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Saxophones Adolphe Sax

kevgermany

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Does anyone know much about the Adolphe Sax models produced by Adolphe Sax/Selmer, shortly after the takeover?

My teacher's just bought an early (s/n 12x) one of these, with a Selmer S/n 59xx, which'd date it to around 1927, just before the Selmer buy out if the serial number lists are correct.

Doesn't look like any of the Selmers of the time, nearest I could see was a pre-buy out tenor on saxpics from a few years earlier. Have scratched around on SOTW, saxpics, bassic sax, but couldn't really get much info, except that the first saxes from this run were made using some (all?) parts from existing A Sax stock, before switching to Selmer parts and that all carried two serial numbers, a selmer one in small punch marks below the D tone hole, and a new series Sax serial number on the bell. Lovely sax, with the AE Sax curvy wire guards, auto octave mechanism, pearls, rollers. Body looks more Sax than Selmer, if the joint rings are anything to go by. Sounds good as well, very Selmerish, and plays nicely/in tune on an S80 mouthpiece. Mechanics are, apparantly really nice as well.

Am trying to trace more history/pics of these saxes from around that serial number. Quite a few later serial number pics on saxpics, but these appear to be more Selmer than anything else.
 

kevgermany

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Thanks, that's quite a bit older than the one I'm trying to date. Nice sax though, rather expensive... though maybe not compared to what MkVIs go for now...
 

Alley Cat

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64
You may already know that there are four illustrated pages featuring Adolphe Sax, including the attached 1933 ad from "Melody Maker", in "The Sax & Brass Book" ISBN 1-871547-60-1 but nothing there answers your questions. I'm sure there is a French saxophone forum. Have you tried posting your queries on there ? Before eBay came along I used to run an ad in the local paper that requested old or unusual saxophones and one day a fairly early Adolphe Sax turned up. I can't honestly remember much about it except that it did have a very handcrafted look. It went to the USA and might have been more valuable if it had been pre 1894.

 

kevgermany

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Thanks. Interesting ad. Didn't know about the book, must look out for it. The sax is quite different to the one in the ad....

I should be able to get some photos on Wednesday.

I'll look for french sax forums. I know there's a french section on SOTW.
 

Alley Cat

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Thanks. Interesting ad. Didn't know about the book, must look out for it. The sax is quite different to the one in the ad....

I should be able to get some photos on Wednesday.

I'll look for french sax forums. I know there's a french section on SOTW.
Photographs would be great ! In some ways I'm as interested in saxophones as playing them. The book I mentioned is available from Amazon for £7:24 + postage but don't expect too much.........some nice pix but a bit lean on information. Many very notable makes pass unmentioned.

The impression I have is that early saxophones, I don't mean vintage ones, are more widely collected, and appreciated, in France more than any other country. This maybe because more seem to have survived there. It's just a theory of mine, but I think a possible reason why so many very early instruments turn up in France is that very few French cities, if any, were bombed during WW11. God knows how many beautiful old saxophones perished in attics as the result of fire storms and bombing raids across Europe during WW11.

Talking of beautiful old saxophones I see you have a Kohlert Star. Those 1930's Kohlerts are the Dog's Bollacks and will outplay anything. (But don't tell anyone or the prices will start going up !)
 
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kevgermany

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Thanks for the comments. It needed a little work on it when I got it, and the instrument maker passed judgement.... 'Of the old German saxes, the Kohlerts are the best!' And that was unsolicited. Teacher approves as well.

Just missed a tenor a couple of months back, but it got too expensive.

Plays beautifully. Needs a repad, which I'll do soon. I'm torn between the sound of the Kohlerts and the Keilwerths from the same era. Funny, I also have a Buescher 20A from about the same time. Plays nearly as well, but a much rawer sound, even though it has plain pads in. It's a good horn for rock... But not for classical...
 

Alley Cat

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I'm very fortunate to have 1938 Kohlert tenor and, for me, it's difficult to imagine that any other tenor could sound as good or play as well. It's a really fabulous instrument.

I'm one of those people who like to think about the lives of the the craftsmen who made these beautiful instruments. From what I understand, a large part of the work was undertaken in home based workshops around Graslitz with the final assembly of the finished saxophone being completed in a larger, central workshop owned by Kohlert.

In the late 1930's these highly skilled individuals working in Graslitz could have had no idea what turbulent times lay ahead for themselves and their families.
 

kevgermany

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I'm very fortunate to have 1938 Kohlert tenor and, for me, it's difficult to imagine that any other tenor could sound as good or play as well. It's a really fabulous instrument.
With the VKS guards? Even with wire guards, they're lovely saxes. In fact I prefer the looks of the wire guards. Hopefully I can get hold of one one day, before they're priced out of my reach. I don't think the post war saxes were as good at first.

I'm one of those people who like to think about the lives of the the craftsmen who made these beautiful instruments. From what I understand, a large part of the work was undertaken in home based workshops around Graslitz with the final assembly of the finished saxophone being completed in a larger, central workshop owned by Kohlert.
Yes it was common, but how much of this happened at Kohlert, I've no idea.

In the late 1930's these highly skilled individuals working in Graslitz could have had no idea what turbulent times lay ahead for themselves and their families.
Especially after the war. We're really lucky to be living in relative peace for so long. Makes me think that the sacrifices made by those who fought were worthwhile. Although current events worry me a lot. But mustn't say more, foum rules!
 

Alley Cat

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With the VKS guards? Even with wire guards, they're lovely saxes. In fact I prefer the looks of the wire guards. Hopefully I can get hold of one one day, before they're priced out of my reach. I don't think the post war saxes were as good at first.
Yes, the tenor I mentioned is a VKS "Regent" which as you know was their poshest model having a few features not present on the contemporary VKS "Popular". As for the early post war saxes, I'm amazed these people were able to produce anything so soon after the war ........after all, they'd lost everything.
 
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Pete Thomas

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I had one, serial number in the low 100s. No mention of Selmer, a rue Myrrha address.

I did some recordings with it it, a fine saxophone
 

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kevgermany

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Thanks, I get the pics taken tomorrow. Guards are different.... not sure about the body.
 

kevgermany

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Pete, that's a very unusual sax you had. Didn't realise you were left handed :)))


Seriously, From what I can see the body is the same as yours (judging by the ferrules/neck/braces).

So I guess these are the original AE Sax bodies, not the later Selmer ones.
 

kevgermany

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Sax is lovely, but was replated a few years ago. Looks as if they did a good job as the engaving isn't badly damaged, and it sounds really nice. Padwork/regulation is good as well. There's a little damage to the bell, by the stay, but doesn't show except from some angles.

Would love one of these. My teacher got himself a very rare bargain, I think.
 

trimmy

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10,272
Sax on ebay at the moment... i should have a bid myself as it has a link with Liverpool :)
 
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