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French Horn/F. E. Olds Serial Number


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I'm having some difficulty trying to date what I believe is an Olds double French horn. It is yellow brass and has a 58505 serial number. I wasn't sure of the make given lacquer wear, but I had a certified master craftsman confirm it to be an Olds. I looked up serial numbers on the musictrader website and figured it to be 1965 but later discovered I had mistakenly added an extra digit. So this appears to be prior to 1952 and I wonder if this is correct. I'm having difficulty nailing down more information.

I've attached some images. Do you have any thoughts on the make and what it might be worth? The craftsman I mentioned thought it to be from the 50's to 60's and worth around $600. It's had some resoldering done on it, but the brass itself is in good shape (minus the expected lacquer wear). Thank you so much for your help.

Hi, it does look as if it could be an Olds, although I would expect the bell to be quite clearly engraved. They used the same basic layout (wrap) as the Conn 6D.

As you say, the serial dates it to 1951 and I can't see any reason why not. I'd say $600 to $750 depending on the condition of the valves. If they're quite tight it should be a good horn. If you pull out or push back in a valve slide without pressing the relevant valve, and listen in the bell to the hissing sound, seeing how long it lasts for gives you an idea of the valve compression. If you don't hear anything then it's got very poor compression, if it lasts a few seconds it's quite good.

Hope this helps


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Alan Jones


Can answer just about anything on playing the horn, repertoire, buying instruments, repairs, care and maintenance


25 years of professional playing and teaching in the UK


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