Conn Wonder in Eb
Date: 1900. Owner unknown
The Wonder Eb cornet was produced between at least 1887 and 1900, and apparently had a #1/2 bore (0.425").
The above pictured instrument is actually a somewhat unusual instrument. To quote the eBay seller:
"The serial number of this horn presents a puzzle. #164724 indicates that the horn should date from about 1919. However, the bell engraving, which does not include the word "LTD.", and the plating pattern (goldplate outside the bell up to the band) indicates that the horn was finished sometime between the 1910 factory fire and the 1915 sale of the company by Col. Conn and its subsequent renaming as C.G. Conn Ltd. The "1" in the serial number, while stamped in the correct factory style, is stamped further to the left than usual and thus the serial number is not centered beneath the bore size number. It is my contention that the valve cluster was made in 1900-1901 and was originally serialed "64724", and that the instrument was completed in 1910-15 and sold as new with the "1" added to the serial. This would mean that the instrument was sold with a rare out-of-sequence serial number.
I believe this is possible for the following reason: With the demise of the brass band, Eb cornets fell out of vogue after 1900. Even so, the Wonder Eb was being offered up to World War One; however, demand was probably very small and it's likely that a number of incomplete instruments and parts were held in stock for years, completed to order at later dates, and the serials changed to reflect more current production. I have no way to document this, so it's strictly speculation on my part, but it seems likely."