Tommy Dorsey's King 2B Trombone

Tommy Dorsey's King 2B Trombone

Posted in the Tommy Dorsey Forum

Dan Reinhart

United States

#1 Nov 13, 2006
About a year ago, I purchased from the widow of trombonist John Cress, what I was told is one of Tommy Dorsey's custom-built King 2B trombones. The horn is elaborately engraved (including TOMMY DORSEY engraved across the bottom of the bell) and gold-burnished in 24K or 22K gold. The horn has a few unusual custom features such as an enlarged reservoir at the slide waterkey and extra-light slide tubes. The horn was supposedly presented by TD to John Cress as a birthday gift in 1953. The serial number on the bell section indicates 1945 production and the slide is 1949 production. The only atypical feature (for Dorsey) on this horn is that this horn does have a screw-lock between the bell and the slide.(I have never seen any photos of Dorsey playing a horn with this feature, although everything else on the horn appears authenic.) I have a photo of John Cress with the horn when he received it (Dorsey not in the photo) and a few fairly recent photos of John with the trombone at the Bones West Conference a few years ago.
Can anybody provide more information that will help me authenticate this horn? John's widow Jeanne, from whom I purchased the horn, has now also passed away, but I did speak and communicate by mail with her before, and I am convinced she was honest about the history of the horn.
Dan Reinhart
David Dubin

Glen Ellyn, IL

#2 Feb 28, 2008
Hi

Do you want to sell your gold plated king 2b.

let me know

David Dubin

[email protected]

thanks
sam maguire

Benowa, Australia

#3 Sep 8, 2008
yer man im interested in this horn sounds sweet as. if you want to sell it contact me at [email protected] cheers
Bob Hall

Nantucket, MA

#4 Jan 1, 2009
Did you find out anything? Is it for sale?
Dan Reinhart wrote:
About a year ago, I purchased from the widow of trombonist John Cress, what I was told is one of Tommy Dorsey's custom-built King 2B trombones. The horn is elaborately engraved (including TOMMY DORSEY engraved across the bottom of the bell) and gold-burnished in 24K or 22K gold. The horn has a few unusual custom features such as an enlarged reservoir at the slide waterkey and extra-light slide tubes. The horn was supposedly presented by TD to John Cress as a birthday gift in 1953. The serial number on the bell section indicates 1945 production and the slide is 1949 production. The only atypical feature (for Dorsey) on this horn is that this horn does have a screw-lock between the bell and the slide.(I have never seen any photos of Dorsey playing a horn with this feature, although everything else on the horn appears authenic.) I have a photo of John Cress with the horn when he received it (Dorsey not in the photo) and a few fairly recent photos of John with the trombone at the Bones West Conference a few years ago.
Can anybody provide more information that will help me authenticate this horn? John's widow Jeanne, from whom I purchased the horn, has now also passed away, but I did speak and communicate by mail with her before, and I am convinced she was honest about the history of the horn.
Dan Reinhart
Dan Reinhart

Miami, FL

#5 Dec 30, 2009
I have found a large close-up, well-known photo of Tommy holding what appears to be the precise horn that I own. Even slight details in the custom engraving between the photo and my horn match up. Also, there are other photos and film footage that show TD playing what appears to be this horn.
This is a very nice playing horn. The slide is still exceptionally fast. The only difficulty is that, even with the light-weight slide, the horn (without a bell-weight) seems a little slide heavy to me. I guess I could just install a bell weight, but then it wouldn't seem authentic.
I am now confident that this indeed was one of Dorsey's custom made horns. Most of his horns had decorative flowery designs on the bell, and this horn is more an elaborate "art deco" design. Clearly, many more custom slides were made than bell sections. This has been documented by many of the musicians who played with him. When a slide became damaged, he would simply get another out of his stash. That probably explains why my slide is from 1949 while the bell was made in 1945.
Dan
buck lester

Orlando, FL

#6 Sep 21, 2010
Dan Reinhart wrote:
I have found a large close-up, well-known photo of Tommy holding what appears to be the precise horn that I own. Even slight details in the custom engraving between the photo and my horn match up. Also, there are other photos and film footage that show TD playing what appears to be this horn.
This is a very nice playing horn. The slide is still exceptionally fast. The only difficulty is that, even with the light-weight slide, the horn (without a bell-weight) seems a little slide heavy to me. I guess I could just install a bell weight, but then it wouldn't seem authentic.
I am now confident that this indeed was one of Dorsey's custom made horns. Most of his horns had decorative flowery designs on the bell, and this horn is more an elaborate "art deco" design. Clearly, many more custom slides were made than bell sections. This has been documented by many of the musicians who played with him. When a slide became damaged, he would simply get another out of his stash. That probably explains why my slide is from 1949 while the bell was made in 1945.
Dan
Dan: Would you post some pics of the horn? It sounds like a dream horn to me!
Sharon Pratt

Bedford, OH

#8 Oct 25, 2013
I was told that my Grandfather engraved his trombone on TV. He was one of the last free hand engravers to my knowledge and remember hearing the story of him engraving that trombone. I would love to see pictures of this so I could maybe compare to the bracelets I have. My sister has the best one that she got for graduation and I have 2 the he did for my Grandmother. Unfortunately he passed before he could do my bracelet or my brothers piece (not sure what he was going to to for him). If you have picures of this trombone, could you please send me some of the photos. I do not have any proof of this, just stories I heard as a child.

Thank you so much.

Sharon Jeglie (Maiden Name)

please respond to [email protected]

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