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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This Besson soprano is just overhauled. It looks very much like a Couesnon Monopole.
The engravings are as follows:

SYSTEME PROTOTYPE
F/B logo
F. BESSON
BREVETE
S.G.D.G.
PARIS
"star"
66 HAUTES RECOMPENSES
6 GRANDS PRIX
HORS CONCOURS
MEMBRE DU JURY
MADE IN FRANCE

96095

The serial number is 5824. Strange that is has two numbers.

I guess it is from the '30's. Am I right? Musical instrument Reed instrument Brass instrument Wind instrument Woodwind instrument
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Besson didn’t make saxophones, only brass instruments, they got Couesnons to make them.

The vast majority of the Couesnon that I have bought and sold ( probably the most saxophones that I have had of one brand) in the Netherlands were branded Besson. They were sold to marching bands all over the country.

This , I think, it is later than the ’30 , my Guess is immediate post war

@vries1 (who’s also keeping records of the Couesnon serial number) would be able to elaborate further
 

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Very interesting. My guess is that this horn dates from the late 50s.

I have seen exactly two similarly marked Besson - Couesnon horns:
  • alto #9340 with Besson serial 94768
  • tenor #5402 with Besson serial 96011

So your soprano #5824 with Besson serial 96095 fits that pattern nicely.

Note: the Couesnon numbering in this period (pre-1960) used 2000-4000 then 7000-10000 for altos, 4000-5500 for tenors and 5500-6000 for sopranos. So don't read too much into the big jump between tenor/soprano and alto serials: I am convinced that the 3 horns mentioned above have similar manufacturing dates. Now I am just waiting for the missing bari to turn up!!
 

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And whaddayaknow, after closely inspecting the pictures I have of the alto and the tenor, I can confirm that they both have the same "Systeme Prototype" text engraved in the banner above the FB logo, just like the soprano of the OP! I hadn't noticed this before.

EDIT: sorry, I just noticed that all the Besson branded Couesnon saxophones have the Systeme Prototype text in the banner (ribbon). So that is not something specific to the double-numbered horns we are discussing here.
 

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No relation, but I love your avatar. Gaston.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Thanks for your reactions.
I have a bariton too and an old tenor from about 1889. But I can't find the serial on the bari. The engravings are similar.
The bari needs some work and I am not sure it is low pitch.


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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I also have a Couesnon bass clarinet. It is a pity that it is a high pitch instrument. It is quit old and also has a double register key. The serial number is 48 and quite large engraved in the wood. The photo is from my workshop window.
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Thanks for your reactions.
I have a bariton too and an old tenor from about 1889. But I can't find the serial on the bari. The engravings are similar.
The bari needs some work and I am not sure it is low pitch.


View attachment 133103 View attachment 133104
You'll find the serial on the bari in two places: behind (!!) the LH pinky plateau, and on the body just under the E (RH middle finger) key.
 

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This is the tenor. It is dated 1889 and has a double octave key. I like it because it looks a lot like the first saxophones from Adolphe Sax. View attachment 133105 View attachment 133106
The last two digits of the year of manufacture will be in the "grenade" or "pineapple" below the PARIS engraving. It is likely to be more recent than 1889, which is just an exhibition date with no direct relation to this specific instrument.
 
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