King Silvertone Trumpet

































































































King / H. N. White
Silvertone Artist Bore Trumpet
Cleveland, Ohio

It is rare when buying anything from an online auction that the seller knows any of its history. This time capsule trumpet was from an estate sale in Kansas and sold by a friend of the family so I was pleasantly surprised when I received a complete history of it and found out that I am the second owner. With a little more research I even found out more.

King came out with the Liberty model trumpet back in late 1920 and offered just a medium bore size.

King LIberty Ad 1920

By the time this trumpet was made around 1931, the Depression was in full swing and few people had money to spare. In Pretty Prairie, Kansas, farmers Jonas and Anna Schwartz decided that their fifteen year old daughter Elva should learn to play the trumpet. Since there was no music store in their area, they purchased this King Silvertone trumpet through her uncle Benjamin P. Graber's hardware store in Pretty Prairie.

King Silvertone Liberty Trumpet Artist Bore

It's nice to buy a beginner player an instrument but why a farmer bought this model is a mystery. It has the sterling silver bell, silver plating and deluxe engraving with added gold fill. This would have cost close to $200 back then which would be $3,200 today. Even the base model in brass was $90. It also has the large Artist bore which is not what one would buy a beginner.

King Liberty ad 1932

Apparently she used this for a while but never really wanted to play the trumpet. Instead she became an accomplished pianist and organist and performed at her church the rest of her life. In 1941, she married Raymond Stucky and became a grade school teacher in the same village. The trumpet was stored away until future children tried it; none sticking with it.

Elva's husband died in 1996 then when she got too old to live on her own, the long-stored trumpet became part of her estate. At her death in 2018, the trumpet was finally brought out to be played at her funeral by a family friend.

This Artist Bore model 1051 has serial number 132833 which should date to around 1931. It has a 0.468" bore, 4.75" bell, and 19.75" length and weighs 37 oz. This was a new model introduced in May of 1929 so little did King know how the future would hurt the sales of this high-priced model.

King Liberty Trumpet Case Tag

King Liberty Silvertone Trumpet Bell Detail

This also came with King's Keratol-covered case which was an early substitute for leather. The fabric was probably made by the Keratol Company in Newark, NJ.