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.




58 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!!

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    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?

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    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?

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    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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