Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Besson (Boosey and Hawkes) Serial Number List 1974-2002

This chart is primarily intended to help with the identification of Sovereign Cornets but will help with Identifying other Boosey and Hawkes made brass instruments.

Serial numbers are in the format 928-817061.

The first part represents the model number (in this case 928 which is a cornet) and the second part the consecutive serial number which you can look up in this list taken from a document compiled by the Horniman Museum:


Year     Start        End
1974 560000 569517
1975 567737 583312
1976 578306 601352
1977 591769 623413
1978 612344 641318
1979 624239 653623
1980 637772 667268
1981 647826 679500
1982 666619 691319
1983 691320 709999
1984 700510 724054
1985 716470 737749
1986 737750 unknown*
1987 unknown* unknown*
1988 unknown* 765125
1989 762522 773114
1990 771972 784856
1991 782271 791785
1992 789702 800024
1993 799610 808444
1994 807947 817773
1995 817061 829673
1996 829373 841892
1997 841677 854404
1998 851390 866712
1999 862689 876718
2000 873832 885438
2001 884565 889618
2002 887436 890008

* The factory serial number books for 1986-1988 have been lost.

The reason for ranges overlapping the years is that serial numbers were assigned when instruments were ordered by dealers and before manufacturing.




82 comments:

  1. Hello

    I have a Oxford boosey and hawkes cornet with serial number #220809 and I can't find a date on it and I would also like to know the price.
    Thanks

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  2. 1956
    Value is hard to say. Depend on condition £100 or so maybe?

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  3. B&H instruments having a town name like Oxford, Stratford, Westminster were all student level instruments. they all go for less than £100 on UK Ebay. I bought my Westminster flugelhorn for £75 for instance.

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  4. Greetings!
    I have a Besson cornet with the 487885 serial number. Can anyone help me , because i dont find the date and i would like ti know how expensive it is.
    Thnak you very much!

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  5. That sounds like a Besson, France, serial number. These are Besson England ones.

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  6. I have a globe stamp sovereign cornet serial 538942
    According to the lists of serial no's the numbers started in 1974 with 560000 is it possible to find the history and approx value of this instrument
    Thanks Willie (Perth)

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  7. Hello Boss, you should have asked me on Saturday.

    How this anomaly happened was that the serial numbers were assigned when the instruments were ordered - not when they were made, so this will likely date from 1974. Some dealers were assigned lots of numbers in the ledgers at the factory.

    If its a large bore its worth at least £600 in good condition. If it is medium bore it might be a little less. I have seen the large bore ones sell for up to £800 recently.

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    Replies
    1. Hi! I have a 550104 besson 2-20, i don't fine the exactly year of fabrication! Can you help me please?

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  8. Hi Gordon. I have a B&H 921 Sovreign cornet (Globe engraving) which I bought for my son about 20 years ago. According to the s/n it is from 1983/4. It was very tatty so I've just had it serviced and relaquared by Mick Rath. It is now visually and mechanically near perfect. Even I think it blows well and I'm a trombonist! Have you an idea of value and do you know of anybody who might be interested?

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  9. Sovereign round stamp A00477 serial number - how old is this as lists don't seem to give me a straight answer. ☺

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  10. the 1956 Cornet mentioned by Brando was likely manufactured in High Pitch and would have HP stamped on the underside of the bell above the serial number. In my mind this really depreciates the value of the instrument because it does not match the pitch of instruments manufactured today.

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  11. Hello Gordon,

    I have a Besson 2-20 that was made in England. The bell stamp includes the "50 years of honour" stamp. Its in fair condition with only a few small dents and scratches. The serial number is 461956. From my research I gathered it is from the year 1969 but I was hoping you could give me more information as well as an approximate value.

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  12. Hi Gordon,

    I am considering a round logo B&H cornet serial number 924-685389. I read that as a model 924 manufactured in 1982. I was under the impression that the models jumped from 921 to 928. What is a model 924 and what is it worth? You comments and advice would be very much appreciated.

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    Replies
    1. That can't be correct. As far as I know model 924 is an Eb soprano cornet - the newer model made only in the past few years. Possibly 924 was used for a previous model but I have never seen that number in that context.

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    2. Very strange indeed. Here is the Ebay listing as a model 924 Bb cornet. http://www.ebay.com/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&Item=181776936423

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    3. Thanks for that. Very interesting as it definitley says 924 but looks exactly like a 922. Not sure the history of this at all.

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  13. Hello there. I just bought my first trombone marked FB Besson England International with a serial number of 496641. I haven't had any luck identifying it other than it might be from 1971. If so this would be a nice coincidence as that is the year I was born. Are you able to help confirm or suggest a more accurate year? Thanks in hope! Ingrid

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    Replies
    1. Hello there, The records held by the Horniman Museum are showing that as 1979, which to my mind looks late for a trombone marked FB Besson, but they did use this mark for export models.

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    2. How interesting! Many thanks for your help. I wonder where it has been in its lifetime? Well now it will spend a number of years in Liverpool.

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  14. Hi there,

    I have a Besson Silver Cornet which is marked 'FB Made by Besson England International'. The serial number is 540119.

    I have looked to try and identify the model and date it was made but I can't seem to locate it anyway. Can anyone help? Thanks!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Neil,
      According to the Horniman Museum this instrument was built between 1970 and 1974. Unfortunately the serial number list is incomplete between those dates. As we know how many they made per year you can approximate so I would say this was late 72 or early 73.

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    2. Hi Gordon,

      Thanks very much for the information, I really appreciate it.

      Neil

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  15. Hi. I have a Lafluer imported by Boosey and hawkes london with a serial number 079974 can you help and tell me the date? it doesn't look in good shape and I don't play...is it worth holding on to or is it better off going to the carboot?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those are student level instruments made for Boosey and Hawkes in eastern europe. Have a look at prices on Ebay. The Corton range are the same instruments. Click here to see a list of ones that have sold on Ebay recently: http://gh.cm/1Y5Of8h

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    2. Thank you for sharing your knowledge, I'll go take a peek now ;)

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  16. Hi.
    First of all I'd like to say thank you for putting this list up.

    I'm currently in possession of an old Boosey and Hawkes cornet. I'm wondering if you know anything about the 675775 model?

    Thanks!

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  17. Hi,
    I own a Lafleur Boosey and Hawkes Cornet that I'm trying to sell, although I know nothing of the value. I was wondering if anyone could help? it has the serial number 754832

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  18. I have been searching for information on a Besson Brevete model with '50 Medals of Honour' stamped on the bell. It also says 'Made in England' with serial #239461. Everthing I can find says 1957-1958 approx date of manufacture and it was distributed by Boosey &Hawkes at that time.

    This trumpet is in very good condition and was refurbished a few years ago and hasn't been used since.

    Any direction you can point me in as far as value for this instrument?

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  19. Needing the year on my besson Stratford crnet serial number 227943 if anyone could please help. Thanku

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  20. Needing the year on my besson Stratford crnet serial number 227943 if anyone could please help. Thanku

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  21. I have a Besson trumpet stamped 609. It has nothing but the logo and BESSON stamped near the bell. It has an odd serial number on the back of the #2 valve A00022 (unlike any Besson serial numbers I've ever seen). I'm guessing it to be 14 or 15 years old, but new in the original box and hard case. The box is labeled with London beneath the word Besson and Boosey & Hawkes below that. The Kanstul person said she didn't recognize the serial number as one of theirs. I know some were made in India, but they didn't come in hard cases. I'm trying to find out if any were made in London and if so, when?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Some of the 609s were made in the Boosey and Hawkes factory in India. This sounds like one of those.

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  22. Speaking with the Buffet rep for my area, he didn't think it was from the Indian factory (mostly due to the fact that it's in the original hard case (apparently, the India plant does not use the hard cases) and box.

    Are you of the opinion that no 609s were made in London? --Thanks so much for your help, much appreciated.

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  23. I have a soveriegn large bore very good condtion wanting to sell what should I be asking for it serial no 665270

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  24. I have a sovereign besson trombone
    Model# BE940-858414. Very good condition.
    What should I be asking and what year is it from?

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  26. Hi I have A flute with serial number 454373. Can anyone tell me what year it could be and an approximate price for it please?

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  27. I have a Besson trombone 383208 looking for any info on these

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  28. hello everyone, im Zul from Malaysia. I have B&H Besson Sovereugn Bass Trombone with serial number; BE943-882443. hope anyone can help me define this models and price i it.

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  29. I have a besson Sovereign Cornet serial number BE928-112369 and just wondered what year it was manufactured and what it would be worth in pristine condition. thanks

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    Replies
    1. Hello, that serial number is one digit too short which might be due to an error in the factory. As far as price goes it depends on age and condition. I have seen older 928s selling for £700 recently and one that was two years old sell for £1400. Could the first digit be a 7?

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    2. Hi Gordon, the serial number is as shown on the bell of the sovereign cornet BE928-112369 and there are only six digits not seven.

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    3. Hi, I also have a Besson (Boosey & Hawkes)sovereign Cornet and it's serial number is BE 923-736122 could you please tell me the date of manufacture on this one too please. Thanks

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    4. BE 923-736122
      1985 Medium Bore Sovereign, one of the last of this model that was manufactured.

      BE928-112369
      This is a mystery as model 928 came out in 1984 but that serial number is from 1955. There are two possibilities:
      1. It has been wrongly stamped (most likely)
      2. That serial number was on the books for some dealer or military order from 1955 that they only caught up with in 1984. (highly unlikely, but as the serial numbers relate to the order date, not the maufacture date anything is possible).

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    5. Hi Gordon, thanks for you looking up the info for me. one thing I would find wrong is that did the sovereign BE928 that were made in 1955 or prior to 1984 have the triggers on the first and third slides, I just don't know and as you say there is something wrong just wished I knew. I think I'll get in contact with the Besson manufacturer and ask them if that number is correct and when it was released. anyway thanks for your help. respect.

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    6. Hi Gordon, thanks for all this great information. I wish to sell my Sovereign Cornet by Boosey and Hawkes, serial number 575195, and in excellent condition. From your messages above I take it is a 921 large bore, manufactured in 1975. Any thoughts what it may be worth? I live in Melbourne, Australia. Many thanks, Gerhard

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    7. Hello Henna,
      What I meant was that a 928 can be no older than 1984. It could not be from 1955, so the serial number must be wrong. Boosey and Hawkes did not have a set of serial numbers they stamped on sequentially. They had ranges assigned to specific orders from dealers or military contracts. This is why you can sometimes get a 928 (must have been made post 1984) with a 1982 serial number on it. I can't believe they would have gone back to 1955 numbers though which is why it is more likely they mis stamped the number. The 928 has two trigger levers on the first and third valve slide.

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    8. Hello Gerhard,
      10 years ago I went to Phil Parkers to buy a used cornet for my son. They had a cupboard stuffed with 921 cornets and I chose one. They were £300 each. Since then the price has risen and risen. In good condition the minimum would be £600. I have seen them go for up to £900 recently if they are exceptional. As you live in AUstralia it may be worth more as new Sovereigns are a lot more expensive there than Yamaha's etc. Over here they are about the same price new.

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    9. Thanks for the quick response, Gordon. I haven't been in touch with the market for many years so your comments are a great reference. Thanks from down under :) Gerhard

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    10. Hi Gordon, you were correct the serial number on the cornet is a digit short. I checked the Besson certificate signed by Mr Webster and it is BE928-2112369 not 112369. when I looked at the certificate you can see how they have made the error as it is printe top line BE928-2 then under 112369 so there have missed the 2. does this help to solve the mystery and give me a date.

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    11. That is a very recent instrument and not on this list. If it is made in England then it is pre 2007, if it is post 2007 it will have Made in Francee or Made in Germany stamped on it. Incidentally I think they might have stopped the signed certificates as my recent Prestige cornet did not have one.

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    12. Gordon, thank you for your help and if I have anymore questions I know who to ask.

      regards

      Harry.

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    13. Hi Gordon it has made in France on the underside of the lead pipe. so must be post 2007.
      cheers

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  31. I have a booset & hawkes saxophone 321874 jus wondering about price

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  32. @hennahills. Your serial number of 112369 is correct. The '11' refers to the year of manufacture, 2011.

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  33. Hi, could you please help me date these instruments:
    Besson London 600 cornet 622-715908 and
    Besson London 600 cornet 622-828058
    What would be their current value?

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    Replies
    1. 1984 and 1995. You can see this easily in the serial number list that makes up this list. These seem to be selling for around the £300 mark.

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  34. Hi Can you help me? I am selling a Sovereign Cornet for a friend. It's a 927, serial # 901447. Any idea about age or value. I'm assuming it's a medium bore as the 928 was the large bore. As my cornets are all old Boosey globe stamps, I have no idea about the value of the new Besson models. Thanks

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    1. That is a medium bore cornet. The price really depends on what people are willing to pay for it. I see them sell for £600 to £700 depending on condition and age. The large bore ones tend to sell better and can get a higher price, but depends on the buyer and how aware they are of the difference.

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  35. Hi i have a Westminster besson cornet with the numbers hp379126 on it i have no info about other than whats on it, any info would be much appreciated please

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    Replies
    1. 1971-72 although that is very late for a high pitch cornet (which this appears to be). The Westminster was an intermediate range between Imperial and Regent.

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  36. Thank you for the information, do you have any idea on the value of it as am lookimg to sell

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  37. Hi I have a Besson Trumpet, I don't know the model (other than the end of the horn says Besson and has the brand stamp), but the serial number is 390898. It has Green felt pads, the keys have no caps they are just a silver colour and the valve casing are numbered (1-2-3). Its mouthpiece is stamped 3c with no other markings. I would greatly appreciate it if you can tell me more about this trumpet and possibly its value.

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  38. Hi Gordon, I have a Besson International corner with serial number 527328, Silver plated. Looking for approximate year and rough value. Cheers, Ben

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    Replies
    1. Hello Ben,
      I think that is from around 1972. These used to be quite sought after instruments. At the time Boosey and Hawkes made Besson and B&H instruments that were basically identical but in different factories so you had the B&H Imperial / Besson Class A range. Then they brought out a better quality Besson International range which was not mirrored into Boosey & Hawkes. They discontinued it in 74 when they brought out the Sovereign but it was based on the International. Price wise it is hard to say as they are rare-ish. It would depend who wanted it. IMperials are selling for around £200, Sovereigns for £600+ so maybe somewhere in between depending on condition.

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    2. That's fantastic, thank for getting back to me so quickly

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  39. Hello
    I got a trumpet form my nan the other day and not sure when ot was made and the worth. I have been told different things:
    1900-1945 for dates
    Or 1970-80
    Or up to £1500
    I have been told it might have been made to bee like a cornet but has been modified for a trumpet mouth piece.

    It has a number on the second valve: 125506
    Not sure of it is the serial number..

    It's in great condition.
    It is an Besson and Co prototype class a with very little damage. Please see if there is any info you can find out.
    Thanks

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  40. Hi we received a trombone from my partners gran it's in immaculate condition just needs a polish it has all it's bits and pieces just a couple of scratches on the box and it's serial number I believe is 274209 boosey and hawks. Any help of year and worth would be great. Thanks

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  42. Hi Gordon, I wonder if you can help me with a manufacture date and approximate value of a Boosey & Hawkes Sovereign tenor horn with the serial number 644314? I'm struggling to find info online and seems like you may be able to help. Many thanks, Laura.

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    Replies
    1. If you look at my list you will see that it is from 1980:

      1980 637772 667268

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  43. Ah apologies I thought the list was cornet exclusive! Thank you. Do you know a rough value? The horn was passed on to me but I am a trumpet player so am thinking of selling, no idea what kind of price it could sell for.

    Best wishes

    Laura.

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    Replies
    1. Sorry, I don't, but like anything it is worth what someone is willing to pay at the time. You could try looking through closed auctions on Ebay for sovereign tenor horns or look at the prices dealers are charging for them. I know the person who designed this horn. He used parts they already made for other instruments. The bell came from a bass trombone model they made at that time.

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  44. Hi, I have been lucky enough to pick up an old roundstamp at auction. It is in very good condition and the serial number is 632504 it has the elongated side ways water key. Can you help with information, year and rough value please? Many thanks. Todd

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    Replies
    1. According to the list above, 1979. These sell for about £600-£800 normally.

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  45. Hi everyone! I have Westminster besson London flute. Serial number is 339878. Year and price(now?) Note: the flute looks brand new and bright like the first day.

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  46. Hi I have a besson sovereign that was left to me. Not sure how old as serial number is not on your list 923-716716.could you help please and what would value be many thanks

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    Replies
    1. This is from 1984. It is a medium bore instrument, but the redesigned second version. Prices vary. I would guess £600 or so depending on condition.

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