Posts Tagged ‘blessing super artist’

Well, I lucked upon yet another great example of a Blessing Super Artist cornet about a month ago (being so close to the US is great for horns!)

Blessing_SAC_01

This horn has really got me stumped though – The serial number and my research just don’t add up.

The serial on the horn is the lowest I have seen on a Blessing instrument to date – Serial #1101 – that would put this horn in the very earliest years of Blessing Instrument Manufacture – which dates back to 1906.

Now according to some webpages between 1906 and 1935 some 28,000 instruments were produced. I am doubtful that this horn was produced earlier than 1930’s though as the decorative bell work seems consistent to the late 20’s early 30’s horns I have come across.

I emailed Blessing themselves hoping that they might have some records – but no luck.

Official response:

“Your cornet has to be from the early beginning of Blessings. 

Unfortunately early records were all kept by hand and not on the computer. 

Serial number with 28,000 are from the period of 1935.  

Your horn has to be before this period.  Blessing’s was started in 1906.  Unfortunately I do not know where your horn would be from 1906 to 1935.”

Hence I draw the conclusion that they restarted the serial numbers somewhere perhaps with a new model line.

I’m picking 1930-32 but that’s a real stab in the dark.

The funny thing is for a 80+ year old horn this thing stills plays great and just like one of the later models that are so sought after. Another gem uncovered from the Trumpetgear crew…

Here’s some images for people to compare/enjoy:

Blessing_SAC_03Blessing_SAC_06Blessing_SAC_05

Blessing_SAC_04

If you’re anything like me – you probably have a number of horns sitting in your closet/cupboard at any one time. Lately the collection has been explanding though as I keep discovering a number of great instruments from the past that are build solid, and sound great.

A couple of horns have always been on my ‘want to play’ list since I started listening to jazz trumpet players about 10-15 years ago.

Namely the Blessing Artist series trumpets that were made famous by their association with Clifford Brown back in the 50’s.

(Blessing Super Artist Cornet from the late 1940’s pictured below)

Being in Canada these days certainly has it’s advantages as I have access to a who plethora of instruments from across the border – so when I spied a couple of these horns for a reasonable price I just had to get them for a test run.

Of course to do the ultimate test I required as standard series Artist and the Super Artist.

Luckliy enough I happened upon both within the space of a week and bought both for ‘comparative purposes’

Both the horns I got – were bought for a fraction of what they should go for – it seems that everyone is after the trumpet versions today (especially Committee trumpets) and has forgotten what an absolute bargain some of these horns can be had for if you look around and do your research (and due diligence of several days of sifting over endless internet pages)

These horns are both great – and great value to boot.

Now, just to be clear I am talking about the pre 50’s versions of these instruments – they are easily spotted by the mico-tuner ring at the bottom of the main tuning slide.

Most have the underslung 3rd valve ring also. If you are looking to pick up one of these horns – these are the ones to go for!! Be wary of this as there are a lot of much later produced horns under the same name that are IMO no where near as good as these older versions.

The major difference between the two at surface value is the addition of the Nickel Plated slides on the Super Artist vs. the all Brass of the Artist.

What the nickel slides seem to do from a playing perspective is to allow for a more solid tone and core to the sound – and the notes slot noticeably easier on the Super for me. The sound is also a lot fuller on the Super and the projection seems to be better.

Having said that, if it’s smokey and intimate you are after with a noticeable warm edge to the sound then the Artist is a great choice.

A lot of people love the all brass versions of these horns, and I can see why. One top of the advantages in price (usually at least half the price of the Super) you get a whole lot of horn for your investment.

Both of these horns seem to be some-what mouthpiece sensitive – so be prepared to spend some tiem dialing in the sound with a properly matched mouthpiece shank (far too many people write off good horns without looking at this area and the valve alignments)

So that puts it totally down to personal preference about what you are looking for out of these horns. If it’s a more all-round horn you are looking for perhaps the Super Artist is the way to go. If it’s jazz and Dixie style horn you are after see if you can track down an original Artist.

Better yet – save up a few pennies and get both! – It will probably cost you less than a new intermediate horn from a major manufacturer and give you years of service, and when you are done you might even get more than what you paid for it back.