece case.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-1920s- ... SwzRFaX--W
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Re: Super fancy Conn 40K

Postby humBell » Tue Jan 23, 2018 6:27 pm

A couple fancy looking mouthpieces as well. One of which is a Martin 33.
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Re: Super fancy Conn 40K

Postby bigtubby » Wed Jan 24, 2018 11:07 am

Check with your Banda friends about stolen sousaphone. :P
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Re: Super fancy Conn 40K

Postby Kirley » Wed Jan 24, 2018 11:46 am

bigtubby wrote:Check with your Banda friends about stolen sousaphone. :P


I think you’re mistaking the 40k in question with this 20k:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/253385571373
:D

I’m pretty sure the one I posted is genuine factory engraving from the 20s. It’s definitely some kind of “artiste” level horn. It has extra guard wires and fancier than normal valve caps and buttons. The bottom caps even have mother of pearl inlay.

I agree that the finish is quite unique. You can see where it has worn through that it’s silver plated underneath that pinkish color. I’m hoping one of the more educated members of TubeNet can weigh in on it.
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Re: Super fancy Conn 40K

Postby Donn » Wed Jan 24, 2018 1:24 pm

My guess:
  1. Gold plate. No, I've never seen gold that looked like that, but gold plate does go red in my experience, and what else could it be? The color is just like copper - the color of copper that's just been exposed to the air, and that wouldn't last a whole day, so it isn't copper. Some of the photos look more like normal gold color.
  2. The plating could be factory, but the engraving isn't. It looks like the engraving exposes the silver, so it was cut after the gold plate; I assume gold plate is normally applied after engraving, as it's a very thin corrosion resistant layer. And the work is just too wacky to be any kind of standard issue. Someone who knows engraving styles might be able to comment on the period time frame.
  3. My plain brass base model has the inserts in the bottom caps, so I suppose that's standard with the 40K.

Seems weird to me that it isn't getting any bids at $2500. I'd value my own 40K around there, and while it's a perfectly good player with remade pistons, there's no chance it could ever look as nice as this.

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Re: Super fancy Conn 40K

Postby the elephant » Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:01 pm

¡VIVA LA BANDA!
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Re: Super fancy Conn 40K

Postby Kirley » Wed Jan 24, 2018 3:38 pm

My plain silver 40k does not have the inserts in the bottom caps. It has the same "plain" setup as my 38k, also from the same early-mid 20s time period.

Donn, does your 40k have the additional guard wire that goes around the backside of the horn? Mine only has the one around the outer circumference. The Jumbos had 3 guard wires on those branches.

I'm definitely not arguing that this was a standard, off the shelf engraving job. But it still has the look of a factory job to me. The shots of the back of the bell, the usual location for engraving, is the most intricate I've seen on a sousaphone (besides that crazy 50th anniversary Jumbo). I love the flapper girl. I'd take her over the "naked lady" any day. :)
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Re: Super fancy Conn 40K

Postby Donn » Wed Jan 24, 2018 4:12 pm

Kirley wrote:Donn, does your 40k have the additional guard wire that goes around the backside of the horn?


Yes. Mine's serial number is 239xxx, this one is 234xxx.

I forgot to mention, the shoulder rest is not factory. Obviously. The 40K has a slightly contoured shoulder rest plate. Some padding or something has been attached to this one, maybe to the original plate or maybe not. I find the original pretty comfortable, as long as there isn't a significant wrinkle or seam under the rest.
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Re: Super fancy Conn 40K

Postby Kirley » Wed Jan 24, 2018 5:21 pm

Interesting.
My 40k is 189xxx. And my 38k is 217xxx. 1921 & 1924, respectively.
Maybe they switched to those things after 1924?
Agreed on the shoulder pad. I don't mind the plate.
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Re: Super fancy Conn 40K

Postby Donn » Wed Jan 24, 2018 6:19 pm

Here are some of the photos with the color rebalanced. +25 red and green, -25 blue.
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Re: Super fancy Conn 40K

Postby Kirley » Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:03 pm

One bid. $2500.
Seems like a great deal but you never know with eBay.
The local pickup in Denver had quite the cooling effect.

Interesting, Donn. Maybe it’s just “regular” gold plated after all.
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Re: Super fancy Conn 40K

Postby TUbajohn20J » Thu Jan 25, 2018 2:00 am

Looks to be one of the original engravings similar to the 50th anniversary sousaphone and I have seen similar ones on the saxes and cornets. I would say this horn is factory engraved. Conn did have some master engravers and they did show them off from time to time especially on their special edition horns. My guess is this horn was made for a certain occasion or player who had it ordered that way. My 40K is from 1921 but has the 24" bell instead of the 26". Mine also has the 2 long guards on the back side of the body just like this one. Mine does NOT have the pearl on the bottom valve caps though. Mine has metal top valve caps instead of the pearl caps. Image
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Re: Super fancy Conn 40K

Postby TubaDave88 » Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:19 pm

Did anyone here buy this horn? Sadly, I missed the auction and really would have liked to bid on it. I'm pretty sure this horn was ordered by a dance band musician in the 1920s - I've seen old photos of dance bands with sousaphones that were all engraved, especially the inside of the bell.
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