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Q: More info on my trumpet ( No Answer,   1 Comment )
Subject: More info on my trumpet
Category: Arts and Entertainment > Performing Arts
Asked by: bconger-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 16 May 2006 20:18 PDT
Expires: 15 Jun 2006 20:18 PDT
Question ID: 729607
I have an F. Besson Bb trumpet and would love some more information on
it (when it was made, how many were made, how much it is worth).  It
is silver plated and has a ring on the third valve slide and a
U-shaped thumb holder on the first valve slide.  The valve caps are
silver with no inlays.  Two areas have text markings: the second valve
has "4653" above a circle with "F. Besson Kanstul" in it.  The top of
the bell has a lot of text, including: "F. Besson, Brevete, S.G.D.G.,
96 Rue D'Angoulene, Paris France, [star], 66 Haute Recompense, 6
grands prix, Hours Concours, Membre du Jury"  Thanks!!
There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: More info on my trumpet
From: thursdaylast23-ga on 17 May 2006 13:19 PDT
The "Kanstul" marking on your trumpet dates to, at the earliest, 1981,
when Zigmant Kanstul launched Kanstul Musical Instruments in Anaheim,
California. One poster to a brass forum mentioned that his Besson
Brevete (often spelled ?Brevette?) was made in the early 1980s, and
mentioned a 4XXX serial number, comparable to yours. Here is a brief
biography of "Zig" Kanstul on the company's website. You might also
consider contacting the company to see if they can date the horn more
closely from the serial number.

The original French Bresson Brevetes were made much earlier in the
century. The word ?brevete? actually just means ?patented,? but got
attached to a line of instruments. If you?re interested in a picture
of a vintage 1935 B-flat Bresson Brevete made by the Paris-based
company, check the picture and commentary at the link below (it?s the
second instrument featured on the page). Pretty spectacular-looking
for its age. Apparently both Miles Davis and Raphael Mendez played
Bresson Brevetes of this original vintage (second link below).

The following is a brief history of the "Kanstul" stamp and its
connection to the French company, F. Besson, as posted by a
contributor to an online forum on brass instruments:

"The French company operating under the name of F. Besson went out of business 
sometime in the early 60s after having dominated orchestra trumpet playing 
for 30 or 40 years. Vincent Bach, Elden Benge and Dominic Calicchio all copied 
and tried to improve on F. Besson trumpets. Real pre World War II F. Bessons 
are still highly sought after and those made after the War are still very good 

Although I am a little foggy on the details of the history, the F. Besson 
tooling and name ended up in the hands of Boosey & Hawkes who
contracted with Zig Kanstul to make F. Bessons trumpets, the classic
models (the Meha and Brevette) for a time from the early 80s (maybe
late 70s?) until maybe 2000, when the contract terminated?.B & H has
since reorganized as The Music Group and is still apparently marketing
and selling F. Besson trumpets. I have no idea who is making them or
where. They are also selling Besson made in England and, I understand,

The original tooling, including the original bell hallmark (which said
Made in France) were used even though the horns were made in
California in the shadow of Disneyland. These were very good horns,
sold at reasonable prices, and a lot of people are very happily
playing them."

Another poster on a forum at posted similar
information re: dating.

?The F. Besson Brevette (.415" bore) and Meha (.460" bore) flugels
were built by Kanstul for Boosey and Hawkes roughly during the
[19]80's and 90's, along with a range of F. Besson trumpets. Although
the bell markings (probably copied from the original, real French
Bessons) say Paris-France, the horns were built completely in the
Kanstul plant. I own a Meha flugel, serial 1630, which according to
Kanstul was built in '92-'94. They couldn't be more precise. The horns
are absolutely top-of-the-line, I like mine better than the newer
Kanstuls . . . .?

As to price, using the Google cache feature, I was able to find a
listing for sale of a ?Mint condition Kanstul built Besson Brevette ML
bore.? The asking price was $825 in October of 2005. However, I cannot
tell from the cached page whether or not it sold. Another post on a
brass forum mentioned buying a Besson (Kanstul) Brevette for around
$500: ?I was very pleased with the horn. And for the price, it was a
very good bargain.? There was a recent listing on eBay for a horn that
closely matches the description you give of your instrument. It sold
for $466 on May 9, 2006. Since the sale is so recent, the pictures of
the instrument are still posted, and you might check them to see if
this instrument is like yours.

One final note. Most of the comments I read posted by musicians
familiar with or actually playing a similar instrument were very
positive. One person noted his regret at passing up a chance to buy
this particular horn: ?I love the Besson Brevette, and regret not
having bought one. I don't think Kanstul makes them any more and the
company has just changed hands? [posted 2006]. You can probably find
more info/details on such forums by doing a Google search with the
terms ?Besson? and ?Kunstal? and ?Brevete? (or ?Brevette??try both).

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