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I observed something interesting the other day, when I saw two gold and silver (silver body, gold keys) Conn New Wonder Series I saxes sitting next to each other. One had the inlaid gold in the engraving, which I was expecting, but the other didn't have any inlaid gold in the engraving at all. To top it off, the one without the gold inlay had a gold microtuner, while the one with it had a silver one. Any ideas what's going on here? The serial numbers were about 1600 apart (around 126-128,XXX), and the newer of the two was the one without the gold inlay. I snapped a picture of the one without the inlay to show what I mean...I'm just confused why there's differences in finish...any thoughts on this?

 

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Because the conn and buescher and a few others offered different finishes. You could have what you wanted even enamelled paint finish
Dave
 

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I don't think it is gold plated inside the engraving. It was engraved after plating and you are seeing the tarinished brass underneath. Conn and others had many finish options.
 

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That horn was engraved by someone after the fact, probably a looooong time ago. That's why you are seeing brass in some and not in other parts. The gold plating may well have been done by the same owner. Tricking out one's horn didn't begin with Randall :) Folks have been doing that for 50+ years.
 

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Jason DuMars said:
That horn was engraved by someone after the fact, probably a looooong time ago. That's why you are seeing brass in some and not in other parts. The gold plating may well have been done by the same owner. Tricking out one's horn didn't begin with Randall :) Folks have been doing that for 50+ years.
Wow, I had no idea. Thanks for that piece of information. So this horn had no engraving beforehand...? Or just the words Conn Ltd., etc.?

Hmm...this is unexpected. I presumed this horn to be fully original. Maybe I should be wary...

EDIT: Wait, how could it even have had the words? They're tarnished-looking too! Is this even a Conn? :eek:
 

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Breaking news: I knew that the engraving looked familiar from somewhere, but I just couldn't place it until I looked on www.saxpics.com. At first I couldn't find it, but then I looked in the most unlikely of places and - bam! There it was (or a very similar version of it). I'm pretty sure most of you Conn lovers have seen this one before, as it's on such a unique finish.

http://www.saxpics.com/cpg143/displayimage.php?album=560&pos=0

Does this add any new insight on the engraving? Does this mean that it was done in the factory, or at someone's special request? Does it guaranteee that this thing actually is a Conn? :D
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Wait, I've uncovered it at long last!

From saxpics...

"CHROME FINISH was the trade name for a colored enamel finish. Available colors were red, white, blue, green, Old Rose ("dark pink") and black. This was available as an add-on for any style of plating for a mere $15 extra, in March 1922 dollars.

POLY-CHROME FINISH was the trade name for the CHROME finish, but with added "beautiful designs on bell or body of flowers, vines, etc. in various colors" and cost $25 extra, in March 1922 dollars.

Conn also saw fit to enclose a NOTE: "The Chrome or Poly-Chrome finish will last according to the care given the instrument. Should the owner desire to remove the colored finish, send in the instrument to the factory or obtain our advice on same. The original finish will not be affected by the chrome finish after the latter has been removed." "

So, that's it, I think. It's a poly-chrome, minus the enamel (which probably was sent back to remove the enamel, which I'm sure they burned off, torching the engraving). That explains that, anyways. But what was the standard finish for this thing? So this one must have been the silver/gold finish after all, just with a different default engraving because of the polychrome?

I think I figured it out :D...yay!

EDIT: Actually, after examining some additional pictures, I think the lines in the engraving are gold, in any case, not tarnished brass.
 

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I think you're right on the money. There is a 2-tone silver/gold plate horn where the engraving, bell, and keys are gold, and the rest of the horn is silver. This is the #1 finish. If this were a #1 finish horn, the engraved area would be burnished and I would expect to see gold in the burnished part of the engraving. Yours clearly only has the gold highlights inside of the engraving.

I disagree about this having been engraved after plating, thus brass is showing through. I have never seen a horn that was engraved after plating where the brass showed through...if it shows through the engraving, there would certainly be no silver left on the bell. Maybe if the horn were re-engraved, but I think that's unlikely.

Looks like someone said "lets get rid of this ugly paint" and stripped it, either by sending back to Conn or doing it themselves. Probably sent it back to Conn given how thoroughly it's been removed.

Never have seen a gold microtuner on a two-tone sax either...cool find.

fm
 

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Nice bit of sleuthing there Zephyr. I definitely believe it was re-engraved partially after the fact, and it makes sense now if the factory removed the enamel. They may have had to touch up the text and certain areas if they were damaged during the process. What a great little mystery to solve.
 
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