Emperor Cornets

Trademark documentation puts the Emperor name in first use in late 1947. However, the earliest known serial numbers are from around the same time that design changes were made to the Reynolds cornets and the Contempora model was introduced, ~1949-50.

Targeted at advanced student musicians and community band players, the Emperor cornet was an intermediate horn and a step-up model from the Roth line. Built with the same wrap style as the Roth model, both are easily distinguished from the higher-end Reynolds cornets by the lack of the "underslung" lead pipe design.

1946-1952

F.A. Reynolds, division of Scherl & Roth (Cleveland, Ohio)

The nickel-silver bell flare was originally produced as part of the Roth instrument line. When the Emperor model launched, the catalog used the same "Tone Tempered" description as was previously used with the Roth model. Emperor models from this time period are stamped "Made by F.A. Reynolds".

Model 10

Emperor Deluxe Cornet with "Tone Tempered" nickel-silver bell

Bore: .458" (medium) Bell: 4-5/8", brass bell with nickel-silver bell flare Materials: brass with nickel-silver outer tuning slides Valves: hand-lapped valves, nickel-silver piston Finish: clear lacquer finish; optional silverplate with bright bell or gold bell finish

Model 10 [SN 25312]. Photos used with permission from eBay Member: towerhogdog.

Model 10B

Emperor Cornet with brass bell

Bore: .458" (medium) Bell: 4-5/8", brass bell  Materials: brass with nickel-silver outer tuning slides Valves: hand-lapped valves, nickel-silver piston Finish: clear lacquer finish; optional silverplate with bright bell or gold bell finish

Model 10B (SN 28158)

An instrument that is Tone Tempered to give clear, crisp, rich tone. Entire bell flare is polished nickel silver that adds to the resonant fullness of its voice. Has streamlined valve action. Finished in nickel silver and brass—lacquered.

1950 F.A. Reynolds catalog

1952-1961

Roth-Reynolds (Cleveland, Ohio)

Originally marketed as a "Tone Tempered" bell, the nickel-silver bell was described as a deluxe "Silver Flare" bell in 1953. A standard brass bell model was also offered, with nickel silver trim being the main visible difference from the now-plain Roth model.

Reynolds Emperor Models in medium bore produce that clear, crisp tone musicians and audiences thrill to hear. Beautifully designed with a fine tapered bore that makes playing as effortless as possible. Dependable and fast action produced by solid nickel silver valves that are individually hand-lapped for perfect adjustment. Trimmed in nickel silver for beauty and to prevent wear at every possible point of contact with hand or case. Available in deluxe model with nickel silver “Silver-Flare” bell or with solid brass bell.

1953 Roth-Reynolds catalog

Model 10

Emperor Deluxe Cornet with "Silver-Flare" bell

Bore: .458" (medium)
Bell: 4-5/8", brass bell with nickel-silver bell flare
Materials: brass with nickel-silver outer tuning slides
Valves: hand-lapped valves, nickel-silver piston
Finish: clear lacquer finish; optional silverplate with bright bell or gold bell finish

Model 10 [SN 47322]; photos used with permission from eBay member: rockmiller.

Model 10B

Emperor Cornet with brass bell

Bore: .458" (medium)
Bell: 4-5/8" brass bell 
Materials: brass with nickel-silver outer tuning slides
Valves: hand-lapped valves, nickel-silver piston
Finish: clear lacquer finish; optional silverplate with bright bell or gold bell finish

SN 43452. Photos used with permission from eBay Member: wideangleman.

1961-1964

RMC/Reynolds (Cleveland, Ohio)

Sometime after Richards Music purchased Reynolds in 1961, the product catalog was renumbered. The old numbers were replaced with a new scheme that reflected the type of instrument. To the best of knowledge, the instrument specifications did not change, just the model numbers.

Model CR-52

Emperor Cornet with brass bell

Bore: .458" (medium)
Bell: 4-5/8" brass bell
Materials: brass with nickel-silver outer tuning slides
Valves: hand-lapped valves, nickel-silver pistons
Finish
: clear lacquer finish

Model CR52 (SN 65009; photos courtesy of Freas Fine Arts/ebay ID miguelradio)

Acoustically designed for promising students and those of advanced talent. Often selected for beginners by discriminating teachers and parents who want the added features that the Emperor provides for their children. Perfect fitting, hand-lapped nickel-silver valves with top action springs. Professional type mouthpiece. Music lyre.

1963 RMC-Reynolds catalog

Historical Note

In conjunction with the premiere of Warner Bros.’ motion picture, Meredith Willson’s “The Music Man” (1962), RMC/Reynolds sponsored “The Music Man Contest” for individual musicians between ages 8-18, with national, regional and local award winners. “Official Music Man” models of the brass-bell Emperor trumpet, cornet and trombone were produced in conjunction with the contest.

1964-1970

Reynolds (Fullerton, Calif.; Abilene, Texas)

After CMI purchased the assets to Reynolds, trumpets, cornets, trombones and French horns were made at the Olds factory in Fullerton, Calif. There were slight adjustments to the model specifications compared to the Cleveland instruments.

The professional grade student instrument, alike in features to our Emperor TU-52 Trumpet. The best cornet made for rapid development of student tone and technique. Professional mouthpiece, music lyre and modern case included.

1966 F.A. Reynolds catalog

Model CR-52

Emperor Cornet with nickel-silver bell flare

Bore: .458"
Bell: 4¾", nickel silver bell flare
Materials: brass body with nickel-silver lead pipe, upper valve casings (balusters) and outer slide tubes
Finish: polished brass with clear epoxy finish

Model CR-52. Photos used with permission from G. Scott Hansen (ebay Member: nicenative).

The Emperor is the finest student cornet on the market. Characteristic qualities are like that of a more expensive, professional model. Outstanding intonation; exceptional carrying power; and lightning-fast response make the Emperor the choice of all serious students. The Nickel-Silver outer slide, tubes, mouthpipe and bell flare combined with highly polished brass give an attractive two-tone appearance.

1970 F.A. Reynolds catalog

1970-1979

Reynolds (Fullerton, Calif.)

In 1970, Reynolds merged production lines with Olds in Fullerton and sold the Abilene plant to Conn. In most cases, a horn would come off the California production line and become either a Reynolds- or Olds-branded instrument based on detailing and finish. Emperor cornets produced in this timeframe appear to be identical to the Olds Special model.

Model CR-50

Emperor Cornet

Bore: .468" Bell: 4¾" Valves: hand lapped Finish: nickel plated over polished brass

Model CR-50 [SN 285907]. Photos used with permission from G. Scott Hansen (ebay Member: nicenative).

The Emperor has been designed for the advanced student. Easy to play in all registers. Outstanding intonation, exceptional carrying power and rapid response make the CR-50 the choice of serious students and performers.

1977 Reynolds catalog

The purpose of this website is to preserve the history of the F. A. Reynolds Company and the distinctive qualities of its brass instruments. Contempora Corner and contemporacorner.com are not related or associated in any way to the former or current F.A. Reynolds Company.

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