French Horn/FE Olds French Horn
QUESTION: Hi - I am not a brass player or expert but run a music shop in Whitby. I've been asked to value and sell a French Horn by a family, who have no information about its history. I believe it's a Bb single horn and from what I have read I think it may be made late 60's/early 70's. It says Ambassador, made by F E Olds, Los Angeles, Calif, and there's a serial number of 74598.
I would think it was a school instrument, the bell has some rough engraving "Richfield 8", and it was in a Conn case, stamped High School Band, Fairmont Minn.
The mouthpiece is a Holton Farkas MDC.
There is wear and what may be a repair where the left hand goes, as you'll see in the picture.
I can't think of or see anything else to tell you but would be really grateful for your advice. I can provide a further picture of the Ambassador/FE Olds engraving if required.
ANSWER: Hi, it's a single F horn rather than a Bb horn. If it's really only a 5-digit serial then it's older, for 74598 the published serial lists would say 1952. Late 60s/early 70s would be in the 700000s. The lists aren't very comprehensive or definitively accurate though.
These are actually very good instruments like most Olds brass. As long as it blows ok it's a very suitable horn for a slightly older or larger beginner who needs a full size rather than a mini horn, but as the cosmetic condition isn't great the price would probably only be in the £150-200 range. On Ebay I've bought several F singles (including one very like this) for under £100.
Hope this helps
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QUESTION: Thanks for the speedy response. I'm interested you said it's an F - the only reason I thought Bb was that I found what looked to be Bb engraved somewhere on it ... I can't remember where now and I won't be back in the shop till Thursday but will look again. I seem to think it may have been on one of the slides - could it be that it was a replacement or something? Would they be the same size I wonder? I'll look closely and try to get a picture.
Really appreciate the info which I will pass on when I'm back in.
Definitely an F horn, all slides are the correct ones and look original...
which is an F single
and you'll see how much shorter the valve slides are on a Bb single.