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King Silver Sonic Cornet from 1950's

This is a King Silver Sonic Cornet that was manufactured by the H.N. White Company of Cleveland, OH in the mid-1950's. Yes, this is from back when things were made in the good ol' USA! While I'm not a cornet player, I used to play an old HN White King Super 20 saxophone back in high school. I became a big fan as they are more than just musical instruments; they are pieces of art. While most of their products were constructed mostly of brass, what set some of their professional horns apart was that their bells were constructed of solid sterling silver and adorned with floral engraving. The use of silver in King cornets and trumpets has its roots back to the mid-1920's and a number of King employees went on to form their own companies specializing in brasswinds that become famous for their use of these materials. For example, the Reynolds Instrument Company has its roots with HN White.

Technically, I believe this model was called the 1065-S according to a 1953 edition of the King Musical Instruments catalog:



The serial number is in the 351,000 range which dates it to 1955-60 according to production figures posted. However, I've always wondered if these figures might be a couple of years off as I've had other horns from original owners that will say they bought "this" in 1960 for instance while the production figures suggest 1962 or 1963. Stylistically, this cornet looks a lot more like something produced from the 1950-55 timeframe as the tops of the valves are still octagonal and the Art Deco era stepped layers on the lead pipe. Furthermore, it appears to match up perfectly to the cornet illustrated in the aforementioned 1953 catalog.

Perhaps one of the most famous jazz artists to play a Silver Sonic 1065-S was Nat Adderley while his brother "Cannonball Adderley" played a King Silver Sonic Super 20 alto saxophone alongside Miles Davis and John Coltrane!

Overall, this horn appears to be in good condition and is still showing about 90% of its original lacquer over the brass and silver. There is some freckling in the lacquer on the silver along with normal wear and tear from the past 60+ years. There are no dents or signs of repair work. Comes with an old BACH mouthpiece. There is no case with the horn.

Item# 1877




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