Horn-u-Copia's Display of Makers

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Couesnon 1906 Catalog
Couesnon 1912 Catalog
Couesnon Catalog
Couesnon Catalog 1960

Alcazar (Couesnon) Instruments
Couesnon Instruments
Couesnon-Gautrot Instruments
Lafayette (Couesnon) Instruments
Triebert Instruments

Related page
Couesnon 1912 Catalog



Couesnon has been in business for over 170 years. The Couesnon company was started in 1827, outside of Paris. Cousenon was located in Paris in 1882 by Amedee Couesnon the son-in-law of Gautrot Aine. In 1883, it was called Couesnon, Gautrot et Cie, and from 1888, Couesnon et Cie. By 1896 they had a workforce of 200

By 1911, Couesnon had expanded to eleven factories and more than 1000 workers. During this time the products were highly sought after and were played by many virtuosos. A 1913 catalog lists the models from best to worst: Modele Monopole, Opera AN, Armee BN, Armee GNM, Cantional BO, Universel CGO, and Model SO.

Note the "pineapple" or "Grenade" at the bottom of the logo. When this is present, the number in side of the design is the year of manufacture.

But, by 1927 they were down to a workforce of 200.

During the 1930s they began catering to marching brass bands, and gradually became almost the only supplier of marching brass instruments in France. They made many horns which were imported into the United States, including many that were sold under the names of music stores and other private labels.1

At the end of World War II, the music business started to change, but Couesnon continued to deal primarily with the special needs and instruments of brass and military bands. Starting in the 60 s and during the next 20 years, Couesnon tried to expand its share in markets other than marching bands. They made a line called Monopole Conservatoire of higher quality instruments, but their marketing proved ineffective and factories were sold off and in 1969 the main factory was badly damaged by fire, destroying the archives. The fire resulted in loss of all the company records, including those which would make it possible to determine the year of manufacture from the serial number. In 1978, the contract with Gretch to import Couesnon instruments to the United States was terminated and new Couesnon instruments have been very rare in the US since that time.

Today the company has only 25 employees working in its sole shop. In 1999, the French drum maker P.G.M. bought the name, the tooling, and the factory to give it new life. The company is now known as P.G.M. Cousenon. Their most popular products are hunting horns and tambour drums mainly for the French market. Unfortunately all the mandrels and tooling needed for the making of C, Bb and piccolo trumpets had been stolen, so the workshop is making only brass band instruments, such as the flugelhorn, cornet, tuba, a true French French horn, with piston valves and extended stems for left hand operation, hunting horns, and a natural trumpet (Jeanne of Arc model) and military bugles, bass bugles, cavalry trumpets.

The company is now a very small family owned business whose ownership is found in the companys name, P.G.M. comes from the family name Planson. They have two daughters Sophie and Isabelle. Sophies married name which is Glace. Isabelles married name which is Moret. The company is all situated in one building, containing office, manufacturing, storage, and lacquering. Only silverplating and case making are done elsewhere. Production facilities are old-fashioned and the employees are skilled hand craftsmen. All of the Couesnon instruments are handmade. They make three flugelhorn models, 137 Tradition, which is the small one, 142 Monopole, and 144 which is the 4 valve version. Production of flugelhorns is about 50-60 a year.

An important part of the engraving is the small number (in a circle, or pineapple) which often follows the words on the bell. This indicates the last two digits of the year made

The Triebert workshop was established in Paris in 1810, but they were primarily oboe makers, and are credited for being primiarily responsible for the development of the modern oboe. The company went into bankruptcy in 1881, and was bought by Gautrot Aine, who in turn was bought out by Couesnon.

It is likely that any brass instruments with the Triebert name are actually Couesnon. Couesnon is known to have used the Triebert tradename into the 30s.

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