Journal of surviving 19th-century F. Besson and Besson & Co London-stamped brass instruments, with archival and catalogue data

Preface

This web page lists known and reported brass instruments by F. Besson (London) and Besson & Co as a service to scholars, and owners of London Besson instruments. The information can help with dating instruments and identifying models of instrument. The list supplements existing published information with data which would quickly become incomplete in printed form. The instruments listed are in one of the following categories:

  1. in a permanent museum collection
  2. details have been communicated by a private collector
  3. mentioned in a publication such as an exhibition or auction catalogue

Wherever possible one of the authors (Arnold Myers or Niles Eldredge) has examined the item, but in other cases the information has come from the published catalogues, check-lists and websites of museums or from personal communications. The authors welcome comments, corrections and further information, e-mail: webmaster@galpinsociety.org

This list contains information on all known brass instruments made in the Besson factory in London before 1900 - some of them extant, some lost long ago, and some reported in living memory but not now located.

The instruments are presented in order of serial number (which we believe to be chronological) or date. Some of the data about technical details and inscriptions has been recorded at first hand, and some is taken from correspondence or publications. Since the data has been obtained from various sources, the amount of information on each instrument varies. In particular, the inscriptions are recorded to differing levels of detail by different cataloguers and as a result descriptions of the inscriptions are not entirely uniform. A full entry includes:

Return to Galpin Society Reference and Data Material

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Contents

Preface
Natural Instruments
Slide Instruments
Valve Instruments
Valved Instruments with London stamping but probably made in Paris
References

Return to Contents

NATURAL INSTRUMENTS

{Not numbered} Clairon chasseur
Stamped with monogram FB / “F. BESSON / LONDON ”;
Probably made in the period 1885 (when the FR monogram was discontinued) to 1895 (when the London name changed to “Besson & Co)”).
[ Royal Military School of Music, Kneller Hall 126 ]

{Not numbered} signal trumpet in E♭, plated
Stamped on bell with monogram / “F. BESSON / 198. / EUSTON ROAD / LONDON”.
[ Wilhelm Bernoulli; Historisches Museum Basel 1980.2513. ]

{Not numbered} 2-ft post horn
Stamped on bell “F. BESSON / LONDON” / monogram FB.
[ Franz Streitwieser; Musica Kremsmünster 124 ]

{895} Natural trumpet
Stamped with monogram FB / “F. BESSON / LONDON ”; note that this natural trumpet, tightly wound, with open turns, is 31.5 inches long.
Probably made in the period 1885 (when the FR monogram was discontinued) to 1895 (when the London name changed to “Besson & Co)”).
[ Private collection ]
“895” on receiver is not in the standard run of serial numbers.

Return to Contents

SLIDE INSTRUMENTS

{Not numbered} B♭ contrabass trombone [or slide tuba]
Stamped on bell with monogram / “F. BESSON / BREVETÉE 198. / EUSTON ROAD / LONDON”.
[ R.V. Marriner, Keighley; Bradford Art Galleries and Museums 8692.1(KM) ]

{Not numbered} Slide trumpet in F etc; silver-plated
Stamped on bell “28 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FB / “F. BESSON / BREVETÉE / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON / LOUIS SCHREIBER / Sole Agent / U. STATES”.
Probably 1872-1880.
[ Private Collection, France ]
The only surviving slide instrument stamped “28 MEDALS OF HONOUR”

{Not numbered} Slide trumpet in F etc; silver-plated, expansion spring model
Stamped on bell “40 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FR / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / star.
Circa 1887.
[ Private collection, Britain ]

{Not numbered} Trombone
Inscribed on a small brass shield applied to bell “40 MEDALS OF HONOUR” / monogram FB / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / star.
[ National Music Museum, University of South Dakota, Vermillion ]

{447} Tenor trombone
Stamped on bell within a raised wreath with monogram FR / “F. BESSON / BREVETÉE / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON”.
[ Private collection, Britain ]

{634} G bass trombone
Stamped on bell with monogram FR / “F. BESSON / BREVETÉE / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON”.
Probably 1874.
[ Philip E. Redfern; Birmingham Conservatoire 7.9 ]

{706} Trombone
According to the British Bandsman 16 Jun 1973, sold February 1875 to Haydock Band.

{708} Trombone
According to the British Bandsman 16 Jun 1973, sold February 1875 to Haydock Band.

{722} Trombone
According to the British Bandsman 16 Jun 1973, sold 19 May 1875 to Mossley Band.

{753} Trombone
According to the British Bandsman 16 Jun 1973, sold 24 Apr 1875 to Rushworth Band.

{789} E♭ alto trombone
Stamped on bell “?? MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram / “F. BESSON / BREVETE / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / five-pointed star; on slide and mouthpipe “789”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “Trombone mi♭ Alto à coulisse Classe 2”; sold 19 Mar 1879 to “Royal Albert Asylum”; it was numbered no later than 23 Sep 1875.
[ Adam Carse; Horniman Museum 14.5.47/85 ]

{983} B♭ tenor trombone
Stamped on bell “?? MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram / “F. BESSON / BREVETEE / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / five-pointed star; on slide “983”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “Trombone Si♭ à coulisse / Classe 2”; sold 8 Feb 1878 to “R. Binses” (?); returned and re-sold 19 Sep 1878 to “T. Milner”. it was numbered no later than 4 Aug 1877.
[ Private collection, Britain ]

{1563} Tenor trombone
Stamped on bell “31 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FR / “F. BESSON / BREVETÉ / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / five-pointed star.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “Trombone SI♭ a Coulisse Classe 2”; sold 25 Sep 1883 to “G. Jackson”; it was numbered no later than 3 Sep 1883.
[ Private collection, Britain ]
The lowest-numbered surviving slide instrument stamped “31 MEDALS OF HONOUR”
The highest-numbered surviving slide instrument stamped “31 MEDALS OF HONOUR”

{Not numbered} B♭ + G trombone
Stamped on bell “38 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FR / “F. BESSON / BREVETEÉ / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / five-pointed star.
Probably 1885.
[ Boston Museum of Fine Arts 17.2010 ]
The second digit is not clearly legible in “38 MEDALS OF HONOUR”

{2140} Tenor trombone.
Stamped on bell “40 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FR / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / five-pointed star / “CARL FISCHER / 6 4TH AV. N.Y. / SOLE AGENT U. STATES”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “Trombone Si♭ à coul Cl 1”; sold 7 Oct 1886 to “Fisher” [sic]; it was part of a batch of 12 (2138-2149) and was numbered no later than 4 Aug 1886.
Auction on eBay ends 2011/Sep/11 00:24:01 BST ]
The lowest-numbered surviving slide instrument stamped “40 MEDALS OF HONOUR”

{2377} G bass trombone, silver-plated.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “Trombone Sol à Coul argenté Cl.1”; sold 4 Sep 1887 to “Shaw B.B.”; it was numbered no later than 19 Jul 1887.
[ Present location not known ]

{2379} Tenor trombone, silver-plated, cranked tube between main slide and tuning-slide.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “Trombone Si♭ à Coul / large pavillon Cl.2”; sold 19 Jul 1887 to “Grossman”; it was numbered no later than 19 Jul 1887.
Auction on eBay ends 2011/Nov/23 23:12:03 GMT ]

{2499} Tenor trombone.
Stamped on bell “40 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / ... / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON / ...”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “Trombone Si♭ à Coul Cl 3”; sold 5 Mar 1888 to “J.M. Combie 2nd King' Ligh. Inf.”; it was part of a batch of 6 (2497-2502) and was numbered no later than 5 Mar 1888.
Auction on eBay ends 2008/Dec/05 21:25:5  GMT ]

{2595} Tenor trombone.
Stamped on bell “40 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / ... / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON”; on both sections at joint “2595”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “Trombone Si♭ à coul / arg Cl 1”; sold 25 Jul 1888 to “Shelley B.B.Fisher”; returned, sold to “Mr Geldart” it was numbered no later than21 Jun 1888.
[ Private collection, Iceland ]
The highest-numbered surviving slide instrument stamped “40 MEDALS OF HONOUR”

{2726} Tenor trombone.
Stamped on bell “28 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / ... / “F. BESSON / ... / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON / ...”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “Trombone SI♭ a coul Cl 1”; sold 4 Jun 1889 to “E.F. Wilson”; re-entered and sold 23 Nov 1890 to “Sibsey BB”; it was numbered no later than 4 Sep 1888.
[ Church Army in Australia ]

{3284} G bass trombone.
Stamped on bell “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FB / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / five-pointed star.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “Trombone en Sol Cl 1”; sold 15 Dec 1890 to “Weardale BB”; it was part of a batch of 6 (3282-3287) and was numbered no later than 25 Nov 1890.
Auction on eBay ends 2008/Sep/27 15:45:51 BST ]

{3518} Tenor trombone.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “Trombone SI♭ a Coulisse Cl. 2”; sold 23 Oct 1891 to “Woehrier B.B.”; it was numbered no later than 2 Oct 1891.
[ Private collection, Britain ]

{3598} Tenor trombone.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “Trombone Si♭ a Coul argenté Cl 1”; sold 28 Jan 1892 to “Chorley Art Vols.”; it was numbered no later than 28 Jan 1892.
[ Private collection, Britain ]

{3777} G bass trombone
Stamped on bell “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FB / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / star; on inner slide section “F. BESSON / LONDON / 3777”; on bell section at joint and on outer slide section “3777”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “Trombone en Sol Cl.1”; sold 30 Aug 1892 to “H. Wilson”; it was numbered no later than 28 Jun 1892.
[ Private collection, Britain ]
The lowest-numbered surviving slide instrument stamped “``Prototype''”
The lowest-numbered surviving slide instrument stamped “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR”

{3950} Tenor trombone, cranked bell pipe adjacent to shoulder.
Stamped on bell “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / five-pointed star / “ENGLAND / CARL FISCHER / 6 4TH AV. N.Y. / SOLE AGENT U. STATES”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “Trombone Si♭ Cl 1”; sold 12 Apr 1893 to “Fischer” in a batch of 9 (3947-55); it was numbered no later than 12 Apr 1893.
[ Private collection ]

{3828} G bass trombone
Stamped on bell “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FB / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / star; on slide section “F. BESSON / LONDON / 3828”; on bell section at joint “3828”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “Trombone en Sol Cl 1.”; sold 30 Nov 1892 to “Wholley Billington BB”; it was numbered no later than 20 Sep 1892.
[ Private collection, Britain ]

{4040} B♭ tenor trombone
Stamped on bell “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FB / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / star.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “Trombone Si♭ à Coul / Argenté Cl 1”; sold 20 Sep 1893 to “Glodwick B.B.”; it was numbered no later than 27 Jul 1893.
[ Private collection ]

{4378} B♭ tenor trombone
Stamped on bell “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FB / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / star.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “Trombone Si♭ à Coul Cl 2”; sold 9 Nov 1894 to “Chester Le Street Church Comp. B.”; it was numbered no later than 9 Nov 1894.
Auction on eBay ends 2005/Dec/12 14:54:11 GMT ]

{4470} B♭ tenor trombone
Stamped on bell “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” ... / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “Trombone Si♭ à coul Cl 1 / Argenté”; sold 19 Apr 1895 to “Nethley BB”; it was numbered no later than 14 Feb 1895.
[ Private collection, Britain ]

{4542} B♭ tenor trombone
Stamped on bell “CHICAGO / BORE” / “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FB / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / star; on inner slide section “F. BESSON / LONDON / 4542”; on bell section at joint and on outer slide section “4542”.
Probably 1895.
[ Private collection, Britain ]
The lowest-numbered surviving slide instrument stamped “CHICAGO BORE”

{5208} G bass trombone
Probably 1897.
[ Private collection, Britain ]

{5245} B♭ tenor trombone
Probably 1897.
[ Private collection, Britain ]

{5261} Tenor trombone
Stamped on bell “CHICAGO / BORE” / “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FB / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / five-pointed star / “ENGLAND / CARL FISCHER / 6 4TH AV. N.Y. / SOLE AGENT U. STATES”; on inner slide section “F. BESSON / BREVETES / 5261”.
Probably 1897.
[ Private collection, U.S.A. ]

{5304} B♭ tenor trombone; silver-plated.
Probably 1898.
[ Present location not known ]

{5363} B♭ tenor trombone
Stamped on bell “37 VR 97 / CLASS / A” / “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FB / “BESSON & CO / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / five-pointed star.
Probably 1897.
not located ]

{5731} B♭ tenor trombone
Stamped on mouthpiece receiver “F. BESSON / LONDON / 5731”.
Probably 1898.
[ slide only, RCM 220 ]

Return to Contents VALVED INSTRUMENTS

{Not numbered} E♭ soprano flugelhorn
Stamped on bell “28 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner and in applied wreath monogram FR / “F. BESSON / BREVETÉE / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON”. Also inscribed, nearer bell rim “PRESENTED TO MR JOHN CASS / by the Bandsmen & a few friends / connected with the / STOCKTON MALLEABLE AND RAIL MILL WORKS / as a token of esteem & respect / EASTER.1873”. The last line, the date, has been partially obliterated
Stamped on valve cases, stems, top and bottom caps “1”, “2”, “3”.
Probably 1873.
[ Edinburgh University Collection of Historic Musical Instruments (3246) ]

{1554} B♭ cornet
Stamped on bell with monogram / “F. BESSON / BREVETÉ / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON”; on side of valve casings, stems and top and bottom caps “7”, “8”, “9”; on 2nd valve casing “17” and “BESSON” / crown / “BREVETÉ”, and “1554”.
1868 or earlier, probably c 1861.
[ Sam Binns, Keighley; Bradford Art Galleries and Museums 8713(1372).1(KM) ]

{3754} B♭ cornet
Stamped on bell with owner's monogram / monogram FR / “F. BESSON / BREVETTÉE / 198. EUSTON ROAD / LONDON”; on side of valve casings, stems and top and bottom caps “34”, “35”, “36”; on 2nd valve casing also “BESSON” / crown / “BREVETÉ” in an ellipse, and “3754”.
1868 or earlier, probably c 1863.
[ Private collection, Britain ]

{4172} Echo cornet
Stamped on bell with monogram FR / “F. BESSON / BREVETÉE / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON”; on 2nd valve casing “BESSON” / crown / “BREVETÉ”, and “4172”.
1868 or earlier, probably c 1864.
Auction on eBay ends 2009/Feb/27 20:15:00 GMT ]

{4527} B♭ cornet; Md fr.(#2)
Stamped on bell with monogram FR / “F. BESSON / BREVETÉE / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON”; on 2nd valve casing “F. BESSON” / crown / “BREVETÉ”, and “4527”.
1868 or earlier, probably c 1864.
[ Private collection , U.S.A. ].

{4810} Cornet
Stamped on bell “F. BESSON / BREVETÉE / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON”;
1868 or earlier, probably c 1864.
[ Private collection , Finland ].

{5413} B♭ cornet; “Desideratum” model
Stamped on bell “... MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FR / “F. BESSON / BREVETÉE / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON”; on 2nd valve casing “F. BESSON” / crown / “BREVETÉ”, and “5413”.
1868 or earlier, probably c 1865.
[ Private collection, U.S.A. ]

{6600} E♭ tenor horn
Stamped on bell with monogram FR / “BESSON / BREVETÉE / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON”; on 2nd valve casing “F. BESSON” / crown / “BREVETÉ” within ellipse, and “6600”.
1868 or earlier, probably c 1866.
[ Edinburgh University Collection of Historic Musical Instruments (5885) ]

{8719} B♭ cornet; Modèle française
Stamped on bell with monogram FR / “F. BESSON / BREVETÉE / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON”; on 2nd valve casing “F. BESSON” / star / “BREVETÉ”, and “8719”.
1868 or earlier, probably c 1867.
[ Private collection ]

{9993} French horn, 3 piston valves
Stamped on bell with monogram FR / “F. BESSON / BREVETÉ / 198. EUSTON ROAD / LONDON”; on side of valve casings, stems and top and bottom caps “7”, “8”, “9”; on 2nd valve casing “BESSON / BREVETÉ” within ellipse (any mark in the centre of the ellipse worn away), and “9993”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 15 Sep 1869.
[ Edinburgh University Collection of Historic Musical Instruments (4276) ]

{10043} B♭ cornet; “Desideratum” model; with crest.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “Cornet Desideratum argenté 3eme classe pavillon Doré en boite No 1”; sold 3 Dec 1869 to “Oreilly”; and was numbered no later than 15 Sep 1869.
[ Private collection ]

{101x6} Cornet; “Desideratum” model.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 13 Nov 1869.
[ Private collection ]

{10308} B♭ cornet; “Desideratum” model.
Stamped on bell with coat of arms / within applied wreath, monogram FR / “F. BESSON / BREVETÉE / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON”; on 2nd valve casing “P”, then “F. BESSON” / crown / “BREVETÉ”, then “10308”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “Desideratum Si♭ Argenté”; sold “en échange d'un cuivre” 17 May 1870 to “Porter”; and was numbered no later than 26 Nov 1869.
Auction on eBay ends 2006/Nov/14 20:00:00 GMT ]

{10334} B♭ cornet; “Desideratum” model
Stamped on bell with monogram FR / “F. BESSON / BREVETÉE / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON”; on 2nd valve casing “P”, then “F. BESSON” / crown / “BREVETÉ”, then “10334”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “Cornet Argenté gravé 1ère classe”; sold 4 Jul 1870 to “Egypte”; and was numbered no later than 26 Nov 1869.
[ Private collection ]

{10978} B♭ cornet; “Desideratum” model
Stamped on bell with English Royal Crest / “25 MEDALS OF HONOUR” / monogram FR / “F. BESSON / BREVETÉE / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / star; on 2nd valve casing “P”, then “F. BESSON” / star / “BREVETÉE”, then “10978”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “Desideratum Si♭ argenté en boite”; sold 8 May 1871 to “Smith”; and was numbered no later than 18 Jun 1870.
[ Private collection ]
The lowest-numbered surviving valved instrument stamped “25 MEDALS OF HONOUR”

{11169} Echo cornet, in case
Stamped on bell with English Royal Crest / monogram FR / “F. BESSON / BREVETÉE / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / star; on 2nd valve casing with ellipse containing “F. BESSON” / star / “BREVETEE”, then “11169 / P”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “Cornet Echo Si♭ Argenture simple sans gravure en boite int: violet”; sold 3 Feb 1871 to “Jones”; and was numbered no later than 8 Aug 1870.
[ J.I.R. Dunlop; Royal Military School of Music, Kneller Hall 500 ]

{11221} E♭ soprano cornet
Stamped on bell “25 MEDALS OF HONOUR” / monogram FR / “F. BESSON / BREVETÉE / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON”; on 2nd valve casing “9”, then “F. BESSON” / star / “BREVETÉE”, then “11221 / P”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “Soprano Argenté classe 2 reversed bell à clé en boite 3ème classe”; sold 21 Dec 1870 to “Bromley”; and was numbered no later than 15 Aug 1870.
[ Private collection ]

{11501} E♭ soprano cornet.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “Soprano Cuivre classe 1 pupitre embre Argenté en boite”; sold 6 Apr 1871 to “J. Shaw”; and was numbered no later than 24 Nov 1870.
[ Utley 46; National Music Museum, University of South Dakota 6812 ]

{11869} B♭ cornet; “Desideratum” model
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “Desideratum Si♭ Classe 1”; sold 11 May 1871 to “Frayling”; it was probably part of a batch of 6 (11868-73) and was numbered no later than 31 Mar 1871.
not located ]

{11870} B♭ cornet; “Desideratum” model
Stamped on bell above wreath “25 MEDALS OF HONOUR” / and within wreath monogram FR / “F. BESSON / BREVETÉE / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / five-pointed star; and below wreath “LOUIS SCHRIEBER / SOLE AGENT. U. STATES”; on 2nd valve casing “8”, then “P” above “F. BESSON” / five-pointed star / “BREVETÉE” within ellipse, then “11870”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “inconnu”; it was probably part of a batch of 6 (11868-73) and was numbered no later than 31 Mar 1871.
[ Private collection, U.S.A. ]
The lowest-numbered surviving valved instrument stamped “LOUIS SCHREIBER” or “Louis Schreiber”

{11873} B♭ cornet; “Desideratum” model;
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “Desideratum Si♭ en boite”; sold 16 May 1871 to “Stafford”; rentré “Desideratum Si♭ (tres bon) avec pup sembre”; sold 29 Jul 1871 to “Fitzgerald”; it was probably part of a batch of 6 (11868-73) and was numbered no later than 31 Mar 1871.
not located ]

{12273} B♭ valve trombone; long model
Stamped on bell above wreath “25” / two medals / “HONOUR” / and within wreath monogram FR / “F. BESSON / BREVETÉE / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON”; on 2nd valve casing “... / 12273 / ...”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 26 Jul 1871.
[ Private collection, Britain ]

{12595} B♭ cornet; “Desideratum” model;
Stamped on bell with raised royal crest / “25” / two medals / “HONOUR” / monogram FR / “F. BESSON / BREVETÉE / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / five-pointed star; on 2nd valve casing “F. BESSON” / five-pointed star / “BREVETÉE” within ellipse and “12595 / P”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “1 Desideratum argté / gravé 3ème Classe”; sold 16 Jan 1872 to “Foster”; it was probably part of a batch of 6 (12595-600) and was numbered no later than 4 Nov 1871.
[ Private collection, Britain ]
The highest-numbered surviving valved instrument stamped “25 MEDALS OF HONOUR”

{13693} Valve trumpet in G etc, long model
Stamped on bell “26 MEDALS / FROM / ALL NATIONS” in oval outline but without ellipse, then monogram FR / “F. BESSON / BREVETÉE / 198, EUSTON ROAD / LONDON”; on 2nd valve casing “5”, then “F. BESSON” / five-pointed star / “BREVETÉE” within ellipse, then “13693”; the shank and crooks stamped “G”, “E♮” and “MI♮”, “E♭”, “D”, “D♭”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 3 Sep 1872.
[ Frank Tomes; Edinburgh University Collection of Historic Musical Instruments (4197) ]
The only surviving valved instrument stamped “26 MEDALS / FROM / ALL NATIONS”

{14141} E♭ cornet
Stamped on bell “... / 28 MEDALS OF HONOUR ...”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “Soprano mi♭ à ut boite 1ere Cl. Argté gravé : inscription”; sold 27 Jan 1873 to “Cass”; re-entered and sold 26 Apr 1873 to “Newton”; and was numbered no later than 29 Jan 1873.
[ Private collection ]
The lowest-numbered surviving valved instrument stamped “28 MEDALS OF HONOUR”

{14259} Pocket cornet
Stamped on bell “28 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FR / “F. BESSON / BREVETÉE / LONDON”; on side of 2nd valve casing “8” / “F. BESSON” / star / “BREVETÉE” in ellipse / “14259 / P”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “Exigu Si♭ en boite Embre. dorée 2 tons argté dorée pavillon gravé 2eme. classe”; sold 28 Feb 1873 to “Merrall”; re-entered and sold 13 Mar 1873 to “Richardson”; it was part of a batch of 3 (14257-9) and was numbered no later than 28 Feb 1873.
[ Private collection, U.S.A. ]

{14357} C pocket cornet; no inscriptions on bell
Stamped on side of 2nd valve casing “F. BESSON” / star / “BREVETÉE”, all within ellipse, and “14357”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “Cornet Pocket en ut”; recorded 1 Jan 1877 as “Modèle”; it was a batch of 1 and was numbered no later than 22 May 1873.
[ Private collection, U.S.A. ]
Unfinished state, so probably intended to be kept in the factory as a model.

{14621} Trumpet in E♭ now converted to F; silverplated
Stamped on bell with royal crest and “28 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FR / “F. BESSON / BREVETÉE / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON”; on side of 2nd valve casing “5” / “F. BESSON” / crown / “BREVETÉ” in ellipse / “14621”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 6 Feb 1874.
[ Private collection, U.S.A. ]

{15321} B♭ cornet; “Desideratum” model
Stamped on bell “28 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FR / “F. BESSON / BREVETÉE / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON / LOUIS SCHREIBER / Sole Agent / U. STATES”; on side of 2nd valve casing “F. BESSON” / star / “BREVETÉE” / “15321”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 6 Feb 1874.
[ Private collection, U.S.A. ]

{15329} B♭ cornet
Stamped on bell “28 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FR / “F. BESSON / BREVETÉE / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON / LOUIS SCHREIBER / Sole Agent / U. STATES”; on side of 2nd valve casing “F. BESSON” / star / “BREVETÉE” / “15321”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 6 Feb 1874.
[ Private collection ]

{15335} B♭ cornet; “Desideratum” model
Stamped on bell “28 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FR / “F. BESSON / BREVETÉE / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON / LOUIS SCHREIBER / Sole Agent / U. STATES”; on side of 2nd valve casing “F. BESSON” / star / “BREVETÉE” / “15335”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 6 Feb 1874.
[ Private collection, U.S.A. ]

{15583} Euphonium, January 1874 presentation inscription, 28 medals.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 6 Feb 1874.
[ Location not known ]

{15698} E♭ bombardon, 4-valve
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 11 Feb 1874.
Auction on eBay ends 2003/Sep/25 08:17:2 PDT ]

{16584} Euphonium, 4-valve.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 15 Aug 1874.
Auction on eBay ends 2002/May/16 ]

{16839} Cornetin B♭
Stamped on bell “28 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FB / “F. BESSON/BREVETÉE / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / star.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 25 Aug 1874. There is no entry in the stock books for cornet 16839; suggesting that the instrument was made for direct export and not entered into stock in London.
[ Fiske Museum, Claremont Colleges B491; Musical Instrument Museum, Phoenix, AZ ]

{16951} Euphonium, 3-valve.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 25 Aug 1874.
Auction on eBay ends 2005/Nov/13 13:42:06 GMT ]

{17271} Cornet; “Desideratum” model.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “Désideratum si♭ argenté à couronne”; sold 26 Apr 1875 to “Ch, Powell”; it was part of a batch of 72 (13266-337) and was numbered no later than 9 Feb 1875.
[ Private collection ]

{18891} Flugelhorn
Stamped on bell “28 MEDALS OF HONOUR” / monogram FR / “F. BESSON / BREVETÉE / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / star / “LOUIS SCHREIBER / Sole Agent / U. STATES”; on second valve “14” and “F. BESSON” / star / “BREVETEE”, all within ellipse, and “18891 / 11”.
Probably 1876.
[ National Music Museum, University of South Dakota, 422 ]

{18954} B♭ cornet; Étoile modeel
Stamped on bell “... / LOUIS SCHREIBER / Sole Agent / U. STATES”.
Probably 1876.
[ Private collection, U.S.A. ]

{19021} Vocal horn in F etc
Stamped on bell “28 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FB / “F. BESSON / BREVETÉE / 198.EUSTON ROAD / LONDON”, and inscribed below “Louis Schreiber / Sole Agent / U. States.”; on m.t.s. distal ferrule “E♭”; on 3rd v.t.s. five calibration lines annotated “C”, “D♭”, “D♮”, “E♭”, “E♮”; on valve stems, top and bottom caps and side of casings “4”, “5”, “6”; on 2nd valve casing “F. BESSON” / five-pointed star / “BREVETEE”, all within ellipse, and “19021 / 10”.
Probably 1876.
[ Private collection, Britain ]

{19301} Cornet
Stamped on bell “28 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / ... / “F. BESSON / ... / 198.EUSTON ROAD / LONDON”.
Probably 1876.
Auction on eBay best offer 2006/Jan/11 ]

{19381} Euphonium, 4-valve
Stamped on bell “?? MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / ... / “F. BESSON / BREVETÉE / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON”.
Probably 1876.
Auction on eBay ends 2008/Oct/01 17:27:24 BST ]

{19405} Cornet
Probably 1876.
[ Recorded secondhand in Rudall Carte stock book 0: Bought sold 19 Apr 1876 -> 1/24th Regiment. ]

{19433} Cornet in A♭ [sic]
Stamped on bell “28 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / “F. BESSON / BREVETÉE / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON”; on shank “433”.
Probably 1876.
[ Cyfarthfa Castle Museum, Merthyr Tydfil ]

{19662} Vocal horn in F etc
Stamped on bell “28 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FB / “F. BESSON / BREVETÉE / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / 5-pointed star, and “Louis Schreieer. / Sole Agent. / U. States.” [sic]; on valve stems, side of casings, top and bottom caps “10”, “11”, “12”; on side of 2nd valve casing “10” / ellipse containing [“BESSON” / 5-pointed star / “BREVETEE”] / “19662”; on one tenon of each main tuning-slide “62”.
Probably 1876.
[ Edinburgh University Collection of Historic Musical Instruments (4197) ]

{19859} E♭ bass valve trombone
Stamped on bell “28 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / “F. BESSON” / monogram FR / “198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON”.
Probably 1876.
[ Lancelot Keye; Birmingham Conservatoire 6.7 ]

{19854} B♭ cornet; “Desideratum” model
Stamped on bell “28 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FR / “F. BESSON / BREVETÉE / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / 5-pointed star, and “Louis Schreiber. / Sole Agent. / U. States.”; on side of 2nd valve casing “BESSON” / 5-pointed star / “BREVETÉE”, and “19854”.
Probably 1876.
[ Private collection, U.S.A. ]

{19859} Valve trombone
Inscribed “Brevette, 108 Euston Rd, LONDON ”; “J & J Coleman, Carrow Works Norwich”.
Probably 1876.
[ Private collection ]

{20578} Valve trombone
Stamped on bell “?? MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FR / “F. BESSON / BREVETÉE / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / 5-pointed star; on side of 2nd valve casing “BESSON” / 5-pointed star / “BREVETÉE”, and “20578”.
Probably 1876.
[ Edinburgh University Collection of Historic Musical Instruments () ]

{21501} Cornet; “Star” model
Stamped on bell “2(8) MEDALS OF HONOUR” / monogram FR / “F. BESSON / BREVETÉE / 198 Euston Road / LONDON” / star; on second valve “F. BESSON” / star / “BREVETÉE / 21501”.
Probably 1877.
[ Private collection, U.S.A. ]

{22458} Echo cornet, silver-plated, highly engraved
Stamped on bell “28 MEDALS OF HONOUR” / monogram FR / “F. BESSON / BREVETÉE / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON”; on valve casing in ellipse “F. BESSON” / star / “BREVETÉE” and below “22458”.
Probably 1878.
[ Copenhagen MM F 122 ]

{22506} Echo cornet.
Stamped on bell “28 MEDALS OF HONOUR” / monogram FR / “F. BESSON / BREVETÉE / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON”; on valve casing in ellipse “F. BESSON” / star / “BREVETÉE” and below “22506”.
Probably 1878.
[ Private collection, Britain ]

{22601} Echo cornet, Presented Jul 1891.
Probably 1878.
[ Private collection ]

{22637} Cornet; “Star” model
Stamped “... / Schreiber / ...”.
Probably 1878.
[ Private collection ]

{23264} Pocket cornet
Stamped on bell “28 MEDALS OF HONOUR” / monogram FR / “F. BESSON / BREVETÉE / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON / Louis Schreiber / Sole Agent / U. States”.
Probably 1878.
[ Fiske Museum, Claremont Colleges B206; Musical Instrument Museum, Phoenix, AZ ]

{23425} Echo cornet, silver-plated, highly engraved
Stamped on bell “28 MEDALS OF HONOUR” / monogram / “F. BESSON / BREVETÉE / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON”; on valve casing in ellipse “F. BESSON” / star / “BREVETÉE” and below “23425”.
Probably 1878.
[ Private collection, France ]

{23912} B♭ Flugelhorn
Stamped on bell “28 MEDALS OF HONOUR” / monogram FR / “F. BESSON / BREVETÉE / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / star / “Louis Schreiber / Sole Agent / U. States”; second valve “F. BESSON” / star / “BREVETÉE / 23912”.
Probably 1879.
[ Private collection ]

{24143} Cornet
Stamped on bell “28 MEDALS OF HONOUR” / monogram FR / “F. BESSON / BREVETEE / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON / PRESENTED TO / Mr JAMES SAUNDERS / by the Members of the / Kimberly Quadrille Party / as a mark of their respect and esteem / DIAMOND FIELDS. SOUTH AFRICA. / AUGUST 22nd 1879.”; on 2nd valve casing “2 / F BESSON / BREVETEE / 24143”.
Probably 1879.
[ Boosey & Hawkes 710; Horniman Museum 2004.780 ]

{24186} Cornet
Stamped on bell “28 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FR / “F. BESSON / BREVETÉE / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / star.
Probably 1879.
[ Private collection, Britain ]

{24243} B♭ Cornet
Stamped on bell “28 MEDALS OF HONOUR / F. BESSON / BREVETÉE / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON / Louis Schreiber / Sole Agent / U. States”.
Probably 1879.
[ Private collection, U.S.A. ]

{24354} Cornet
Stamped on bell “28 MEDALS OF HONOUR” / ... / “F. BESSON / ...”.
Probably 1879.
[ Private collection ]

{24448} E♭ tenor horn; HP; 3 piston valves; brass
Stamped on bell “2[?] MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FR / “F. BESSON / BREVETÉE / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON / star / Louis Schreiber / Sole Agent / U. States”; second valve “F. BESSON” / star / “BREVETEE” all within ellipse / “24448”; on other side “23”.
Probably 1879.
[ National Music Museum, University of South Dakota 389 ]

{24493} Cornet; “Desideratum” model
Stamped on bell “2[x] xxxxx” / monogram FR / “F. BESSON / BREVETÉE / 198 Euston Road / LONDON” / star; on second valve “F. BESSON” / star / “BREVETÉE / 24493”.
Probably 1879.
[ Private collection, U.S.A. ]

{24556} Cornet; bell-tuning model
Stamped on bell “28 MEDALS OF HONOUR” / monogram FR / “F. BESSON / BREVETÉE / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / star / “Jarrett Roberts / Agent”; on second valve “Besson” / crown / “BREVETÉ / 24556”; note crown juxtaposed with star on bell.
Probably 1879.
[ Private collection, U.S.A. ]

{25062} C/B♭/A cornet
Stamped on bell “31 MEDALS OF HONOUR” / monogram FR / “F. BESSON / BREVETÉ / 198 Euston Road / LONDON” / star / “Louis Schreiber / Sole Agent / U. States”.
Probably 1879.
[ Private collection ]
The lowest-numbered surviving valved instrument stamped “31 MEDALS OF HONOUR”

{25214} Baritone
Stamped on bell “... / F. BESSON / BREVETÉ / 198 Euston Road / LONDON”.
Probably 1879.
[ Private collection, U.K. ]

{25452} Echo cornet
Stamped on bell “31 MEDALS OF HONOUR” / ... / “F. BESSON / BREVETÉ / 198 Euston Road / LONDON”.
Probably 1880.
Auction on eBay ends 2006/Feb/17 19:33:51 GMT ]

{25536} Euphonium, 3 valves;
Stamped on bell “31 MEDALS OF HONOUR” / monogram FR / “F. BESSON / BREVETÉ / 198 Euston Road / LONDON”; / on second valve “F. BESSON” / ... / “BREVETÉE / 25536”.
Probably 1880.
Auction on eBay ends 2008/Jun/22 13:12:43 BST ]

{25781} Cornet; “Star” model
Stamped on bell “28 MEDALS OF HONOUR” / monogram FR / “F. BESSON / BREVETÉ / 198 Euston Road / LONDON” / star / “Louis Schreiber / Sole Agent / U. States”; on second valve “F. BESSON” / star / “BREVETÉE / 25781”.
Probably 1880.
[ Private collection, U.S.A. ]
The highest-numbered surviving valved instrument stamped “28 MEDALS OF HONOUR”

{26187} B♭ cornet
Stamped on bell “?? MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FR / “F. BESSON / BREVETÉE / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / 5-pointed star; on side of 2nd valve casing “BESSON” / 5-pointed star / “BREVETÉE”, and “26187”.
Probably 1880.
[ Edinburgh University Collection of Historic Musical Instruments (5937) ] Stamped on bell “31 MEDALS OF HONOUR” / monogram FR / “F. BESSON / BREVETÉ / 198 Euston Road / LONDON” / star / “Louis Schreiber / Sole Agent / U. States”; on second valve “F. BESSON” / star / “BREVETÉE / 26237”.
Probably 1880.
[ Private collection ]

{26321} Echo cornet
Stamped on bell “31 MEDALS OF HONOUR” / monogram FR / “F. BESSON / BREVETÉ / 198 Euston Road / LONDON”.
Probably 1880.
Auction on eBay ends 2009/Oct/16 20:30:48 BST ]

{26830} Cornet, tuning-bell model
Stamped on bell “31 MEDALS OF HONOUR” / monogram / “F. BESSON / BREVETE / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON / star”; on valve casing “26830”.
Probably 1880.
Auction on eBay ends 2002/Dec/08 10:30:00 PST ]

{27036} Cornet, silver
Stamped on the bell “DWJW”, lion passant, leopard's head, “H”, Queen Victoria's head / “31 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FR / “F. BESSON / BREVETE / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON”; on 2nd valve casing “F. BESSON” / star / “Brevete / 27036”; on mouthpiece, 1st, 2nd, 3rd valve slides, tuning slide, key of A tuning slide, mouthpipe “DWJW”, Queen Victoria's head, and lion passant; on lead pipe, 2nd valve casing “DWJW”, Queen Victoria's head, lion passant, “H” [1883-84 hallmark].
Probably 1881.
[ Utley 1330; National Music Museum, University of South Dakota 7120 ]

{27302} Cornet
Stamped on the bell “... / F. BESSON / BREVETE / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / ....
Probably 1881.
Auction on eBay ends 2006/Nov/07 21:00:00 GMT ]

{27386} B♭ euphonium
Stamped on bell “... / F. BESSON / ...”.
Probably 1881.
[ Frederick Stearns; University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 940 ]

{27489} Cornet.
Probably 1881.
[ Present location not known ]

{27686} Cornet.
Probably 1881.
[ Copenhagen MM 1978-11 ]

{27819} Vocal horn in F etc
Stamped on bell “31 MEDALS OF HONOUR” / monogram FR / “F. BESSON / BREVETÉ/ 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / five-pointed star; on valve casings “7”, “8”, “9”; also on 2nd valve casing in ellipse “F. BESSON” / star / “BREVETÉ” and “27819”
Stamped on main tuning-slide “E♭”. All three valve tuning-slides graduated and marked for E♮, E♭, D♮, D♭ and C; to be fully inserted for F.
Probably 1881.
[ Bernard Hague; University of Glasgow Hunterian Museum 112069 ]

{28061} BB♭ bombardon; tall model
Stamped on bell “B. JOWETT / MEDALS OF HONOUR” / monogram / “F. BESSON / BREVETÉ / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON”
Stamped on side of 2nd valve casing “5” and “BESSON / BREVETÉ”, and “28061”.
Probably 1881.
[ E.L. Riley; Bradford Art Galleries and Museums h.97/89.1 ]

{28336} B♭ cornet etc
Stamped on bell “31 MEDALS OF HONOUR” / monogram FR / “F. BESSON / BREVETÉ / 198, EUSTON ROAD / LONDON”, the “1” of “31” is not clear
Stamped on side of 2nd valve casing “BESSON” / crown / “BREVETÉ” in ellipse / “28336”; on valve casings and bottom caps “1”, “2”, “3”; no inscriptions on shanks or crook.
Probably 1881.
[ Edinburgh University Collection of Historic Musical Instruments (2371) ]

{28874} B♭ flugelhorn
Stamped on bell “... / F. BESSON / ...”.
Probably 1882.
[ Frederick Stearns; University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 857 ]

{28973} Cornet; bell-tuning model
Stamped on bell “31 MEDALS OF HONOUR” / monogram FR / “F. BESSON / BREVETÉ / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / star / “Louis Schreiber / Sole Agent / U. States”; on second valve “Besson / BREVETÉ / 28973”.
Probably 1882.
[ Private collection, U.S.A. ]
The highest-numbered surviving valved instrument stamped “LOUIS SCHREIBER” or “Louis Schreiber”

{29125} B♭ baritone
Stamped on bell “... / F. BESSON / ...”.
Probably 1882.
not located ]

{29318} Tenor horn
Stamped on bell “31 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / ... / “F. BESSON / ... / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON”.
Probably 1882.
Auction on eBay ends 2006/Jan/24 22:32:49 GMT ]

{29420} Echo cornet in C etc
Stamped on bell “31 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FR / “F. BESSON / BREVETÉ / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / five-pointed star; inscribed on top and bottom caps and sides of valve casings: 1st valve “4”, 2nd valve “5”, 3rd valve “6”, 4th valve “3”; on side of 2nd valve casing “F. BESSON” / five-pointed star / “BREVETEE”, all within ellipse, / “29420”; inscribed on bit (a) no inscription; shank (b) on ferrule “506”, and on lug “1”; on shank (c) on ferrule “420” and “B♮”, and on lug “1”; shank (d) on ferrule “420” and “A♮”, and on lug “1”; crook (e) on mouthpipe “LA♭”. (Note that “420” on (c) and (d) tallies with instrument serial number “29420”.)
Probably 1882.
[ Edinburgh University Collection of Historic Musical Instruments (1451) ]

{30271} E♭ bombardon; 3-valve
Stamped on bell “31 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FR / “F. BESSON / BREVETÉ / 198, EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / five-pointed star; on side of valve casings “1”, “2”, “3” / “BESSON” / crown / “BREVETÉ” within ellipse / “30271”.
Probably 1883.
[ Edinburgh University Collection of Historic Musical Instruments (2697) ]

{30319} Echo cornet in B♭
Stamped on bell “31 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram / “F. BESSON / BREVETÉ / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON / ...”.
Probably 1883.
[ Present location not known ]

{31830} Flugel in B♭
Stamped on bell ... / monogram FR / “F. BESSON / BREVETÉ / 198 Euston Road / LONDON”.
Probably 1884.
Auction on eBay ends 2009/Jan/15 23:19:16 GMT; Auction on eBay ends 2009/Dec/08 20:22:35 GMT ]

{32523} Echo cornet; brass
Stamped on bell “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” / monogram FR / “F. BESSON / PROTOTYPE / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / star; on valve casing in ellipse “F. BESSON” / star / “BREVETE” and below “32523”.
Probably 1884.
[ Private collection, Britain ]

{32813} E♭ soprano cornet
Stamped on bell “31 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FR / “F. BESSON / BREVETÉ / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / five-pointed star / “C. FISCHER / 6 4th Av. N.Y. / Sole Agent. U. States”.
Probably 1884.
[ Franz Streitwieser; Musica Kremsmünster 634 ]
The lowest-numbered surviving valved instrument stamped “C. FISCHER”

{33xxx} Cornet; presumably colle model.
Probably 1884 or 1885.
[ Private collection ]

{34296} E♭ tenor horn
Stamped on bell “[??] MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FR / “F. BESSON / BREVETÉE / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON / star / Louis Schreiber / Sole Agent / U. States”; second valve “F. BESSON” / star / “BREVETEE” all within ellipse / “34296”; on other side “11”.
Probably 1885.
[ National Music Museum, University of South Dakota 432 ]

{34444} Tenor horn
Stamped on bell “31 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FR / “F. BESSON / Brevet... / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / star / “ENGLAND / C. FISCHER / 6. 4th AV. N.Y. / SOLE AGENTS U- STATES”; on valve casing with ellipse containing “F. BESSON” / star / “BREVETÉE” and below “34444”.
Probably 1885.
[ National Music Museum, University of South Dakota ]

{34500} E♭ tenor horn
Stamped on bell “3... MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FR / “F. BESSON / Brevet... / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / star / “ENGLAND / C. FISCHER / 6. 4th AV. N.Y. / SOLE AGENTS U- STATES”; on valve casing with ellipse containing “F. BESSON” / star / “BREVETÉE” and below “34500”.
Probably 1885.
[ National Music Museum, University of South Dakota ]
The highest-numbered surviving valved instrument stamped “31 MEDALS OF HONOUR”
The highest-numbered surviving valved instrument stamped with monogram FR

{35733} Alto in F/ E♭
Stamped on bell (medals not recorded) / monogram FB(??) / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / star / “C. Fischer / 6 4th Av. N.Y. / Sole Agent U. States”.
Probably 1886.
[ Streitwieser Foundation ]
The lowest-numbered surviving valved instrument stamped “``Prototype''”

{35835} Cornet; “Star” model
Stamped on bell “40 MEDALS OF HONOUR” / monogram FB / “F. Besson / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / star / “C. Fischer / 6 4th Av. N.Y. / Sole Agent U. States”; on second valve “F. BESSON” / star / “BREVETÉE / 35835”.
Probably 1886.
[ Private collection ]
The lowest-numbered surviving valved instrument stamped “40 MEDALS OF HONOUR”

{36091} Horn.
Stamped on bell “40 MEDALS OF HONOUR” / ... / “F. Besson / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / star / ...”.
Probably 1886.
[ Private collection ]

{36958} B♭ cornet, “Desideratum” model
Stamped on bell “40 MEDALS OF HONOUR” / monogram FB / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / five-pointed star; on second valve “35” / “F. BESSON” / star / “BREVETÉE” in ellipse / “36958”.
Probably 1887.
[ Private collection, Britain ]

{37188} C/ B♭ cornet
Stamped on bell “40 MEDALS OF HONOUR” / monogram FB / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / five-pointed star / “H.G. / SUMMERBRIDGE”).
Probably 1887.
[ Franz Streitwieser; Musica Kremsmünster 699 ]

{37216} Euphonium
Stamped on bell “VR” / “40 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FB / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / five-pointed star / “1837” “1887” / “JUBILEE”.
Probably 1887.
[ Bate Collection, University of Oxford ]

{37262} Cornet; “Desideratum” model.
Probably 1887.
[ Private collection ]

{37411} Trombone, duplex valve and slide model
Stamped on bell “40 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FB / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / star / “C. FISCHER / 6 4TH AV. N.Y. / SOLE AGENT U. STATES”; on second valve “F. BESSON” / star / “BREVETE” all within ellipse / “37411”; on bell section at joint “411”.
Probably 1887.
[ National Music Museum, University of South Dakota 445 ]

{37982} Cornet; “Star” model
Stamped on bell “40 MEDALS OF HONOUR” / monogram FB / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / star / “C. Fischer / 6 4th Av. N.Y. / Sole Agent U. States”; on second valve “F. BESSON” / star / “BREVETÉE / 37982”.
Probably 1887.
[ Private collection, U.S.A. ]

{38130} Cornet; “Star” model
Stamped on bell “40 MEDALS OF HONOUR” / monogram FB / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 Euston Road / LONDON” / star; on second valve “F. BESSON” / star / “BREVETÉE / 38130”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “n/ Etoile”; sold 19 Oct 1888 to “Reami”; it was part of a batch of 12 (38121-32) and was numbered no later than 27 Oct 1887.
[ Private collection, U.S.A. ]

{38153} Cornet
Stamped on bell “40 MEDALS OF HONOUR” / ... / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 Euston Road / LONDON”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “Cornet en ut Argenté”; sold 5 Jan 1888 to “J. Haskell”; it was part of a batch of 4 (38151-4) and was numbered no later than 27 Oct 1887.
Auction on eBay ends 2005/Oct/09 21:00:43 BST ]

{38175} B♭ cornet; silver-plated
Stamped on bell “40 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FB / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / five-pointed star; on second valve casing with “8”, and below, ellipse containing “F. BESSON” / star / “BREVETÉE”, and below, “38175”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], instrument 37175 was “Desideratum argenté”; sold 4 May 1888 to “C. Snowball”; it was part of a batch of 6 (37173-8) and was numbered no later than 27 Oct 1887. There is no entry in the stock books for cornet 38175; however, entries numbered 37173-8 are positioned in the sequence where 38173-5 would be in numerical order, and the entry numbered 37175 probably refers to this instrument
[ Private collection, U.S.A. ]

{38152} C cornet
Stamped on bell within floral engraving: 40 [the last digit looks like “6”, mis-stamped] MEDALS OF HONOUR within banner / monogram FB / F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 [the last digit looks like “3”, mis-stamped] EUSTON ROAD / LONDON / [five-pointed star]
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “Cornet en ut”; sold 30 Jun 1888 to “City” then sold 28 Nov 1889 to “Fischer”; it was part of a batch of 3 (38151-3) and was numbered no later than 15 Oct 1887.
[ Utley; National Music Museum, University of South Dakota 6976 ]

{38936} Cornet
Stamped on bell “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / ...”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “Perinet à Clef”; sent 9 May 1888 to “Glasgow Exp”; returned; sold 28 Jan 1889 to “L. Taylor”; it was part of a batch of 6 (38933-38) and was numbered no later than 16 Feb 1888.
Auction on eBay ends 2006/Jan/22 14:50:16 GMT ]

{39636} E♭ bombardon
Stamped on bell “40 MEDALS OF HONOUR” / ... / “F. BESSON / ...”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 2 Jun 1888.
[ Private collection ]

{39709} B♭ cornet; modèle Belge
Stamped on bell “... MEDALS OF HONOUR” / monogram / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / star; on second valve casing with “77”, and below, ellipse containing “F. BESSON” / star / “BREVETÉE”, and below, “39709”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “Belge Sans Clef”; sold 26 Jun 1888 to “St Patrick B.B.”; it was part of a batch of 12 (39699-710) and was numbered no later than 26 Jun 1888.
[ Private collection ]

{39728} B♭ cornet
Stamped “F. BESSON BREVETTEE / ... / MEDALS OF HONOUR / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON / Presented To / Mr William Chalmers / Bandmaster / by / Members of the different Bands / He is Teaching and a few friends / Newmains Sept 1888”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “n/ Etoile argenté”; sold 29 Sep 1888 to “Newmains B.B.”; it was part of a batch of 12 (39723-34) and was numbered no later than 15 Jun 1888.
[ Private collection, U.S.A. ]

{40049} Valve trombone
Stamped on bell “40 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FB / “F. BESSON / BREVETÉ / 198 Euston Road / LONDON” / five-pointed star / “C. Fischer / 6 4th Av. N.Y. / Sole Agent. U. States”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 20 Sep 1888.
[ Franz Streitwieser; Musica Kremsmünster 583 ]

{40344} “Desideratum” model cornet
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 13 Nov 1888.
[ Private collection, U.S.A. ]

{40547} B♭ echo Cornet, silver-plated
Stamped on bell “40 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FB / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype ''/ 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / star.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 6 Dec 1888.
[ Fiske Museum, Claremont Colleges B481; Musical Instrument Museum, Phoenix, AZ ]

{41231} C+B♭ cornet; 4 valves
Stamped on bell “40 MEDALS OF HONOUR” / monogram FB / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / star / “C. Fischer / 6 4th Av. N.Y. / Sole Agent U. States”; on second valve “F. BESSON” / star / “BREVETÉE / 41231”; Unique horn: Mod. Fr. with fourth valve to raise pitch to C; unique because is an “ancien” mod. Fr., but otherwise with desideratum porting-unlike HO's French made 4- valve cornet!.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “Cornet Ascending”; sold 30 Oct 1889 to “Fischer”; it was part of a batch of 4 (41229-32) and was numbered no later than 4 Feb 1889.
[ Private collection, U.S.A. ]

{41576} B♭ cornet; Périnet modèle français
Stamped on the bell “40 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FB / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / star; on 2nd valve in an ellipse “Brevete” / crown / “Brevete”; below that “41576”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “perinet à clé”; sold 29 Aug 1889 to “Barrow Town Bd”; it was part of a batch of 12 (41569-80) and was numbered no later than 11 Apr 1889.
[ Private collection, U.S.A. ]

{41635} C cornet; “New Star” model
Stamped on the bell “40 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FB / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / star / “C. FISCHER / 6. 4th AV. N.Y. / SOLE AGENTS U- STATES”; on second valve casing with ellipse containing “F. BESSON” / star / “BREVETÉE”, and below, “41635”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “n/ Etoile”; sold 23 May 1889 to “Fischer”; it was part of a batch of 12 (41633-44) and was numbered no later than 11 Apr 1889.
[ Private collection, U.S.A. ]

{41756} B♭ cornet.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “N/ Etoile” [the entry is blank, but it would appear to be part of a batch of 12 (41753-64)] and was numbered no later than 29 Apr 1889.
[ not located ]

{41330} B♭ bass cornophone; 3 valves
Stamped on bell “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FB / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 1998 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” [sic] / five-pointed star; “Registered / Cornophones”; on first valve casing “F. BESSON” / crown / “BTE. S.G.D.G.” within ellipse / “41330”.
Made in the period 1890 (when cornophones were introduced) to 1895 (when the London name changed to “Besson & Co”).
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], if numbered in the London sequence, the instrument was numbered no later than 4 Feb 1889.
[ Private collection, U.S.A. ]
Probably made in Paris, the serial number in the Paris sequence.

{41772} Tenor cornophone
Stamped on bell “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON / ENGLAND”.
Made in the period 1890 (when cornophones were introduced) to 1895 (when the London name changed to “Besson & Co”).
[ Private collection, Britain ]
Probably made in Paris, the serial number in the Paris sequence.

{41835} B♭ cornet; “New Star” model
Stamped on the bell “40 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FB / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / star / “C. FISCHER / 6. 4th AV. N.Y. / SOLE AGENTS U- STATES”; on second valve casing with ellipse containing “F. BESSON” / star / “BREVETÉE”, and below, “41835”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “n/ Etoile”; sold 11 Jul 1889 to “Fischer”; it was part of a batch of 72 (41783-854) and was numbered no later than 29 Apr 1889.
[ Private collection, U.S.A. ]

{41865} E♭ bombardon
Stamped on bell “40 MEDALS OF HONOUR” / monogram FB / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / star / “C. Fischer / 6 4th Av. N.Y. / Sole Agent U. States”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 29 Apr 1889.
[ Streitwieser Foundation ]

{42459} Vocal horn in F etc
Stamped on the bell “40 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FB / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / star / “C. FISCHER / 6 4th AV. N.Y. / Sole agent - U. STATES”; on second valve “F. BESSON” / star / “BREVETÉE” and “42459”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 22 Aug 1889.
Phil Holcomb

{42588} Cornet; silver-plated
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 14 Sep 1889.
[ Claude Gordon Collection, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, U.S.A. ]

{42785} Soprano trumpet in E♭, D and C
Stamped on bell “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FB / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / star / “ENGLAND / C. FISCHER / 6. 4th AV. N.Y. / SOLE AGENTS U- STATES”; on valve casing with ellipse containing “F. BESSON” / star / “BTÉ S G D.G.” and below “42785”.
Probably made in Paris, the serial number in the Paris sequence. Note that 42785 in the London sequence was numbered no later than 6 Oct 1889 at which date valved instruments were still stamped “40 MEDALS OF HONOUR”.
[ Edinburgh University Collection of Historic Musical Instruments (4519) ]

{42982} Soprano trumpet in E♭
Stamped on bell “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FB / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / five-pointed star; on valve casing with ellipse containing “F. BESSON” / star / “BTÉ S G D.G.” and below “42982”.
Probably made in Paris, the serial number in the Paris sequence. Note that 42982 in the London sequence was numbered no later than 14 Oct 1889 at which date valved instruments were still stamped “40 MEDALS OF HONOUR”.
[ Horniman Museum E1312 ]

{42588} Cornet; silver-plated
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 14 Sep 1889.
[ Claude Gordon Collection, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, U.S.A. ]

{42785} Trumpetin E♭, D and C
Stamped on bell “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FB / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / star / “ENGLAND / C. FISCHER / 6. 4th AV. N.Y. / SOLE AGENTS U- STATES”; on valve casing with ellipse containing “F. BESSON” / star / “BTÉ S G D.G.” and below “42785”.
[ Edinburgh University Collection of Historic Musical Instruments (4519) ]
Probably made in Paris, the serial number in the Paris sequence.
Probably made in Paris, the serial number in the Paris sequence.

{42810} Vocal horn in F etc
Stamped on bell “40 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FB / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / five-pointed star / “C. FISCHER / 6. 4th AV. N.Y. / SOLE AGENTS U- STATES”; on second valve casing with ellipse containing “F. BESSON” / five-pointed star / “BREVETÉ”, and below, “42810”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 14 Oct 1889.
[ Utley 451; National Music Museum, University of South Dakota 7215 ]

{42899} B♭ flugel
Stamped on bell “40 MEDALS OF HONOUR” / monogram FB / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / star / “C. Fischer / 6 4th Av. N.Y. / Sole Agent U. States”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 14 Oct 1889.
[ Franz Streitwieser; Musica Kremsmünster 1028 ]

{43027} Valve trombone
Stamped on bell “40 MEDALS OF HONOUR” / monogram FB / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / star / “C. Fischer / 6 4th Av. N.Y. / Sole Agent U. States”; on second valve “F. BESSON” / star / “BREVETÉE / 43027”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 14 Oct 1889.
[ National Music Museum, University of South Dakota ]

{43301} Valve trombone
Stamped on bell “40 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FB / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / star / “C. FISCHER / 6. 4th AV. N.Y. / SOLE AGENTS U- STATES”; on second valve casing with ellipse containing “F. BESSON” / star / “BREVETÉE”, and below, “43301”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 28 Oct 1889.
[ Private collection, U.S.A. ]

{43686} B♭ cornet; “Desideratum” model
Stamped on bell “40 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FB / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / star / “C. FISCHER / 6. 4th AV. N.Y. / SOLE AGENTS U- STATES”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “n/ Etoile”; sold 15 Mar 1890 to “Fisher” [sic]; it was part of a batch of 12 (43681-92) and was numbered no later than 6 Feb 1890.
[ Private collection, France ]

{44131} B♭ flugelhorn.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 1 Mar 1890.
[ Present location not known ]

{44486} E♭ bass cornophone
Stamped on bell “Cornophones / Patented” / “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON / ENGLAND”; on second valve casing “F. BESSON / S.G.D.G. / Bte”.
Made in the period 1890 (when cornophones were introduced) to 1895 (when the London name changed to “Besson & Co”).
[ Carl Busch Collection, University of Illinois 12.03.01 ]
Probably made in Paris, the serial number in the Paris sequence.

{44555} B♭/A cornet; “New Star” model
Stamped on bell “40 MEDALS OF HONOUR” / ... / “F. BESSON / ...”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “n/Etoile”; sold 2 Oct 1890 to “Fisher” [sic]; it was part of a batch of 12 (44553-64) and was numbered no later than 29 Apr 1890.
[ Private collection ]

{44728} E♭ tenor horn
Stamped on bell “40 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FB / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / star / on second valve casing with ellipse containing “F. BESSON” / star / “BREVETÉ”, and below, “44728”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 29 Apr 1890.
[ Private collection, Britain ]

{45005} Cornet, “Desideratum Eclipse” model
Stamped on bell “Eclipse / Registered / 40 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FB / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / five-pointed star / “C. Fischer / 6 4th. Avenue, New York / Sole Agent U. States”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “Desideratum Eclipse”; sold 28 Aug 1890 to “Fisher” [sic]; it was part of a batch of 12 (44995-45006) and was numbered no later than 28 Aug 1890.
Auction on eBay ends 2005/Nov/19 16:04:36 GMT ]

{45121} B♭ cornet; “Star” model
Stamped on bell “40 MEDALS OF HONOUR” / monogram FB / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / star / “C. Fischer / 6 4th Av. N.Y. / Sole Agent U. States”; on 2nd valve “F. BESSON / star / Brvete/ 45121”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “n/ Etoile”; sold 27 Nov 1890 to “Fisher” [sic]; it was part of a batch of 12 (45118-29) and was numbered no later than 1 Sep 1890.
[ Private collection ]

{45181} Cornet; “Star” model.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “n/ Etoile”; sold 27 Nov 1890 to “Fisher” [sic]; it was part of a batch of 6 (45177-82) and was numbered no later than 1 Sep 1890.
[ Private collection ]

{45232} B♭ cornophone cornettito
Stamped on bell “Cornophones / Patented” / “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FB / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / five-pointed star; on second valve casing “2” / “F. BESSON” / crown / “BTE. S.G.D.G.” within ellipse / “45232”.
Made in the period 1890 (when cornophones were introduced) to 1895 (when the London name changed to “Besson & Co”).
[ Edinburgh University Collection of Historic Musical Instruments (6033) ]
Probably made in Paris, the serial number in the Paris sequence.

{45520} B♭ cornet; two main tuning-slides; top-sprung valves.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “Desideratum”; sold 25 Nov 1890 to “North Ashton B.B.”; it was part of a batch of 12 (45510-21) and was numbered no later than 25 Sep 1890.
[ Present location not known ]

{45690} B♭ cornet collé
Stamped on bell “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” / monogram FB / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / star; on 2nd valve “F. BESSON / star / Breveté / 45690”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “Cornet collé”; sold 8 Dec 1890 to “W. Scott”; it was part of a batch of 12 (45686-97) and was numbered no later than 7 Oct 1890.
[ Private collection, U.S.A. ]
The lowest regularly numbered surviving valved instrument stamped “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR”

{45713} Cornet, “Desideratum Eclipse” model
Stamped on bell “Eclipse / Regd” / “40 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FB / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / five-pointed star”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “Desideratum Eclipse”; it was part of a batch of 6 (45710-45715) and was numbered no later than 17 Oct 1890.
Auction on eBay ends 2011/Oct/02 19:22:32 BST ]
The highest-numbered surviving valved instrument stamped “40 MEDALS OF HONOUR”

{45832} E♭ cornet
Stamped on bell “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” / monogram FB / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD” / star / “C. Fischer / 6 4th Av. N.Y. / Sole Agents U. States”; second valve “F. BESSON” / star / “BREVETÉ / 45832”.
No mention in the Besson stock books; the instrument was numbered no later than 27 Nov 1890.
[ Private collection, U.S.A. ]

{45865} BB♭ bombardon.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 27 Nov 1890.
[ Present location not known ]

{45987} Cornet
Stamped on bell “Chicago Bore / Eclipse / Reg./ 40 MEDALS OF HONOUR” / monogram FB / “F. BESSON / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON / C. Fischer / 6 4th Av. N.Y. / Sole Agent / U. States”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “n/ Etoile Eclipse”; sold 31 Dec 1890 to “Fisher” [sic]; it was part of a batch of 12 (45984-95) and was numbered no later than 28 Nov 1890.
[ Private collection ]
The lowest-numbered surviving valved instrument stamped “CHICAGO BORE”

{46243} Valve trombone
Stamped on bell “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” / monogram FB / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / star / “C. Fischer / 6 4th Av. N.Y. / Sole Agent U. States”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 31 Dec 1890.
[ Franz Streitwieser; Musica Kremsmünster 992 ]

{46632} C cornophone tenor
Stamped on bell “Cornophones / Patented” / “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FB / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / five-pointed star; on third valve casing “F. BESSON” / crown / “BTE. S.G.D.G.” within ellipse / “46632”.
Made in the period 1890 (when cornophones were introduced) to 1895 (when the London name changed to “Besson & Co”).
[ Royal Military School of Music, Kneller Hall 126 ]
Probably made in Paris, the serial number in the Paris sequence.

{46901} B♭ flugelhorn.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 23 Apr 1891.
[ Present location not known ]

{47484} Cornet; “Desideratum” model.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 20 Jul 1891.
[ Private collection ]

{47906} B♭ tenor valve trombone
Stamped on bell “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” / monogram FB / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / star / “C. Fischer / 6 4th Av. N.Y. / Sole Agent U. States”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 11 Sep 1891.
[ Private collection ]

{48236} Vocal horn
Stamped on bell “CHICAGO BORE” and “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” / ... / “F. BESSON / ...”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 30 Sep 1891.
[ Private collection ]

{48344} Flugel horn
Stamped on bell “40 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FB / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 30 Sep 1891.
Auction on eBay ends 2006/Aug/24 19:53:49 BST ]
The highest-numbered surviving valved instrument stamped “40 MEDALS OF HONOUR”

{48389} B♭ euphonium, 5-valve
Stamped on bell “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FB / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / five-pointed star; on valve top caps and sides of stems and casings “7”, “8”, “9”, “1”, “2”; on side of 1st valve casing “F. BESSON / BREVETE” within ellipse / “48389”; on side of 4th valve casing “F. BESSON / BREVETE” within ellipse.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “Basse SI♭ à 5 Cl.1”; sold 1 Dec 1891 to “Geek Compy Band”; it was part of a batch of 6 (48387-92) and was numbered no later than 3 Oct 1891.
[ Edinburgh University Collection of Historic Musical Instruments (3415) ]

{48394} B♭ baritone, 4-valve
Stamped on bell “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FB / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / five-pointed star; on side of 1st valve casing “F. BESSON / BREVETE” within ellipse / “48394”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 3 Oct 1891.
[ Private Collection, U.S.A. ]

{48398} B♭ cornet; Concertiste model
Stamped on bell “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FB / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / five-pointed star; on side of 1st valve casing “F. BESSON” / star / “BREVETE” within ellipse / “48398”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 3 Oct 1891.
[ Private Collection, France ]

{48860} Tenor horn
Stamped on bell “... / 198 Euston Rd, LONDON ,. ENGLAND, C Fisher 6 4th Ave New York, sole agent U.States”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 19 Dec 1891.
[ Private collection ]
[ Private Collection, France ]

{49122} B♭ cornet with ascending valve for C
Stamped on bell “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FB / “F. BESSON / ... / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON / ...”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 10 Feb 1892.
[ Private collection, U.S.A. ]

{49373} E♭ cornet
Stamped on bell “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” / monogram FB / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON / ENGLAND / C. FISCHER / 6 4TH AV. N.Y. / SOLE AGENT U. STATES”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 14 Mar 1892.
[ Franz Streitwieser; Musica Kremsmünster 635 ]

{49573} B♭ euphonium, 3-valve
Stamped on bell “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FB / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / five-pointed star; on second valve “F. BESSON” / star / “BREVETE” within ellipse / “49573”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “Basse SI♭ a 3 Cl 3”; sold 14 Apr 1892 to “G. Kelly BM.”; it was part of a batch of 6 (49568-73) and was numbered no later than 7 Apr 1892.
[ Boosey & Hawkes 746; Horniman Museum 2004.826 ]

{49667} Tenor horn
Stamped on bell “... F. BESSON / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON / ...”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 9 May 1892.
Auction on eBay ends 2011/Jun/12 20:54:22 BST ]

{50276} B♭ euphonium, 5-valve
Stamped on bell “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FB / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / five-pointed star / “ENGLAND / C. FISCHER / 6. 4TH AV. N.Y. / SOLE AGENT U. STATES”; on first valve “F. BESSON” / star / “BREVETE” within ellipse / “50276 / 10”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “Basse à 5 Cl 1”; sold 11 Aug 1892 to “Fisher” [sic]; it was part of a batch of 5 (50274-78) and was numbered no later than 20 Jul 1892.
[ Private collection, Canada ]

{50391} B♭ valve trombone, 3-valve
Stamped on bell “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FB / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / five-pointed star / “ENGLAND / C. Fischer / 6 4th Av. N.Y. / Sole Agent U. States”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 16 Aug 1892.
[ Private collection, U.S.A. ]

{50519} B♭ echo cornet
Stamped on bell “31 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FR / “F. BESSON / BREVETÉ / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON / ...”
Bell probably 1885 or earlier, valves numbered no later than 16 Aug 1892.
Apparently a replacement bell flare from an earlier Besson cornet has been fitted to the body and proximal part of the bell pipe.
[ Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nürnberg, MI 775 ]

{50674} E♭ tenor horn
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 6 Sep 1892.
Auction on eBay ends 2006/Aug/22 12:13:33 BST ]

{50704} B♭ euphonium, 4-valve
Stamped on bell “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FB / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / five-pointed star; on side of 1st valve casing “F. BESSON” / star / “BREVETÉE” within ellipse / “50704 / 7”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “Basse Si♭ à 4 Cl 2”; sold 21 Sep 1892 to “Gospel Temp B.B.”; it was part of a batch of 12 (50696-707) and was numbered no later than 9 Sep 1892.
[ Private collection, Britain ]

{50783} B♭ cornet, “Victory” model
Stamped on bell “Patented” / “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FB / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / five pointed star; on side of 2nd valve casing “F. BESSON” / five-pointed star / “BREVETÉE” within ellipse / “50783 / 8”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 30 Sep 1892.
Accompanied by letter of 25 Oct 1960 from J.R. Howard, Managing Director of Besson & Co, stating that the instrument was sold 14 Oct 1892 to Mr Daniel Neasdon, Bandmaster.
[ Private collection, Britain ]

{50998} Baritone
Stamped on bell “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” / monogram FB / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / star / “C. Fischer / 6 4th Av. N.Y. / Sole Agent U. States”; on 2nd valve “F. BESSON” / star / “BREVETÉE / 50998”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 30 Sep 1892.
[ National Music Museum, University of South Dakota ]

{51613} B♭ cornet
Stamped on bell “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” / monogram FB / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / star / “ENGLAND / C. Fischer / 6 4th Av. N.Y. / Sole Agent U. States”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 25 Feb 1893.
[ Musical Instrument Museum, Phoenix T2008.15.1053 ]

{51791} B-flay flugel
Stamped on bell “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FB / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / star / “ENGLAND / C. Fischer / 6. 4TH AV. N.Y. / SOLE AGENT U. STATES”. on side of 2nd valve casing “2” / “F. BESSON” / five-pointed star / “BREVETÉ” within ellipse / “51791”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 3 Mar 1893.
[ Private collection, Britain ]

{51991} B♭ euphonium, 3-valve
Stamped on bell “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FB / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / five-pointed star; on side of 1st valve casing “7 / F. BESSON” / star / “BREVETÉE” within ellipse / “51991”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “Basse Si♭ à 3 Cl 2”; sold 8 Jun 1893 to “Grossman & Son”; it was part of a batch of 6 (51989-994) and was numbered no later than 31 May 1893.
[ Private collection, Canada ]

{52139} B♭ euphonium, 4-valve Victory model
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “Victory Euphonium”; sold 4 Feb 1895 to “Mr A. Hindle”; it was part of a batch of 4 (52139-42) and was it was numbered no later than 31 May 1893.
[ Private collection, France ]

{52161} E♭ bombardon; 3-valve
Stamped on bell “... / ``Prototype'' / ...”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 31 May 1893.
[ Present location not known ]

{52829} B♭ flugelhorn
Stamped on bell “... / C. FISCHER / 6. 4th AV. N.Y. / SOLE AGENTS U. STATES”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 30 Sep 1893.
[ Present location not known ]

{53522} E♭ soprano cornet.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 8 Jan 1894.
Auction on eBay ends 2006/Feb/08 22:58:55 GMT ]

{53635} B♭ cornet
Stamped on bell “... / PRESENTED TO / MR EDWIN TAYLOR / ...”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 20 Jan 1894.
[ Present location not known ]

{53782} B♭ cornet, “Victory” model.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 8 Mar 1894.
[ Private collection ]

{54120} B♭ cornet
Stamped on bell “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON / ENGLAND / C. FISCHER / 6. 4th AV. N.Y. / SOLE AGENTS U. STATES”; on side of 2nd valve casing “F. BESSON” / “BREVETE”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 22 Mar 1894.
[ Carl Busch Collection, University of Illinois 01.04.04 ]

{54303} B♭ cornet, “Victory” model
Stamped on bell “Patented” / “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FB / “``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON”; on valve stems, top and bottom caps and sides of valve casings “1”, “2”, “3”; on side of 2nd valve casing “F. BESSON” / five-pointed star / “BREVETE” within ellipse / “54303”; no inscription on shank.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 25 May 1894.
[ Private collection, Britain ]

{54378} B♭ cornet, “Victory” model
Stamped on bell “Patented” / “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON / ENGLAND / C. FISCHER / 6. 4th AV. N.Y. / SOLE AGENTS U. STATES”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 25 May 1894.
[ Norman Eddy 277; Duke University ]

{54726} B♭ euphonium, 5-valve
Stamped on bell “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / ... / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON”; on side of 1st valve casing “48389”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “Basse à 5 Si♭ Argent*eacute; Cl.1”; sold 29 Sep 1894 to “Marchside Temp B.”; it was part of a batch of 6 (54727-31) and was numbered no later than 29 Aug 1894.
[ Private collection ]

{54588} B♭ cornet, “Victory” model
Stamped on bell “Patented” / “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON / ENGLAND”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 13 Jul 1894.
[ Stockholm X5378 ]

{55134} Cornet
Stamped on bell “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR / Dec. 7th 1895/ monogram FB / F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / star / “ENGLAND / C. Fischer / 6 4th Ave NY / Sole Agent / United States / W B Rogers Bandmaster 7th Regt. NY NY from his friend EDwD Kemp”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 21 Sep 1894.
[ Private collection ]

{55414} F trumpet; short model shaped like cornet, Md Fr., second slide straight out, .45x
Stamped on bell “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” / monogram FB / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / star / “C. Fischer / 6 4th Av. N.Y. / Sole Agent U. States”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 21 Dec 1894.
[ Private collection ]

{55560} Cornet; “Star” model
Stamped on bell “... / Carl Fischer / ...”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 12 Jan 1895.
[ Private collection ]

{55608} Tenor horn
Stamped on bell “... / Besson & Co / Euston Road / ...”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 12 Jan 1895.
[ Private collection ]
The lowest-numbered surviving valved instrument stamped “BESSON & CO”

{55807} Cornet; “Star” model; md angl
Stamped on bell “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” / monogram FB / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / star / “C. Fischer / 6 4th Av. N.Y. / Sole Agent U. States”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 30 Jan 1895.
[ Private collection ]

{55809} Cornet, silverplated
Stamped on bell “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” / monogram FB / “F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / star; on second valve “F. BESSON” / star / “BREVETE” within ellipse / “55809”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 30 Jan 1895.
[ seen in an Edinburgh pawnshop 25.11.08 ]

{56117} Cornet; “Star” model
Stamped on bell “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR / F. BESSON / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON / ENGLAND / C. Fisher / 6.4th Av. N.Y. / Sole Agent / U. States”; on second valve “F. BESSON” / star / “Brevete” in a circle / “56117”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 30 Jan 1895.
[ Private collection ]

{56605} B♭ euphonium, 5-valve
Stamped on bell “CHICAGO / BORE” / “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / “BESSON & CO / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / five-pointed star; on second valve “F. BESSON” / star / “BREVETE” within ellipse / “56605”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “Basse Si♭ à 5 Cl 1”; sold 28 Jun 1895 to “Greengate BB”; it was part of a batch of 6 (56604-9) and was numbered no later than 13 Apr 1895.
[ Boosey & Hawkes; Horniman Museum 2004.1139 ]

{56647} BB♭ bass
Stamped “... / CHICAGO BORE / ...”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 13 Apr 1895.
[ Private collection, Britain ]

{56673} B♭ euphonium, 4-valve, “Victory” model
Stamped on bell “CHICAGO / BORE” / “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / “BESSON & CO / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / five-pointed star; on second valve “F. BESSON” / star / “BREVETE” within ellipse / “56673”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “Victory Euphonium Cl 1”; sold 8 Oct 1895 to “Lauriston ?etland B.B.”; it was part of a batch of 4 (56671-4) and was numbered no later than 13 Apr 1895.
[ Private collection, U.S.A. ]

{56945} Cornet; “Star” model (old “desid”)
Stamped on bell “... / BESSON & CO / ...”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 19 Jul 1895.
[ Private collection ]

{57287} B♭ cornet, “Victory” model
Stamped on bell “Patented” / “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FB / “BESSON & CO / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / star / On 2nd valve “F. BESSON & CO. / BREVETE” and “57287”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 24 Aug 1895.
[ Private collection ]

{57400}
Stamped on bell “CLASS / A” / “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FB / “BESSON & CO / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / star / on first valve casing with ellipse containing “BESSON & CO” / star / “BREVETÉ”, and below, “57400”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 24 Aug 1895.
[ Private collection, Britain ]

{57751} B♭ baritone
Stamped on bell “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FB / “BESSON & CO / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / star / on first valve casing with ellipse containing “BESSON & CO” / star / “BREVETÉ”, and below, “57751”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 26 Oct 1895.
[ Private collection, Britain ]

{58447} B♭ euphonium, 4-valve, “Victory” model
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “Basse Victory Cl 1”; sold 8 Feb 1897 to “Begg & Co”; re-entered and sold 16 Oct 1898 to “16ess S. Attwood”; it was part of a batch of 4 (58446-9) and was numbered no later than 15 Feb 1896.
[ Edinburgh University Collection of Historic Musical Instruments (5715) ]

{58534} E♭ tenor horn
Stamped on bell “CLASS / A” / “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FB / “BESSON & CO / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / star / on first valve casing with ellipse containing “BESSON & CO” / star / “BREVETÉ”, and below, “58534”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 15 Feb 1896.
[ Private collection, Britain ]

{58915} Cornet; “Star” model (previously “Desideratum”)
Stamped on bell “... / BESSON & CO / ...”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 21 Mar 1896.
[ Private collection ]

{58931} Cornet; “Zephyr” model
Stamped on bell “... / BESSON & CO / ...”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 21 Mar 1896.
[ Private collection ]
The lowest-numbered surviving valved instrument stamped “Zephyr”

{59066} ? Besson & Co., FB.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 21 Mar 1896.
[ Private collection ]

{59175} C cornet; “Desideratum” model
Stamped on bell “... CHICAGO BORE ...”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 31 Mar 1896.
[ Utley 170; National Music Museum, University of South Dakota 6934 ]

{59382} 5-valve euphonium
Stamped on bell “... MEDALS OF HONOUR” / monogram / “F. BESSON / BREVETÉE” / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / five-pointed star.
No mention in the Besson stock books; the instrument was numbered no later than 31 Mar 1896.
Auction on eBay ends 2005/Aug/05 15:17:02 BST ]
Auction on eBay ends 2005/Sep/15 13:51:00 BST ]
Auction on eBay ends 2005/Sep/15 20:29:46 BST ]
The higest-numbered surviving valved instrument stamped on the bell “F. BESSON”

{59451} Cornet
Stamped on bell “Chicago / Bore / 50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” / monogram FB / “BESSON & CO. / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / star / “ENGLAND / C. Fischer / 6 4th Av., N.Y. / Sole Agent U. States”; second valve “BESSON & CO.”/ star / “BREVETÉ” / “59451”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 18 Jun 1896.
[ Private collection ]

{59540} BB♭ helicon
Stamped on 2nd valve “F. BESSON”/ five-pointed star / “BREVETÉ” in ellipse / “59540”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 18 Jun 1896.
[ Private collection, Britain ]
The higest-numbered surviving valved instrument stamped on the valves “F. BESSON”

{59663} Echo cornet; concertiste model
Stamped on bell “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR / monogram FB / Besson & Co. / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / star / “ENGLAND”; on second valve “Besson & Co. / star / BREVETÉ / 59663”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 18 Jun 1896.
[ Private collection ]

{59812} BB♭ bombardon, tall model.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 14 Jul 1896.
[ Present location not known ]

{59911} E♭ bombardon, 3-valve.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 29 Jul 1896.
[ Present location not known ]

{59992} B♭ valve trombone; 4 valves;
The valves are stamped “BESSON & CO” inside the usual oval.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 5 Sep 1896.
[ Private collection ]

{60017} B♭ euphonium, 5-valve
Stamped on bell “``Zephyr''” / “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FB / “BESSON & CO. / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON”; on third valve “BESSON & CO” / star / “BREVETE” within ellipse / “60017”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “Basse Si♭ n./mod à 5 Cl 1”; sold 20 Aug 1897 to “Mr Jackson”; it was part of a batch of 4 (60017-20) and was numbered no later than 5 Sep 1896.
[ Boosey & Hawkes; Horniman Museum 2004.1139 ]

{60063} Tuba in F, 5-valve [Barlow] model;
Stamped on bell “CLASS / A” / “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FB / “BESSON & CO. / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON / ENGLAND” / five-pointed star. Inscribed on sides of 2nd valve casing “BESSON & Co. / five-pointed star / BREVETE” within ellipse / “60063”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 5 Sep 1896.
[ Horniman Museum 2008.268 ]

{60157} B♭/A cornet;
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 5 Sep 1896.
[ Private collection ]

{60592} Cornet
Stamped on bell “Chicago / Bore / 50 MEDALS OF HONOUR / monogram FB / Besson & Co. / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / star / “ENGLAND / C. Fischer / 6 4th Av., N.Y. / Sole Agent U. States”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 5 Nov 1896.
[ Private collection ]

{60896} B♭ cornet
Inscribed on bell “CLASS / A” / “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FB / “BESSON & CO. / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / five-pointed star; on side of valve casings “34”, “35” / “BESSON & CO. / BREVETE” in ellipse (any mark in the centre of the ellipse worn away) / “60896”; there is no “36” visible on the third valve casing.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 7 Dec 1896.
[ Edinburgh University Collection of Historic Musical Instruments (2869) ]

{61038} B♭ cornet
Inscribed “198 Euston Rd, LONDON , C. Fisher 6 4th Ave, NY Sole agent UStates”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 7 Dec 1896.
[ Private collection ]

{61275} B♭ cornet; two main tuning-slides.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 7 Jan 1897.
[ Present location not known ]

{61328} Cornet; etoile -short model old desideratum nomenclature (really “New Star”); fixed leadpipe added later.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 3 Feb 1897.
[ Private collection ]

{62054} 5-valve euphonium
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “Basse SI♭ à 5 argenté Cl 1”; sold 21 Jun 1897 to “Lower Ince BB.”; it was part of a batch of 6 (62050-55) and was numbered no later than 20 May 1897.
[ Private collection, Britain ]

{62251} 5-valve euphonium
Stamped on bell “CLASS A / 50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” / monogram FB / “BESSON & Co. / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON”; on lower section of 2nd valve casing “BESSON & Co. / BREVETE / 62251”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “Basse SI♭ à 5 Cl.1”; it was part of a batch of 3 (62249-51) and was numbered no later than 27 Jul 1897; The entry in the stock books for basse 62251 is blank; however, the descriptions in entries numbered 62249-50 correspond refer to the same model, and “Basse SI♭ à 5 Cl.1” probably refers to instrument 62251 also.
[ Boosey & Hawkes 737; Horniman Museum 2004.1157 ]

{63667} B♭ Cornet
Stamped on bell “Chicago / Bore” ... “Besson & Co. / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / star / “ENGLAND / C. Fischer / 6 4th Av., N.Y. / Sole Agent U. States”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 7 Dec 1897.
Auction on eBay ends 2008/Oct/12 04:22:03 BST ]

{63831} F cornophone alto, narrow mouthpiece receiver
Stamped on bell “Cornophones / Patented” / “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FB / “BESSON & CO / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / five-pointed star; on first valve casing “BESSON & CO” / five-pointed star / “BREVETE” within ellipse / “63831”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], if numbered in the London sequence, the instrument was numbered no later than 5 Feb 1898.
[ Adam Carse; Horniman Museum 14.5.47/312 ]

{63866} B♭ cornet, “Victory” model
Stamped on bell “Patented” / “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FB / “BESSON & CO / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / five-pointed star; on side of valve casings and stems “16”, “17” , “18”; on side of 2nd valve casing “BESSON & CO / BREVETE” within ellipse with five-pointed star, and “63866”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], numbered no later than 5 Feb 1898.
[ Private collection, Germany ]

{64228} Echo cornet; Concerertiste model
Stamped on bell “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” / monogram FB / “Besson & Co. / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / star / “ENGLAND”; on second valve “Besson & Co. / star / BREVETÉ / 64228”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 5 Feb 1898.
[ Private collection ]

{64495} BB♭ bombardon;/ ``Prototype'' .
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 5 May 1898.
Auction on eBay ends 2003/Oct/16 19:45:45 PDT ]

{64953} B♭ cornet
Stamped on bell “... / BESSON & CO / ...”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 11 Aug 1898.
[ Frederick Stearns; University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 1561 ]

{65108} BB♭ bombardon
Stamped on bell “CLASS / A” / “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FB / “BESSON & CO / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / five-pointed star; on side of valve casings and stems “7”, “8” , “9”; on side of 2nd valve casing “BESSON & CO / BREVETE” within ellipse with five-pointed star, and “65108”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was numbered no later than 11 Aug 1898.
[ Edinburgh University Collection of Historic Musical Instruments (202) ]

{65618} B♭ euphonium; 3-valve, small bore
Stamped on bell “CLASS / A / ...”.
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books], the instrument was “Basse Si♭ à 3 Cl.1”; sold 5 Dec 1898 to “Bellhill B.B.”; it was part of a batch of 6 (65618-23) and was numbered no later than 11 Nov 1898.
[ Present location not known ]

{65751} B♭ euphonium
Stamped on bell “Zephyr” / “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FB / “BESSON & CO / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / five-pointed star.
Probably 1899.
[ Present location not known ]

{65757} BB♭ bombardon
Stamped on bell “CLASS / A” / “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FB / “BESSON & CO / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / five-pointed star; and “PROVIDED / BY THE / WOMBWELL REFORM CLUB / FOR THE USE OF / WOMBWELL TOWN BAND / JANUARY 1912”; on sides of valve casings “9”, “8” / “BESSON & CO / BREVETE” within ellipse with five-pointed star / “65757”, “7”.
Probably 1899.
[ Edinburgh University Collection of Historic Musical Instruments (2857) ]

{65796} B♭ euphonium, 5-valve
Stamped on bell “CLASS / A / Zephyr” / “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FB / “BESSON & CO / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / five-pointed star; on bell near rim “19” monogram “ER” “01”; on valve casings “10”, “11”, “BESSON & CO / BREVETE” in ellipse and “65796 / 12”, “9” and “BESSON & CO / BREVETE” in ellipse, “10”; on stems of valve touchpieces, apart from 4th, “10”, “11”, “ 12”, “10”.
Probably 1899.
[ Edinburgh University Collection of Historic Musical Instruments (2950) ]

{66420} B♭ cornet, “Victory” model
According to the firm's archives [Besson stock books],
Probably 1899.
[ Dealer's stock, Belgium ]

{66650} C baritone
Stamped on bell “CLASS / A” / “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FB / “BESSON & CO / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / five-pointed star.
Probably 1899.
Auction on eBay ends 2007/Feb/10 13:07:46 GMT ]

{66816} B♭ cornet
Stamped on bell “``Zephyr''” / “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FB / “BESSON & CO / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / five-pointed star.
Probably 1899.
Auction on eBay ends 2008/Aug/26 18:32:35 BST ]

{67298} E♭ tenor horn.
Probably 1899.
[ Present location not known ]

{67498} Euphonium, 5-valve
Stamped on bell “Class A / 50 MEDALS OF HONOUR”" / monogram FB / “Besson & Co. / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / star / “ENGLAND”; on second valve “Besson & Co.” / star / “BREVETÉ / 67498”.
Probably 1899.
[ Private collection ]

{67789} B♭ cornet, “Victory” model
Stamped on bell “Patented” / “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FB / “BESSON & CO / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / five-pointed star; on side of valve casings and stems “7”, “8” , “9”; on side of 2nd valve casing “BESSON & CO / BREVETE” within ellipse with five-pointed star, and “67789”.
Probably 1899.
[ Private collection, France ]

{68075} Cornet
Stamped on bell “CHICAGO / BORE” / “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FB / “BESSON & CO. / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / star / “ENGLAND / C. FISCHER / 6 4TH AV., N.Y. / SOLE AGENT U. STATES”; around bell rim “Presented to Dr. G.W. Collins by U.S.D. Band and Musical friends of Vermillion S. Dak. June 2nd, 1900”; on second valve “8” and “BESSON & CO. / star / BREVETE” all within ellipse / “68075”.
Probably 1899.
[ National Music Museum, University of South Dakota 439 ]

{68168} BB♭ bombardon.
Probably 1899.
[ Private collection, Britain ]

{68488} BB♭ bombardon.
Probably 1900.
[ Present location not known ]

{68568} E♭ tenor horn
Stamped on bell “CLASS / A” / “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FB / “BESSON & CO / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / star; on second valve casing with ellipse containing “BESSON & CO” / star / “BREVETÉ”, and below, “68568”.
Probably 1900.
[ Private collection, Britain ]

{69471} C echo cornet
Stamped on bell “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / monogram FB / “BESSON & CO / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / five-pointed star; on second valve casing “5” / ellipse containing “BESSON & CO” / five-pointed star / “BREVETÉ”, and below, “69471”.
Accompanied by manufacturer's receipt dated 4 Oct 1900.
[ Private collection, Britain ]

{69930} Cornet
Stamped on bell “Class / B / Chicago / Bore / 50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” / monogram FB / “Besson & Co. / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / star / “ENGLAND / C. Fischer / 6 4th Av., N.Y. / Sole Agent U. States”; on second valve “Besson & Co.” / star / “BREVETÉ / 69330”.
Probably 1900.
[ Private collection ]

{69334} B♭ euphonium, 5-valve
Stamped on bell “CLASS / A / ``Zephyr''” / “50 MEDALS OF HONOUR” within banner / “BESSON & CO / ``Prototype'' / 198 EUSTON ROAD / LONDON” / five-pointed star; on 3rd valve valve casing, “BESSON & CO / BREVETE” in ellipse and “69334 / 9”.
Probably 1900.
[ Present location not known ]
Return to Contents

References

Arnold Myers and Niles Eldredge, "The Brasswind Production of Marthe Besson's London Factory". Galpin Society Journal (ISSN 0072-0127) LIX, 2006, pp.43-75. The surviving Stock Books of the Besson firm are part of the Boosey & Hawkes archive in the care of the Horniman Museum, London.

Link to a selection of F. Besson (London) and Besson & Co brasswind pictures


This publication has not been refereed and the responsibility for its content rests solely with the authors.

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© Arnold Myers, Niles Eldredge, 2006-2011, 2012.

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This page updated 26.2.12