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NMM 7169.  Over-the-shoulder cornet in E-flat by Isaac Fiske, Worcester, Massachusetts, ca. 1852. 
Joe R. and Joella F. Utley Collection of Brass Instruments, 1999.

NMM 7169.  Over-the-shoulder cornet in E-flat by Isaac Fiske, Worcester, Massachusetts, ca. 1852

Like Elbridge G. Wright in Boston, Isaac Fiske, of Worcester, Massachusetts, was one of the pioneers in American brass instrument manufacture and development. Fiske supplied whole bands with his instruments, such as the Fiske Cornet Band of Worcester, which was one of the finest bands around in 1857. This E-flat over-the-shoulder cornet is slightly unusual in its use of a copper bell, which may, in fact, be a replacement. Otherwise, it resembles an instrument by the same maker, dating from ca. 1852, in the collections of the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. Fiske also manufactured three-valve cornets of this type with one additional key.

Engraved on garland:  Isaac Fiske, Maker, Worcester, Mass.

Body:  German-silver body:  leadpipe with telescopic tuning slide, valve cluster, bell bow, bell of copper. Overlapping tab seam (triangular tabs 4 mm wide and 12 mm apart). Undecorated, German-silver garland; Saxon rim with iron-wire insert. Ferrules with one engraved line adjacent to each edge, two engraved lines at the bell section. Bell to the left of the leadpipe.


Rotary Valves

Valves:  Three top-action, string-operated, rotary valves. Leaf-spring return mechanism; reciprocal driver pivot stopped by V-shaped cork buffers. Internal slide tubing. Windway: first, second, third valve.


Accessories and Sounding Length

Accessories:  brass cornet mouthpiece with silver rim, contemporary with the instrument.

Sounding length (including inserted tuning slide):  928 mm; internal diameter, leadpipe: 11.2 mm; internal diameter, telescopic tuning slide: 10.3 mm; bore diameter (inner valve slides): 11.1 mm; bell diameter: 113 mm.


This instrument is currently on loan to the the Meredith Willson Museum in Mason City, Iowa for the permanent exhibition, Ya Gotta Know the Territory: The Musical Journey of Meredith Willson, designed and installed in 2002 by the National Music Museum.

Go to Checklist of Over-the-Shoulder Cornets

Go to Links to Four of the NMM's Eight Brass Instruments by Isaac Fiske

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