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Discussion Starter #1
Alto Couesnon Monopole Conservatoire # 11043
The last model manufactured by Couesnon, but was it indeed manufactured by Couesnon? Original keys, the model is almost identical as the one of Stephen Howard

What do you think about it?

For those which would be interested it will be soon to sell
[email protected]
 

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That must be about 1960

Odd to see the socket cut away to accomodate the tone hole. I had no idea they made a sax keyed to high G

Why do you question who made it?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Chris J said:
Why do you question who made it?
It was said that in these end years 1960, after the fire of the Couesnon factory the manufacture of the sax under would have been treated by Beaugnier? Pierret ? Selmer? J.Gras? Couesnon having rebuilt only the line brasswind.
|| The Trumpet Gearhead || said:
"At the end of World War II, the music business started to change, but Couesnon continued to deal primarily with the special needs and instruments of brass and military bands. The C/Bb trumpet market became dominated by Selmer, Courtois, LeBlanc in France and even the larger American manufacturers. The public continued to associate Couesnon with the brass band; not the orchestral or jazz band. Starting in the 60 's and during the next 20 years, Couesnon tried to expand its share in markets other than fanfare bands. They made a line called "Monopole Conservatoire" higher quality instruments, trying to gain more customers in conservatory (music students). For example, they employed Mr Bernard Soustrot (first prize in the 1976 Maurice André Competition in Paris) to try all the piccolos trumpets made in the workshop and to give his "blessing" to these new instruments. Unfortunately, these efforts proved ultimately ineffective, and their traditional market continued to decrease in popularity to the point that brass bands have almost all disappeared in France. According to Richard Dundas, sixty percent of the production was exported throughout the world with as much thirty percent sold in the United States. However, as sales declined, the profits dwindled and the losses mounted. Factories were sold off and in 1969 the main factory in Château Thierry was badly damaged by fire, destroying the archives. In 1978, the contract with Gretch to import Couesnon instruments to the United States was terminated and new Couesnon instruments have been very rare in the US since that time.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Saxland said:
Does the neck angle feel like a modern saxophone or is it more like an SBA?
Exactly the same one as that of the model preceding Monopole I
 

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This is the first I've seen keyed to G. The F# horns are rare enough.

I have several with later, some much later, serial numbers but this is the first with a G key.

The last pic shows the dual strap ring that all these later horns seem to share.

I'm curious how you figured the 1960 date, Chris. I have yet to find a serial list of any kind for these. The '69 fire seems to have put the kibosh on compiling one. I do have a couple with dated original warranty cards, but I'd have to root through a bunch of cases to find them.











Gandalfe: edited to fix screen splay by extending pics on one line.
 

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The earliest Couesnon I've had (I think) is my curvy sop with a double octave key or maybe the low B alto that is now on the Isle of Man. Both sound as focussed to my deaf old ears as the 14xxx horns. Maybe just a touch "sweeter." Usual caveat: your mileage may vary.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Detailed neck

The notch in the end of the neck corresponds to a part of the site of G
 

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saintsday said:
I'm curious how you figured the 1960 date, Chris. I have yet to find a serial list of any kind for these. The '69 fire seems to have put the kibosh on compiling one. I do have a couple with dated original warranty cards, but I'd have to root through a bunch of cases to find them.
saintsday - Awesome collection!

Sorry, I didn't mean to sound authoritative on 1960 as a specific date. My comment was more a thought aloud in that I thought keying to high G was quite a recent thing and had never heard of a vintage (if 40 + years can be called vintage) instrument with that. But if a modification, it looks like a factory modification from the pictures (though "squeezed in" puts it mildly!)

When did high G keys get used by other makers?

In terms of dating by serial number, I only what I have been told to me by the people I bought my instruments from and Saxpics.com. So Monopole Series II started in 1950 according to Saxpics.com - I was told my tenor (SN 13xxx from memory - it is at home and I am not) was 1963 and my alto (SN 9xxx) was late 1950's so early 1960s might be a reasonable guess (if tenor and alto SN were in the same order)

If you have some confirmed dates and serial numbers it would be great to have one or two reference points - but I am loathe to ask you to dig in all your boxes, as you might not emerge for a number of days.......
 

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Looking in the forum, there is a thread:
http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?t=22630

there is a definite 1969 SN 146xx because he bought it himself new then
there is a very likely 1958 SN 9xxx because the person said it was close to his, and he saw a 9xxx on Ebay with a warranty date

If (a very big if) these are at all reliable, and if (an even bigger if) there was even production per year, then that suggests about 500 a year manufactured which puts the SN 11043 in this thread at, well, 1962ish
 

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Thanks, Chris. I'm going to bookmark this for future reference. When I find the warranty cards I have, I'll post them.

I still wish someone could shed some light on how many serial runs they had. I have a 5 digit horn somewhere that is clearly older than some of the 4 digit horns I've had. I'm also a little suspicious about the pineapple/grenade thing unless 1929 was some kind of record production for them.
 

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Chris J said:
saintsday - Awesome collection!

My comment was more a thought aloud in that I thought keying to high G was quite a recent thing and had never heard of a vintage (if 40 + years can be called vintage) instrument with that. But if a modification, it looks like a factory modification from the pictures (though "squeezed in" puts it mildly!)
I've watched an old video/French TV program of 1955 presenting a book written by Marcel Perrin, sax teacher at the Paris Conservatory. In the program, he speaks about the range of the sax and has a Couesnon keyed from low A to hi G.
If I find the link again, I'll post it.

Please note also Jazzbrass' other Couesnon, Serial No. 2078, keyed to hi F#....
which in my view makes Couesnon an avant-garde sax manufacturer re. high keys (or low A for that matter).
My guess is that Jazzbrass' Couesnon with hi G was custom made for some pro player. A cool find.
Now, if someone knows the whereabouts of Perrin's alto, please PM me!!! :)
 

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Here is the link

http://www.ina.fr/archivespourtous/...1955&chaine=ORTF&num_notice=1&total_notices=1

52 years old program. If you don't call that vintage...

It starts with an advertisement and if you want it in full screen... you'll have to purchase (3 Euros). These are the archives of the French public medias (like PBS in the US). Funny enough, the book was on ebay.fr a short while ago.

I guess they didn't bring a bari up because either the presenter brought his horns by public transport to the TV studios or his car was like my Dad's first, a 4CV (French beetle, rear engine)...

Enjoy (if you have a big monitor, a fast fast internet connexion, and a French translator nearby...)
 

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Thats interesting.

Just last week I had an email conversation with a dealer in France he said:

"I had 2 years ago an extremely rare Couesnon alto saxophone which was going to high G and down to low A and also was playing great !! Couesnon was an extremely good Cie and was making some incredible and strange instruments !"
 

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wow, small world! That must have been Perrin's. I just hope the sax is not sitting in a glass display somewhere.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Perrin,s same one Monopole Conservatoire

AhCheung said:
wow, small world! That must have been Perrin's. I just hope the sax is not sitting in a glass display somewhere.
My repearman François Arbon have the same model as that one of Marcel Perrin. Conservatory Monopole # 8370 with keys high f# & S and more low A
see the pictures:
 

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so... it's not in a glass display but with a tech...in the middle of France.
Congrats on the find Jazzbrass! (and make sure your tech mentions me on his will).
 

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I just bought a Couesnon Monopole Conservatoire alto in near mint condition. Are these rare?
 
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