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Discussion Starter #1
Over the past year, I have made a limited attempt to make an overview of Couesnon saxophones since the restart of their serial numbers. My research has been mostly based on sales on ebay, leboncoin.fr, marktplaats.nl etc.

It seems that between #2000 and #9500, there are ranges of serial numbers "reserved" for a given model.

2000-4000 only altos
4000-5500 only tenors
5500-6000 only sopranos
6000-6500 only baritones
6500-7000 tenors? (1 example)
7000-9500 only altos

I am not sure what to think of this. I cannot imagine that the production would be really have been split in this way, and I am wondering whether the tenors in the #4000 range were manufactured at the same time when the altos were numbered #2000.

Any thoughts? Serial numbers that support or contradict the list above would also be welcome!
 

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apparently the company still exists , albeit bought from other people than the original owners.

http://www.pgm-couesnon.fr


3 Avenue Ernest Couvrecelle
02400 Étampes-sur-Marne
+33.(0)3.23.835.675
Horaires
Du lundi au vendredi
8h30 - 11h45 / 13h45-17h30


most probably they do have some knowledge or even archives stretching few decades back but not by much because

“ Couesnon tried to expand its share in markets other than marching bands. They made a line called Monopole Conservatoire of higher quality instruments, but their marketing proved ineffective and factories were sold off and in 1969 the main factory was badly damaged by fire, destroying the archives. The fire resulted in loss of all the company records, including those which would make it possible to determine the year of manufacture from the serial number. In 1978, the contract with Gretch to import Couesnon instruments to the United States was terminated and new Couesnon instruments have been very rare in the US since that time. "
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks milandro... the problem being, as I see from earlier posts on SOTW by members who contacted them, the conclusion was that PGM-Couesnon have neither the archives nor the knowledge!
 

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well, a phone call is never amiss, you have the language on your side and they are the closest there is to the source.

I doubt that anyone could possibly know more unless there was a duplicate of the archives anywhere.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well, I was hoping some collectors here on SOTW who have a stash of Couesnon horns would chime in...

Anyway, I added some instruments to the list which have "61xx" style serial numbers reported in other threads here on SOTW; in my first analysis I only took into account full serial numbers. All the added examples do fit in the pattern that I reported above. I now found:

2000-4000 only altos (15 altos, 2078-3924)
4000-5500 only tenors (12 tenors, 4176-5425)
5500-6000 only sopranos (4 sopranos, 5536-5778)
6000-6500 only baritones (5 baritones, 6010-6369)
6500-7000 tenors? (1 tenor, 6715)
7000-9500 only altos (21 altos, 7046-9352 with 1 crazy exception which I believe is mismarked: a LH bell tenor with T style keyguards, #8249)
 

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I have a soprano 1287xx
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks milandro, didn't have that one!

My impression is that after approximately 9500 - 10000, the Couesnon system changed. Above 10000, I see a complete mix of models with close serial numbers. One could guess (or hope) that from that point on, the serial numbering is really chronological.
 

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and I forgot to add that my soprano is a Couesnon made for Besson like the Baritone that you bought from me (and where I couldn’t find a serial number?)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks, yes it seems that in the NL you almost only see Besson branded Couesnons. The earliest one I found was an alto, #9340.

Quite often the serial number can be found on the back of the LH pinky table, sometimes on the neck, and almost always on the body near the F tone hole.

The baritones do not have the serial number engraved or embossed on the neck. Interestingly, on the baritone you mention above, when I changed the neck cork I found that the last 3 digits of the serial number were scratched on the neck, under the cork area! I guess this was done during manufacturing, just to find back the matching parts, after the plating process maybe.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
For the record, this is what the uncorked neck of my baritone looks like, serial # xx988. (I imagine one of the previous cork jobs has been executed rather roughly!)

View attachment 217308
 

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I know that you were looking for a way to publish your pic bigger ( als you expand it en quote it you can).

 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks bradfordlloyd, that number exactly fits the pattern I posted earlier.

The tenors I have seen between 5000 and 5500 have the wavy keyguards with a "C" pattern, a block-shaped octave key and a proper strap ring, exactly like the 10xxx tenors.

By my reasoning, tenor #5192 would probably be from 1955-1960. If someone else has better or conflicting info, then I am certainly interested to know!
 

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I'm not sure if this is the info you're after or not, but I have two Couesnon Monopole II saxes, an alto and a tenor. The alto is serial number 107xx and the tenor is 138xx. My best guesses for dates are the alto is a 1960 and the tenor a 1969.
 

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Thanks, Vries. Yes, it has the wavy keyguards, the block-shaped octave key, and the strap ring. You have described it perfectly.

Thanks for the range on years, very helpful!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
There are as far as I know 3 variants of these tenors:
- Monopole model (will have Monopole engraving on the bell)
- A basic model, actually very similar but without the C#/G# rocker behind the LH pinky table, without front-F and of course without the Monopole engraving. These are often seen in France.
- Monopole model with high F#. Quite rare.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks Alexis! Fits in the pattern. In the meantime I found a number of other horns that confirm the ranges (2000-4000 altos, 4000-5500 tenors, 5500-6000 sopranos, 6000-6500 baris, 7000-9500 altos).

One strange exception is that there are a few LH bell key / single socket horns, in the style of the 2000-2600 altos, with serial numbers all over the place. I cannot find any rule for those.

The 4000 tenor range starts off with RH bell keys and separate "T" style key guards, similar to the design of the 2700-2800 altos.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Cool, didn't have that one!

This is an example of the "basic" model without front-F and C#/G# rocker.

Including this one (#4441), I have now seen 7 tenors of this design - separate keyguards, "sun ray" style - with serial numbers 4434 to 4764.
 
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