Brass Restorations

Ernst A. Couturier
Conical Bore Trumpet
LaPorte, Indiana

I had been wanting to buy one of these Couturier trumpets for a while but felt they were too expensive until I found this one. It was listed as silver plated and in good condition except for a few small dents in the first and second valve slides. The plating was tarnished but it looked like it was in good condition underneath and the engraving was more extensive than others I had come across so I bought it.

Couturier Conical Bore Trumpet LaPorte

It came with the original case, lyre, and two slides. Missing the mouthpiece and probably one other slide.

Couturier Trumpet with Case

When I got it I was impressed by the quality of construction and that there didn't appear to be any former repairs except one crease in the bell. The surprise came when I started polishing it and found it to be completely gold plated! The plating must be thin enough that the tarnish from the silver came through.

Below is the design patent drawing that is stamped on the trumpet so I know it was built after September 24, 1918. The serial number is 3648 so it probably was made in 1919.

Couturier Gold Plated Trumpet 1919

What a difference an hour of careful hand polishing can make. There is some wear where the hand has gripped it but not much for almost 100 years. Since I couldn't remove the slides for a good cleaning, I used "Spitballs" a few times through each loop.

Couturier Gold Plated Trumpet

Couturier Trumpet

What a work of art!

Couturier Trumpet Bell Engraving