I'm just saying this from a quick glance, but maybe an early Buescher stencil... The pinky cluster looks a bit Buescher-ish to me, as does the engraving pattern: not the image, but HOW it was done. I've got a weird eye for this kind of stuff, but I could be totally wrong.
But the low C key, the bands that connect the body/bow/bell, and the tone holes on the bell look quite York-esq.
Saxpics lists Champion being a Martin stencil, but other than the tone holes on the body tube...I'm not completely sure I agree with that in this case. The way the serial number is stamped (along with pat. apld for) doesn't look much like a Martin...and with mismatched tone holes (it's hard to tell, but C appears to be similar to the tone holes on the bell, in which case the bow might have the same tone holes as the bell also) I'm inclined to think otherwise.
York was pretty good at 'borrowing' parts from other manufacturers...
But then again York wasn't exactly churning out a huge amount of saxes, so a stenciled York doesn't seem as likely as being stenciled from another mfg.
I fished around on themartinstory.net and compared this one to the HC Standard and Indiana of the 1930s. I would say it is pretty much a Martin. There are differences in key stringing and other non-body parts but it could have been a Martin stencil or a Martin body and some keywork assembled by another maker. I had a MW (Montgomery Ward) that was similar in that it didn't fit into any maker's catagory 100%. Elkhart had a lot of small shops that may have gotten some of the parts from other makers or made some of the easy parts in house. This horn has a LH pinky cluster that looks pretty basic and would be easy to make. I would call it a Martinish stencil.
The MW I had was a great playing horn.
OK, nice call on the body - I didn't even notice the tonehole stacks.
Martin Body with keywork and cages by others....
I say that because, VSG names York....which is exactly what the C/Eb low spat keys are.
Also.....the other keywork doesn't resemble anything Martin. I initially though this to be an easy ID until I saw the Pinky table and then the low spat keys and then the bellkey cage...notice that some of those elements are round wire, and some are flatter wire (reminiscent of Buescher like Jonathan says, but not quite the same cross-section)....
Very odd....I would have also hazarded to say this was made at York....but I agree that, as they produced few saxes before completely subbing 'em out...why would they produce a stencil ?
Martin body.... but who knows if the serial# is Martin or not ? If using the Martin number sequence, it'd be from about '37. It doesn't correspond to any of the Indiana plant serial #'s....
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