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Mouthpieces Mystery Lewin Alto Mouthpiece

nigeld

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I just bought an alto mouthpiece on eBay for fun and I wonder if anyone in the forum can tell me more about it.

It is marked Lewin Table 4, London, Made in England
Silver plated.
Lawton-style ligature
Very large round chamber
Curved sidewalls
No baffle
It looks as if the ring round the shank was a separate item.

I have only played it briefly, and it sounds like a very clear classical mouthpiece to me.

There is some information on SOTW that says that Lewin Bros, 17 Moor St., London W1, England, was a music shop in London, that sold stencil saxes (Martins).
So I'm wondering if this is a stencil mouthpiece.

IMG_2151.jpg


IMG_2153.jpg


IMG_2157.jpg
 
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I've got something quite similar which I bought last year because it was cheap, interesting and reminded me of a Lawton.

Mine has got a reed cap as well as the Lawton-style ligature.

On the top of the mouthpiece is a logo with writing inside a shield. It says
MARTIN
Handcraft
8 MOOR ST
LONDON
W1

On the table it is marked 3*

It does not have a fancy shank, so it looks quite like yours but not identical and a bit more modern. I can provide pictures tomorrow.

Rhys

PS Interesting that my address is in the same street as Lewin Bros but a few doors down.
 
I'm wondering if my mouthpiece could be an Otto Link Master Link stencil. In which case the cheap-looking cap might be original. (Well, I can always hope! :) It was a bargain if so.)


 
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The shank looks fairly modern and it's interesting to see the cap, but it's not such a good design as the Lawton since it replaces the reed rather than covering it. I think that some Theo Wanne mouthpieces have the same idea for a cap and it annoys me.

IMG_2811.JPG


Rhys

PS Did you see this Lewin mouthpiece on eBay with its "interesting photographic backgrounds ? VINTAGE CLASSIC LEWIN BELL METAL ALTO SAXOPHONE MOUTHPIECE | eBay
 
Here are some pictures of mine.

Interesting. But apart from the sliding ligature, they seem to be pretty different.
As you say, yours looks more modern and much more Lawton-like.


PS Did you see this Lewin mouthpiece on eBay with its "interesting photographic backgrounds ? VINTAGE CLASSIC LEWIN BELL METAL ALTO SAXOPHONE MOUTHPIECE | eBay

I hadn't seen that.
Somebody has been busy!
I wonder where he got the date of 1934 from.
I've seen another mouthpiece on the net, a hard rubber one, with LEWIN-MOLD written on it.
 
I'm becoming more and more convinced that my mouthpiece is some sort of Otto Link Master Link. This would date it to between 1931 and 1935. However the mouthpiece has "Made in England" stamped on it.

Theo Wanne's website says that Kohlert, Connetable and Meyer mouthpieces were also made from the Otto Link Blank.
I'm not sure exactly what this means, though I can guess. Can anyone explain?
 
Theo Wanne's website says that Kohlert, Connetable and Meyer mouthpieces were also made from the Otto Link Blank.
I'm not sure exactly what this means, though I can guess. Can anyone explain?

The Otto Link metal mouthpieces are made from a "cast blank" rather than being machined out of metal bar stock. They are actually made of two halves which are soldered together. This "blank" would then be hand finished which involves internal and external shaping and smoothing/polishing and putting on the facing curve and stamping with tip opening number etc..

Not all mouthpiece brands are responsible for the whole manufacturing process from raw material through to finished product. Some would buy in moulded blanks, in rubber or metal, for them to "finish".: Others might outsource the whole process to another mouthpiece maker (e.g. Riffault in France) who would supply them with finished mouthpieces branded for them and sometimes even with misleading information about the country of origin.

I don't know who did the moulding and soldering together and rough finishing for Otto Link metal pieces at different periods. There are old articles by Ralph Morgan in Saxophone Journal that probably say. Theo Wanne seems to be saying that Link provided part-finished blanks to other brands. Of course it would also be possible to "copy" or "be inspired by" a particular mouthpiece made by another brand.

Rhys
 

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