This vintage Besson plays great. It was relacquered at some point in its long life and also sustained some bending to the bell. I was able to straighten it and decided not to have it refinished and risk tampering with the sound. Besson authority Niles Eldredge explained to me years ago some important facts about the "Fabrication" as it was called by trumpeters: "Two concerns were importing Besson trumpets to NY in the 1930s--both without the Besson name, as it was illegal to import Bessons from France then (because the English branch kept anglophone export rights when they bought out the French family in 1895-1896). Both said only "Fabrication Francaise Perfectionée". One was the Leisch boys (Oscar, predominantly), who brought in what would have been a normal "Grands Prix" trumpet, set up with third slide tuning--with the throw ring below and the stop rod on top; (this is the ax that Bach copied, but with the ring on top--the stop rod on the bottom) (Besson thought you shouldn't have your left hand in contact with the bell--so they set it up lower). The other was Joseph Rapuano--who brought in a model we have never seen for sale in Europe--but which is a throwback to their earliest days: long third valve slide, no tuning; first valve tuning (again underneath)."