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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
A friend of mine asked if this sax was worth anything. (It is from an estate, is is not stolen). My preliminary investigation showed it as a Conn Chu-Berry. I haven't seen the horn, but I think it is fair to assume it could use a full overhaul. Could someone confirm if I have identified it correctly? Also, would you recommend selling it as-is, or having it overhauled and then sold. A saxophone is not needed in the family. Any thoughts on valuations would be appreciated. I live in tenor-land, so don't have the pulse on the subtleties of altos.

Thank you,

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You have a 1927-1928 Conn New Wonder II "Chu" Alto saxophone in silver plate. Nice horn-sell it as is...around $300-$450 as the body looks pretty good.
 

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I would buy it but you would need to send to me in Toronto, Ontario. Basically a wall hanger unless it plays but could be a good horn. Overhaul is $500 and up
 

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Well, there's really no such thing as a Chu Berry alto but that's just a moniker assigned to Conn's of that period. Zapatista's nailed it.1927-1928 Conn New Wonder II.
 

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First of all, Chu Berry was a tenor player (though I'm sure he could play at a competent professional level on all the saxes and clarinet, probably flute and piano too). Secondly the most famous photo of him holding his Conn saxophone shows a later model than the one people today call "Chu Berry". So the whole designation is bogus.

As to the OP's saxophone, you have there a silver plated New Wonder II, tarnished. No telling how far from playing condition it is, but it doesn't look bent and all the parts appear to be there. It's a top quality professional instrument of its day. So many of these were made and have survived, that the monetary value is not very high. If you choose to have any work done, have a "playing condition" service, not a full overhaul. If you're planning to sell it, don't do any work on it as it's unlikely you could ever regain the cost of servicing.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
First of all, Chu Berry was a tenor player (though I'm sure he could play at a competent professional level on all the saxes and clarinet, probably flute and piano too). Secondly the most famous photo of him holding his Conn saxophone shows a later model than the one people today call "Chu Berry". So the whole designation is bogus.
Thank you for explaining exactly how the term Chu-Berry came to be associated with the Conns.
 
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