SYOS

Saxophones Rare vintage alto "Hors Concours Paris, 1878 - 1889- 1900, Jerome Thibouville Lamy, 10 Charter House Street, London. Made in Paris.Secial Class

Calsax57

New Member
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12
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NG12
Has anyone got any knowledge about this 1900 alto sax? It was left to me by one of my clients. I just wondered what it was possibly worth.
 

nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
Subscriber
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4,848
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Bristol, UK
My guess is that it is more likely to be from the 1920's, rather than 1900.
I think the dates on the bell are about competitions, not date of manufacture.

I'm not an expert, but I doubt if it is worth much - if it needs repairing or needs new pads, then the cost of the repair may be more than the sale value. But it may sound good.

One vital piece of information is whether it is "Low pitch" or "high pitch".
Is there any writing on the back of the instrument? In particular "LP" or "HP".
And is there a serial number?

Also, a picture of the top half of the back would be useful to see if it has single or double octave key mechanism.
(I.e. is there one button or two that gets pushed by the left thumb.)
 

Pete Effamy

Member
Messages
771
Location
Hampshire
Someone on here will have a really good idea of worth - though I suspect it will be along the lines of "what somebody wants to pay for it" as virtually no-one is going to want it to play on. There is the danger, firstly, that it might be "high pitch" and not "low pitch" - the VHS and Beta conundrum of the time. Low pitch prevailed.

It will also be missing a key or two (at least) compared to modern horns. Some missing keys aren't that crucial and many players are happy to play without later additions, but if it really is a pre-1900 design rather than even mid-1920's, there might be other differences that make it a museum piece rather than a useable instrument. Unfortunately, these reasons probably render it to be of relatively little worth.
 

Pete Effamy

Member
Messages
771
Location
Hampshire
Someone on here will have a really good idea of worth - though I suspect it will be along the lines of "what somebody wants to pay for it" as virtually no-one is going to want it to play on. There is the danger, firstly, that it might be "high pitch" and not "low pitch" - the VHS and Beta conundrum of the time. Low pitch prevailed.

It will also be missing a key or two (at least) compared to modern horns. Some missing keys aren't that crucial and many players are happy to play without later additions, but if it really is a pre-1900 design rather than even mid-1920's, there might be other differences that make it a museum piece rather than a useable instrument. Unfortunately, these reasons probably render it to be of relatively little worth.
Ah, Nigel got in there before I'd finished typing.
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,460
Location
Sweden
"high pitch" and not "low pitch"
Yes, if we are talkig about A=440 Hertz or 457 Hertz. My friend owns an early Buffet S1 alto (mid 70's?) stamped with an "E" on the body. On that horn is an A = 442 Hertz. A grand piano in Sweden use to be tuned as an A is 443 Hertz. That means that all saxplayer who use to play along with that grand piano must pitch A = 443 Hertz. And so they do and they sounds great. Clip-on digital tuners are not working so well on this types of gigs.
 

Pete Effamy

Member
Messages
771
Location
Hampshire
Yes, if we are talkig about A=440 Hertz or 457 Hertz. My friend owns an early Buffet S1 alto (mid 70's?) stamped with an "E" on the body. On that horn is an A = 442 Hertz. A grand piano in Sweden use to be tuned as an A is 443 Hertz. That means that all saxplayer who use to play along with that grand piano must pitch A = 443 Hertz. And so they do and they sounds great. Clip-on digital tuners are not working so well on this types of gigs.
No I'm talking about the old high and low pitch, not small modern variations between countries by a few hertz. A variation of A=438 to 443 between countries is common and is easily accommodated by nearly all instruments - except clarinets. Quite a big problem there.
 
OP
Calsax57

Calsax57

New Member
Messages
12
Location
NG12
My guess is that it is more likely to be from the 1920's, rather than 1900.
I think the dates on the bell are about competitions, not date of manufacture.

I'm not an expert, but I doubt if it is worth much - if it needs repairing or needs new pads, then the cost of the repair may be more than the sale value. But it may sound good.

One vital piece of information is whether it is "Low pitch" or "high pitch".
Is there any writing on the back of the instrument? In particular "LP" or "HP".
And is there a serial number?

Also, a picture of the top half of the back would be useful to see if it has single or double octave key mechanism.
(I.e. is there one button or two that gets pushed by the left thumb.)
sax10.jpg
sax11.jpg
 

Pete Effamy

Member
Messages
771
Location
Hampshire
I think that the close-ups affirm what most suspected - from what can clearly be seen, I think that it would need an overhaul. Unfortunately that would cost a few times what it is worth. Sorry for the 'wrong' answers...
 
OP
Calsax57

Calsax57

New Member
Messages
12
Location
NG12
I think that the close-ups affirm what most suspected - from what can clearly be seen, I think that it would need an overhaul. Unfortunately that would cost a few times what it is worth. Sorry for the 'wrong' answers...
No probs. Thanks for your feedback :)
 

nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
Subscriber
Messages
4,848
Location
Bristol, UK
It has a modern single octave key mechanism, so almost certainly from later than 1900. I stick to my estimate of 1920's.
It is possibly a stencil horn (i.e. made by one company but sold by another).
It appears to have a special Eb trill mechanism (extra pad on top of the D), (Pierret?)

But as @Pete Effamy says, it looks as if it needs new pads, and probably more work, and this would cost more than you could sell it for.
I think the only people who might be interested would be a collector of vintage French instruments or a museum.

And we still don't know whether it is high pitch or low pitch. A high pitch instrument is of no use to a modern player.

So I'm afraid that you are not sitting on a goldmine.
 
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