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Kildonon
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King Piston Valve French Horn?
Feb 1st, 2018 at 9:26pm
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Hello, I just purchased this horn by auction and I am trying to identify it. It looks identical to the Cleveland Brand #620, but it is stamped 'King'. I cannot find this particular horn listed in any of the catalogs I was able to find online. Any help?  Thanks! (P.S. Not a mellophone, plays with the left hand and pistons are angled). I would add a picture, but can't figure out how. The Serial # is 260276, but I haven't found a model number on the horn itself and it came with nothing, not even a case. It is silver.
  
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pryorphone
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Re: King Piston Valve French Horn?
Reply #1 - Feb 2nd, 2018 at 1:01am
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A King serial number list brings up 1941.  Assuming your horn is in the same octave F as the "French" horn... the American forces used piston horns during that time to avoid instruments that had European rotary valves.  Sounds like this is one of them...
  

Michael Keller
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Kildonon
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Re: King Piston Valve French Horn?
Reply #2 - Feb 19th, 2018 at 4:35pm
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The only problem I have with using the "king" serial numbers, is that according to the H.N. White company, they never made french horns. Although, they did purchase the Cleveland brand of instruments and Cleveland did make french horns.  Undecided
  
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pryorphone
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Re: King Piston Valve French Horn?
Reply #3 - Feb 19th, 2018 at 4:47pm
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Understood.  But Government contracting led to some odd ducks.

Here is a Conn piston valve horn said to be made in 1952...
  

Michael Keller
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Re: King Piston Valve French Horn?
Reply #4 - Feb 23rd, 2018 at 1:00pm
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Kildonon wrote on Feb 19th, 2018 at 4:35pm:
The only problem I have with using the "king" serial numbers, is that according to the H.N. White company, they never made french horns. Although, they did purchase the Cleveland brand of instruments and Cleveland did make french horns.  Undecided


I'm curious about your comment, I find on the HN White site this introduction to French Horns: 

The first H. N. White French Horn entered production in 1923 or 1924, first showing up in the King 1924 catalog as the 1154 Model with both a Single and Double available. As the popularity of French Horns grew H. N White developed and refined his production techniques to equal that of European manufacturers. After about five years of refinements, the King French horn of the late 1920's was the first French Horn produced in the United States to be recognized as equal to those made in Europe

Am I misinterpreting something here?
  
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Kildonon
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Re: King Piston Valve French Horn?
Reply #5 - Jul 27th, 2018 at 2:36pm
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Sorry, I wasn't specific enough. King/H.N. White has no record of making piston valve french horns. Not that I have been able to find, including contacting the relative via email.
  
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Re: King Piston Valve French Horn?
Reply #6 - Jul 27th, 2018 at 8:08pm
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To reaffirm what Pryorphone said, the government would at times specify the configuration they wanted, and on occasion, the spec was something the makers would provide by special order only.
  
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Kildonon
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Re: King Piston Valve French Horn?
Reply #7 - Jul 29th, 2018 at 12:28am
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I gave the horn a thorough bath last night and I found what I believe is a date printed on the tuning slide. 1931.
  
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phredless
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Re: King Piston Valve French Horn?
Reply #8 - Jul 30th, 2018 at 12:40am
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I once got to play on an old king piston horn that came to the public school system from a nearby closing naval station.  The schools paid almost nothing for most of the instruments, while the really fine ones were purchased by a local music store.  Anyways, I was already on to double horns at that time, but got to help clean the "new" stuff during the summer.  I remember all the military order instruments being very nice, although who can tell, I was in high school?  But there were a lot of strange configurations, even on tubas and some smaller marching instruments I could not identify.  Give it a try, it should be a blast.
  
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