Oboe/Corton oboe



Recently rooting through my attic preparing for university coming, and stumbled across my first oboe, which I'm doing some research on before I sell it. Could you help me decide a selling price?
It says:
on the bell of the instrument, with the serial number 3543.
It's definitely a beginner oboe, the tone isn't the best but it seems in decent quality in general and it has a thumbplate system. I'm also pretty sure it's wood as I can see a knot pattern on the bell, although covered in black plastic/paint. Unfortunately I have no idea how old it is.
I also bought it previously with a case - should I include that free of charge or add extra?
This is all very new to me I'm afraid, any advice would be much appreciated!

Dear Emma

Your oboe with "Corton" stamped on it was almost certainly made by the Czech company Amati for British retailers. Could have been for Bill Lewington who used to trade from premises in Shaftesbury Avenue. I would estimate that the date is from about 1960.

The company was just over the German border in former Czechoslovakia and after the second world war became Nationalised. The concern was large and made all manner of band instruments. The name is now associated mainly with bassoon making and the standard is up there with the best - nowadays!
After the war things were different. Some instruments were not particularly good and at best variable. The oboes were OK for student use and made of wood, with key work considered to be a little soft and not easily repaired.
The brand name Corton was used for a variety of band instruments. Brass, saxophones and various woodwind instruments.

Yes you would sell the oboe with a case. That is usual practise. I think that if the instrument plays well it should fetch about 250 - 300.

I hope this helps you a little.



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Geoffrey Bridge


Professional oboist with many years experience. Former pupil of Leon Goossens. Solo artist for Arts Council of Great Britain. Freelance recitalist/broadcasting/orchestras. Former Head of woodwind teaching in Hampshire, England. Questions on repertoire, playing styles, reeds, cane selection and processing.


St Andrews University Royal College of Music, Aberdeen College of Education Licenciate of the Royal Academy of Music General Teaching Council certificate Broadcast solo recitals/performed with major symphony orchestras/Music Club recitals/writings on double reed matters

Chairman and Trustee of the British Double Reed Society International Double Reed Society Association Hautbois Francais Orchestral Manager of Southern Pro Musica Orchestra/Aberdeen Sinfonietta

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