Antique Musical Instruments/Horn ID
QUESTION: I recently bought a horn of some kind, and I would like help identifying it. My father was a band director and specialized in horns. He doesn't know what this horn is. When he played it, he said it sounded like an E flat instead of B flat (I think). Can you tell what year this was made? Type of horn? Marked: Champion of Chicago Silver. Piston.
ANSWER: It is sometimes hard to tell from a picture the size and dimensions of a horn. It does look like a Bb cornet, but if it is smaller than a typical cornet, it could be an Eb cornet, though it really doesn't look like one. And, if it is larger than a typical cornet, it could be a Solo Alto. It also appears to be designed to shift pitches - and typically they are C/Bb/A. And there is the possibility that it was designed to play either in high pitch or low pitch. The extra pieces are there to accommodate those pitch changes.
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QUESTION: Do you know when these horns were made? Is there a collector's market for these horns? Bare they rare?
It has going for it the fact that you have the extra pieces and the case. It would be worth the least if it is a Bb Cornet. The Champion Silver Piston was an import brand by Lyon and Healy, and they were considered economy instruments. This horn was likely made in the 1890s-early 1900s.