I intend to restore this alto sax, but i can't figure who produced it. I've done some snooping around, and i've gathered some assumptions, but i still have no real clue where it was made or when. Can ya help me?
There are only 4 instances of text on the entire horn: - The letter "O" or number 0 is stamped on the bracket for holding the sheet music clip. - The letter "J" is stamped on the rib holding the lower posts for right hand pinky table. - The characters "W1" is stamped on the bell and on the bow where they connect to their respective couplers (I count this as 2 instances of text)
The tone holes appear to be soldered on.
All ribbed construction.
Very thick silver plating.
I have an incling that the neck in the pictures is not in fact the original neck, but i can't be sure.
Seems solidly made. Hefty and sturdy.
The thing that makes me scratch my head is: Why go to the trouble of making this horn and not mark it with a name, serial number or anything. Is it a copy?
PS. I dont know why the images are rotated like that. I can't seem to fix it. If you need better/other images, don't hesitate to ask. I like photographing saxophones :)
I would venture to guess it is an older East German replica of a Conn.
It has the Benz type cage on low C and the octave key mechanism of a New Wonder conn model.
Conn was rolling the tone holes at that time, so the soldered tone holes tell me it is a more primitive maker. Conn also was using mother of pearl rollers. Conn was the company to watch prior to 1939. After that, Coleman Hawkins and the Selmer promotions started to changed everything.
So, I would guess it is from the 1930s, pre WWII replica. Possibly and older Kohlert or Keilwerth early production horn. The round G# Pearl key is a pretty primitive design. It probably will not be the best sound out there, but it looks stable.
Maybe it is a demo of things to come from a maker, a prototype, as they learned from Conn.