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A. Lecomte & Cie

Hear me play this instrument on

About the maker:

This is a Cornopean made by A. Lecomte & Cie from Paris, between 1875 - 1890.
The Cornopean was a predecessor of the Cornet á Pistons and had a different type of valves, the Stölzel valve system, invented in 1814 by Heinrich Stölzel. After the invention of the modern piston valve in 1838 by François Périnet, both systems coexisted for more than 50 years but eventually the Stölzel valve system became obsolete.
Because of this early valve system, there is some historical significance to the Cornopean, so I wanted one for my collection for a long time. However, they are quite rare and asking prices are usually well above my budget, even for damaged or incomplete instruments.
This one was missing the main tuning slide and two finger buttons, the bell had a large crease in it and there were some smaller dents in the tubing, but as it was offered together with two other items without a fixed asking price, I knew I had to go for it and see what could be done with it.
I made a makeshift tuning slide and after taping the leaks it is playable, though the valves are not very airtight so it does not sound great.

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