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The Trombone ForumHorns, Gear, and EquipmentInstruments(Moderators: tbone62, Greg Waits) Martin Imperial -- or Imperial Handcraft?
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Location: Boston, MA
Joined: Mar 8, 2011
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« on: Dec 31, 2017, 11:47AM »

I am trying to identify whether the Martin Imperial trombone I have is "just a regular" Imperial or if it is a Handcraft Imperial model?

I have the original warranty certificate from the trombone (it was my grandfather's) and the certificate starts off with "The above designated instrument has been built and sold under the Martin 'Handcraft' guarantee which warrants it..." but the Model listed on the certificate is simply "Imp."

What I would like to know is if there is a way to identify the instrument itself, without any paperwork, as an Imperial or a Handcraft Imperial?  The serial number is 175xxx which according to the Horn-U-Copia website marks the instrument as being manufactured in 1951.  I'm not sure what the Martin landscape looked like at that time, if they had stopped making "Handcraft" models at that point in favor of just regular Committee and Imperial lines.

Any info would be appreciated.

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Location: Bear, Delaware
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« Reply #1 on: Jan 01, 2018, 09:19AM »

It is my understanding that the "handcraft" version of both the Imperial and Committee models have the actual word Handcraft engraved on the bell.  FWIW my 1947 non handcraft Committee is a great player!

Go for the The Topper you wimps!!!

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Location: San Diego, CA
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« Reply #2 on: Jan 03, 2018, 09:42AM »

Handcraft Imperials were pre-WWII horns.
Salsabone - Ditto on the 1947 Committee being a great player.   I've got a .500 bore .


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Location: scotland
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"Bass/Contrabass trombone, Scottish Opera."

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« Reply #3 on: Jan 03, 2018, 10:00AM »

I have a very late Imperial.... a 'music man' model which has a stripped back spec with pretty much no nickel silver trim. Plays amazingly. 
Don't worry about what it says... if it's good, it's good.
Chris Stearn

Still cannot think of anything better to do. Back on an old 1 1/2G again !
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