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The engraving looks awfully crisp for it to be a relacquer IMO. I'd say that it is an original finish.
 

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Seeing is believing, but - in the case of lacquer - feeling is the absolute truth.

OP - read the wealth of knowledge here regarding pictures and evaluating relacquers. You need to learn the clues, rather than ask for each horn you find.
 

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OP - read the wealth of knowledge here regarding pictures and evaluating relacquers. You need to learn the clues, rather than ask for each horn you find.
I am not one of those people who jump immediately to say, "Do a search." However, it would probably be better to take some time and do some learning and research through the wealth of information on this forum instead of jumping on and asking the same basic questions about every single horn you find out there.

Seeing is believing, but - in the case of lacquer - feeling is the absolute truth.
I've seen a lot of original lacquer horns where the engraving didn't show well on pictures but you could feel it was original. I've also seen plenty of relacquers where the person doing the relacquering did a really good job at preserving the engraving as well.
 

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Surely there must be plenty of original-lacquer horns where the surface has had enough wear from polishing, rubbing on clothes, rubbing on case lining etc to no longer have that rough feel of fresh engraving on a new horn?

But I suppose a package of signs, often not really definitively detectable from photos, can be fairly indicative of the originality of lacquer.
I would be reluctant to make judgment from photos unless there were very clear signs of relacquering, eg obvious over-buffing.
 

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Surely there must be plenty of original-lacquer horns where the surface has had enough wear from polishing, rubbing on clothes, rubbing on case lining etc to no longer have that rough feel of fresh engraving on a new horn?

But I suppose a package of signs, often not really definitively detectable from photos, can be fairly indicative of the originality of lacquer.
I would be reluctant to make judgment from photos unless there were very clear signs of relacquering, eg obvious over-buffing.
Bingo!
 

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On a few occasions I've been asked to make a guess, as well as on my own Martin Handcraft Committee.

To me the key sign is lacquer over small pits or old scratches. (Of course if the horn is buffed to the point that all old small pits or scratches are removed, you can easily tell.) Those kinds of things don't show up in internet photographs. Sometimes it's really a judgement call as to what's more likely. So if I show you an 80 year old Martin with clear engraving, lacquer mostly intact (when Martins have a reputation for not-very-durable lacquer), and what appear to be maybe some little pits that were polished and lacquered over, I would say it's more likely that's an old well-done refinish than that the original finish would have survived all these years in such good condition and also have been applied at the factory over small pits and scratches.
 

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The negraving doesn't doesn't look quite as sharp as I would expect, however as Gordon mentioned Surely there must be plenty of original-lacquer horns where the surface has had enough wear from polishing, rubbing on clothes, rubbing on case lining etc to no longer have that rough feel of fresh engraving on a new horn?

What occurs to me is that there is no lacquer in the word THE, I get the feeling a relacquer would mean any lacquer that is sprayed on would still be in those indentations. There are some scratches , but with that photo hard to tell if they are through or under the lacquer but my gut feeling is no t a relacquer but not conclusive with that photo.
 

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I vote relac.

This is what original 'should' look like. Photo courtesy of WorldWideSaxes. The give away is the engraving cuts normally show lacquer loss.
 

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Any pre-1980s horn is probably a relaq - unless it's a closet queen.

Back in the day, when you brought your horn in for an overhaul, they just re-lacquered them, no questions asked. If you didn't want them lacquered you had to ask, and they looked at you as if you were crazy.

If you like the horn, it's no big deal how many times it's been done.

Notes
 
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