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Trumpet/Martin Committee Trumpet

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Question
My grandfather left me a Martin Committee Trumpet which he made his living with by playing in bands during the 40s and 50s. He played in a number of the big band groups in the 30s and throughout WWII in the Boston area. I would like to know the age of this trumpet, the serial number is 170564. Also the approximate value, it is not in pristine shape and needs refinished. I also have the original trumpet case.

Thanks for your help,

Answer
The serial number implies manufacture in early 1949. While condition is always a factor, there is a significant faction of trumpet players who would pay a lot of money (comparatively speaking) for a Martin Committee trumpet. It is probably the most-sought and most-prized trumpet around at the moment.

The bore size is indicated by a number on the second valve casing. A 3 means it is a large bore, which commands a premium yet. Medium bore with a 2 or no number, and small bore with a 1.

Approximate value, unless this horn is dented and the valves worn out, probably a thousand or more. Large bore, add to that, perhaps $500. Undented with most of its lacquer, perhaps as much as $2000 or more.

Since you mention Boston area, I'll assume you're still there and recommend Osmun Music in Acton. There are a handful of trumpet technicians in the country that can restore your Martin to new, should you want that, and Jim Becker at Osmun is one of them. Restoration can cost as much as $1000, depending on what needs to be done, but in this case, it's worth it if you're going to keep it for a while. If you plan on selling it, then don't bother, let the buyer do that, as you won't make your money back.

I hope you enjoy playing your father's horn. Don't give it to the kids until they're out of high school!

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Thomas Krueger

Expertise

I can answer your questions about Buescher trumpets and cornets. I have been playing Buescher for 35 years and collecting for 7.

Experience

I first started playing my grandfather's Buescher 400 trumpet in 1975. Since then I have done a lot of research, including original catalogs and advertisements that I own, correspondence with other Buescher owners, and obtaining my own Buescher collection, including six trumpets and three cornets.

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I am a technical writer with 15 years experience. I have also been playing trumpet since 1975 and collecting Buescher for the past 7 years.

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