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Holton 241 Tenor; Buescher Art Deco Aristocrat Alto
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is a really random thread. I continue to be fascinated by the Buescher factory tour photos available online from Aug 1936, mostly because it's possible one of the three chaps in th
e engraving section probably engraved my Art Deco alto. The serial number dates to that exact time.

Anyway, does anyone have hints on how to trace who an instrument was originally sold to? I'd love to know the life journey that both my Buescher and Holton horns have been on.

Any help is gratefully received. Thanks.
 

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This is a really random thread. I continue to be fascinated by the Buescher factory tour photos available online from Aug 1936, mostly because it's possible one of the three chaps in th
e engraving section probably engraved my Art Deco alto. The serial number dates to that exact time.

Anyway, does anyone have hints on how to trace who an instrument was originally sold to? I'd love to know the life journey that both my Buescher and Holton horns have been on.

Any help is gratefully received. Thanks.
Unless you have some of the original documentation this is difficult to do. I don’t know about Buescher but Holton had registration documents furnished along with the instrument. Holton‘s records are long gone. If you’re willing to post a picture and a serial number of the Holton. I may be able to help you with what little information I know.

The documents below represent typically what you would have received at the point of purchase from a Holton dealer/distributor.
Product Sleeve Font Material property Pattern

Handwriting Font Paper product Rectangle Paper

Font Rectangle Handwriting Wood Paper
 

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All I know is that the owner of my Buescher 140 alto smoked and played Blue Moon. When I got it back from my tech with a total restoration, and 1st played it Blue Moon came out. Of course I had heard but never played it before. Channeling the groove.
 

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Tenor
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This is a really random thread. I continue to be fascinated by the Buescher factory tour photos available online from Aug 1936, mostly because it's possible one of the three chaps in th
e engraving section probably engraved my Art Deco alto. The serial number dates to that exact time.

Anyway, does anyone have hints on how to trace who an instrument was originally sold to? I'd love to know the life journey that both my Buescher and Holton horns have been on.

Any help is gratefully received. Thanks.
I cannot help with your specific quest, but I can share the provenance story of my '38 Art Deco tenor that I posted a while back.


Not to completely derail the thread, but I have been interested and looking for a Holton 241 and would be great if you could let me know how it compares to your Series 1 horn (timbre, ergos, intonation, etc.)
 

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Tenor, alto, Bb Clarinet, Flute
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I think the only way to trace anything back is by doing what was mentioned above. Go through the "case candy" and try to think like a detective. Many band instrument sellers used to put a sticker or label somewhere inside or on the outside of the case. That info would at least tell you what city, state or country it started out in. Sheet music or reed sleeves stamped with the store's logo would give you another hint.

I got a 10M a couple of years ago that had been greatly modified to work for someone who had either some missing fingers or a crippled hand. (we discussed it here on SOTW because member Palo, @ptung, ended up with it after I returned it to Goodwill) On the outside of the case was a musician's union sticker. I don't recall but I believe you could find out what city he played in by the information on the union sticker. The horn was sold out of a Goodwill store in Michigan. Wish I could remember the name of the town.

So now I know the guy who owned it had a disability so bad he needed a modified horn to play on but he was able to overcome his handicap well enough to become a professional musician. He played a very early Link mouthpiece with a small tip and by looks of the reeds and smell of things, he drank a lot of coffee when he played and smoked cigarettes. All that information from what was lying around in the case. And he lived out the end of his life most likely in Michigan. Maybe he played in the Detroit area?? It's fun trying to image all the places and situations an old horn may have seen.
 

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I love digging into the history of my horns. In some instances, I have been able to assemble a ton of supporting information. My most recent find was a gold plated Conn C tenor engraved "Billie Richards" which led me to the Rainbo Room orchestra in Chicago and to their recordings and sheet music which featured photos of ... Billie Richards! I also found an article published at the time where he was a Conn endorsing artist as part of his gig at the Rainbo room. I now have an original 78 record with him as well as sheet music. I wish there were more records of ownership.
 

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Holton 241 Tenor; Buescher Art Deco Aristocrat Alto
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Unless you have some of the original documentation this is difficult to do. I don’t know about Buescher but Holton had registration documents furnished along with the instrument. Holton‘s records are long gone. If you’re willing to post a picture and a serial number of the Holton. I may be able to help you with what little information I know.

The documents below represent typically what you would have received at the point of purchase from a Holton dealer/distributor.
View attachment 130402
View attachment 130403
View attachment 130401
Thank you. I'm happy to share the serial number; I'm sure it is 1947.
 

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Holton 241 Tenor; Buescher Art Deco Aristocrat Alto
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks everyone for your kind responses. Unfortunately, for both horns I have no original cases, receipts or documentation. I thought this was a huge long shot but wondered if sales records still existed from the old factories in an archive.
 

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Holton 241 Tenor; Buescher Art Deco Aristocrat Alto
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I cannot help with your specific quest, but I can share the provenance story of my '38 Art Deco tenor that I posted a while back.


Not to completely derail the thread, but I have been interested and looking for a Holton 241 and would be great if you could let me know how it compares to your Series 1 horn (timbre, ergos, intonation, etc.)
I cannot help with your specific quest, but I can share the provenance story of my '38 Art Deco tenor that I posted a while back.


Not to completely derail the thread, but I have been interested and looking for a Holton 241 and would be great if you could let me know how it compares to your Series 1 horn (timbre, ergos, intonation, etc.)
My Holton is great if a bit beaten up. It needs a good overhaul when I have the money! The tone is rich and broad; ergos not too bad although the slightly heavy action is likely the results of no recent service.
Would I recommend getting one? yes.
 

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Thanks everyone for your kind responses. Unfortunately, for both horns I have no original cases, receipts or documentation. I thought this was a huge long shot but wondered if sales records still existed from the old factories in an archive.
Where did you acquire these ? It‘s a start. Still don’t know what model (s).

As the story goes…. When Conn Selmer purchased Holton they dumped all the records at the factory. Someone rescued the records from the dumpster and they donated to a university. Chances are they will never be seen.
 

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JS Crescent, JS NOS, Selmer SBA, Couf Superba I, Conn, Buescher, King
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I think the only way to trace anything back is by doing what was mentioned above. Go through the "case candy" and try to think like a detective. Many band instrument sellers used to put a sticker or label somewhere inside or on the outside of the case. That info would at least tell you what city, state or country it started out in. Sheet music or reed sleeves stamped with the store's logo would give you another hint.

I got a 10M a couple of years ago that had been greatly modified to work for someone who had either some missing fingers or a crippled hand. (we discussed it here on SOTW because member Palo, @ptung, ended up with it after I returned it to Goodwill) On the outside of the case was a musician's union sticker. I don't recall but I believe you could find out what city he played in by the information on the union sticker. The horn was sold out of a Goodwill store in Michigan. Wish I could remember the name of the town.

So now I know the guy who owned it had a disability so bad he needed a modified horn to play on but he was able to overcome his handicap well enough to become a professional musician. He played a very early Link mouthpiece with a small tip and by looks of the reeds and smell of things, he drank a lot of coffee when he played and smoked cigarettes. All that information from what was lying around in the case. And he lived out the end of his life most likely in Michigan. Maybe he played in the Detroit area?? It's fun trying to image all the places and situations an old horn may have seen.
Site alerter alerted me to this thread.... That horn's history got weirder after you had it -- it was bought a notorious, kookoo industry figure who may or may not have ever physically taken possession of it, but he definitely separated that vintage Link from the package (he included one of the world's worst modern STMs with it, though, probably feeling guilty about this, a lot to explain). That latter person sold it to an equipment noob (someone playing as a child/youngster) with a label still on the case that read, "LEFT HANDED SAXOPHONE" (LOL!) and no disclosure if its being basically non-functional for a person with normal hands. It was almost certainly put there by a Goodwill employee (likely it was on there when you received, @AddictedToSax -- it's still on the case, and I can't take it off because it makes me laugh...inside...lol) who was just "making **** up," with a mixture of unconscious dishonesty and conscious...optimism. There is so much humorous human nature story wrapped up, all in there.

Its story is going to get even weirder because I'm going to use it for a "modernization" project, after playing it. It has a unique, dark/round/punchy character for a 10M. I like it. I like its inner spirit. And at the end it'll be like a character in a TOY STORY story about a saxophone. It will be a rare beast, singular in essence, and sort of a Six Million Dollar Man of saxophones (I can rebuilt it...I have the technology...).

I'm sure there are horns out there whose life stories, whose places in humans' life stories, are as interesting as any person's. Like, what happened to Dexter's 10M after it was stolen? Is it possible that that's what I have now, with that goofy "LEFT HANDED SAXOPHONE" tag on it now? Until proven otherwise, it's not IMpossible.

Forrest Gump, meet your instrument.
 

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Funny, I never saw the Left Handed Saxophone sticker. Send me a PM picture if you don't mind. Keep me up to date on what you do with it.

I was thinking that anyone who wanted to restore it back into a regular sax would have to have a donor horn. I once had a 1958 MGA sports car that was a basket case. I came up with a donor car, a 1959 car tricked out with all aluminum body and exhaust bypasses for the track. I borrowed as many parts from it as I could and ended up making one useful sports car out of two basket cases. I hope maybe you can do the same with that old horn. (wish I'd known how rare that aluminum body was. I'd have taken everything off my car and put them on the race car. Duh. I was 20. What did I know.)

I am forewarned about said kookoo. What a low thing to do, selling an unplayable FrankenHorn to a newbie student and swiping a $400 mouthpiece in the bargain. Jerk. I know who you're talking about and I'll never do business with him.
 

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Site alerter alerted me to this thread.... That horn's history got weirder after you had it -- it was bought a notorious, kookoo industry figure who may or may not have ever physically taken possession of it, but he definitely separated that vintage Link from the package (he included one of the world's worst modern STMs with it, though, probably feeling guilty about this, a lot to explain). That latter person sold it to an equipment noob (someone playing as a child/youngster) with a label still on the case that read, "LEFT HANDED SAXOPHONE" (LOL!) and no disclosure if its being basically non-functional for a person with normal hands. It was almost certainly put there by a Goodwill employee (likely it was on there when you received, @AddictedToSax -- it's still on the case, and I can't take it off because it makes me laugh...inside...lol) who was just "making **** up," with a mixture of unconscious dishonesty and conscious...optimism. There is so much humorous human nature story wrapped up, all in there.

Its story is going to get even weirder because I'm going to use it for a "modernization" project, after playing it. It has a unique, dark/round/punchy character for a 10M. I like it. I like its inner spirit. And at the end it'll be like a character in a TOY STORY story about a saxophone. It will be a rare beast, singular in essence, and sort of a Six Million Dollar Man of saxophones (I can rebuilt it...I have the technology...).

I'm sure there are horns out there whose life stories, whose places in humans' life stories, are as interesting as any person's. Like, what happened to Dexter's 10M after it was stolen? Is it possible that that's what I have now, with that goofy "LEFT HANDED SAXOPHONE" tag on it now? Until proven otherwise, it's not IMpossible.

Forrest Gump, meet your instrument.
Photos please!
 

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JS Crescent, JS NOS, Selmer SBA, Couf Superba I, Conn, Buescher, King
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Funny, I never saw the Left Handed Saxophone sticker. Send me a PM picture if you don't mind. Keep me up to date on what you do with it.

I was thinking that anyone who wanted to restore it back into a regular sax would have to have a donor horn. I once had a 1958 MGA sports car that was a basket case. I came up with a donor car, a 1959 car tricked out with all aluminum body and exhaust bypasses for the track. I borrowed as many parts from it as I could and ended up making one useful sports car out of two basket cases. I hope maybe you can do the same with that old horn. (wish I'd known how rare that aluminum body was. I'd have taken everything off my car and put them on the race car. Duh. I was 20. What did I know.)

I am forewarned about said kookoo. What a low thing to do, selling an unplayable FrankenHorn to a newbie student and swiping a $400 mouthpiece in the bargain. Jerk. I know who you're talking about and I'll never do business with him.
Indeed: that is exactly what happens with a modernization (of Conn or any vintage American table or full horn): two or more horns become one. Because the hardware for mounting is needed in addition to the keywork, a whole horn is needed as a donor. That's actually how my PRC and Taiwan factoried lines came to be: initially it was a no-lose proposition, because even if I didn't like the horns, I needed donors. Today, that is still the best way for me to get donors for modernization projects. At least for me, I could get keywork of most brands "a la carte," but not the mounting hardware. I like the Taiwan keywork slightly better, and now that I'm using those I'm sure there are people who would say I should have left the original alone, lol. There aren't any horns made today that actually are like vintage American Conn, King, Buescher or Martin, though. No modern saxophones match those horns' tone, for the players who are devoted to any one of them.

DDGsax - I will post updates on my Instagram (@justsaxes) but for now there are some pictures here: Crazy Custom Conn (today's mail bag)

I'll try to remember to take a pic of that tag when I next take pics (smh) 😂
 
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