Sax on the Web Forum banner
21 - 29 of 29 Posts

·
SOTW Columnist, Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
23,681 Posts
Very nice looking horn. I have an art deco Buescher tenor that looks almost as good but is from 1950.
Hey Keith, are you sure about that 1950 date? I don't see how your art deco tenor could be from 1950. I think these series one tenors with art deco engraving are all pre-war, the latest being circa 1940.
 

·
Registered
‘38 Buescher AristoTenor, ‘66 Martin Magna Tenor
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter · #22 · (Edited)
Those vintage mouthpieces play best in normal tip openings like that.
Instead of trying to use a 2 x 4 to play it, try the softest reed you can play on it that won't close up. I do that with a Slant 4 and a C* I have. Tons of color and you can practice all day.
Those old Dukoffs are great playing mouthpieces. Look at the detail of the baffle. They don't do that anymore.
Although I haven't measured the TO properly with a gauge it looks like something between .09-.100 so a modern 6-7. Probaby going up around a half strength would be a start.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,168 Posts
Hey Keith, are you sure about that 1950 date? I don't see how your art deco tenor could be from 1950. I think these series one tenors with art deco engraving are all pre-war, the latest being circa 1940.
Yeah, I didn't look that closely to the OP's pics. mine is engraved in a similar way but more flowery and less deco. Maybe what the Buescher experts call Scroll engraving?? Serial # 333XXX. It is in very similar condition and plays wonderfully.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member.
Joined
·
4,861 Posts
Hey Keith, are you sure about that 1950 date? I don't see how your art deco tenor could be from 1950. I think these series one tenors with art deco engraving are all pre-war, the latest being circa 1940.
Right, my early Big B was made in 1940 and is 293,xxx
 

·
SOTW Columnist, Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
23,681 Posts
Yeah, I didn't look that closely to the OP's pics. mine is engraved in a similar way but more flowery and less deco. Maybe what the Buescher experts call Scroll engraving?? Serial # 333XXX. It is in very similar condition and plays wonderfully.
Ah yes. Yours is the later script-engraved 156 Aristocrat, with a larger bell flare. I also have one of those (I have 2 Buescher tenors and a MkVI). The 156 is identical to the later Big B, aside from the different engraving. Also a fantastic horn. I find the earlier art deco to be more focused and the 156 slightly more 'free-blowing' with a more spread sound. Both are great horns with a huge sound. I've never been able to decide which I prefer.
 

·
Registered
‘38 Buescher AristoTenor, ‘66 Martin Magna Tenor
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Very nice looking horn. I have an art deco Buescher tenor that looks almost as good but is from 1950. My understanding was that I'm just the third owner. It was originally purchased from the factory by a reed man who played in the traveling big bands of the 40's & 50's. When he passed away in the late '80s the family sold it to the fellow I purchased it from. He kept it for about 10 years and sold it to me in the late 90's. I had it re-padded by Sax Alley about 15 years ago keeping the original snaps but also using shellac to help it hold adjustment.

I'm know Buescher expert so this is just a guess but it looks to me like yours may have been worked on in a similar way as the picture of the lower stack appears to show shellac around the edges of the pads.
I've actually learned since then that Bueschers of this vintage had clear lacquer coated on the horn AFTER installation of the pads and that is what is appearing like shellac on the photo. I tooke the horn in for a full disassemble cleaning and verified there was no shellac on any of the pads.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
171 Posts
I had the great fortune to come across a pre-war art deco Aristo on eflay which had a very intriguing story behind the horn, and while there were only a few small photos attached, the horn had the original case, strap, and other accessories so I got the sense that this was a very well-cared for horn and hit the purchase button immediately.

What I learned since then was that the horn belonged to Howard Wigell (HOWARD WIGELL Obituary (2010) Daily Bulletin) who was a cryptanalyst/cryptographer for the Allied air forces in WWII and worked with the Enigma machine in Bletchley and in Oxford. The horn survived the Blitz intact and was even played at the Stage Door Canteen in London & the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden during the war. After the war, he was a high school music teacher in California for 40 years until his retirement/passing and his HS band took first place at the Seattle World Fair in the 60's.

His son, who was the seller of the horn, told me Howard did a job for Al Capone at one of his illegal gambling clubs when he was very young and was flown behind enemy lines into Germany during the war.

It is a one-owner horn and, as you can see, the horn looks in perfect condition with original lacquer intact and plays wonderfully, but smells musty/moldy. The springs all seem to be the original Norton springs, and I would assume the snap-in pads are original as well, but I am not sure what to do about them since it seems there seems to be mold growing on them. It came with a Zimberoff BD Supersonic mouthpiece in original facing/condition (understand it is an early Dukoff collab piece and quite rare) in a size 3. I am not sure what use I would have with such a closed opening, so if any interest in the MP, PM me.

I am not sure I am deserving of this horn, but I promise to give it my best and take good care of it.
For what it is worth, this horn looks to be the model 127 with the smaller bell flair, in case you are wondering. There is a ton of information on the various model numbers of the Aristocrat tenors (127, 155, 156, 157) in archive and these designations are more meaningful than the engravings
 

·
SOTW Columnist, Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
23,681 Posts
For what it is worth, this horn looks to be the model 127 with the smaller bell flair, in case you are wondering.
Yes, that's exactly what it is. AKA 'series one'. The 127 model carried over, with minor cosmetic changes like ribbon key guards, into the earliest Big-B engraved Aristos with Big B engraving. You're right that you can't use the engraving as a model designation since 3 different Aristocrat models had the Big B engraving. However, all the art-deco engraved tenors were 127s, up to around serial #293,xxx, I believe (as I mentioned earlier, I have an art deco with serial 292,xxx, which was evidently one of the last ones, prior to the having Big B engraving).
 
21 - 29 of 29 Posts
Top