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Hawkes & Son • no. 34861 • c1915

While I have heard of other Hawkes pocket cornets, this is the first one that I’ve actually seen.  It arrived in excellent original condition and only required minor dent removal and polishing. This was due, in no small measure, to the fact that the last owner (a professinal bandsman) had possessed it for nearly 50 years. Designed to play in Bb or A (high and low pitch), it has the typical long “A” mouthpiece shank, but also has a Bb/A rotary valve tuning slide – the first I’ve seen on a pocket cornet.

This model is very closely patterned after the Boosey Bb design, which was apparently a Distin design which Boosey adopted after the Distin buyout. The Distin, Philadelphia catalog of 1877 shows it as the “Model 23”, and claims that Henry originally designed it in 1867.

Note the wonderful original leather case.  Due to the low production numbers or additional “compactness”, many pockets were sold with leather satchel cases (instead of hard shell cases).  Comparatively few of these cases have survived.

Bell Inscription:

Denman Street
Piccadilly Circus

Length (shank removed): 8.125”

Bell Diameter: 3.75”

Bore: .455

Note the obvious lineage. The Henry Distin Model 23 Pocket cornet, as shown in the Distin (Philadelphia) catalog of 1887. Note the caption’s claim that the design dates back to 1867.

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