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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need help identifying an old low B alto.

1 it is high pitched 24 inches long

2 has rollers on the pinky keys

3 g# is on the back of the sax like on the early Sax models

4 the only marking are in the neck receiver with a"serial" 9xx stamped

5 pads look to be old an original white leather no resonator and sewn together.

6. string on the neck for the mouthpiece

7. has a bis key

8. has 3 right hand palm keys

9. 2 octave keys (not connected) like on modern saxes

10. the lower stack and upper stack are connected with the lower f


Distinguished SOTW Member/Technician
21,184 Posts
I would say pre-1910 due to the double octave keys, direct action non=articulated G# and lack of pearls BUT the rollers look like bakelite which would be later. Probably european.

Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
40,826 Posts
This kind of short range horn is very common in France, Belgium and Italy and some are not as old as one would think because they have been produced for using by local marching bands which were everywhere in these places. Occasionally you have them (not quite so much on alto ) also limited to high Eb.

We have spoken often about these in previous threads ( Look up Short Range Alto or Low B alto).

When these are found in the US they have been normally taken from Europe from an immigrant or from a soldier. They are really not worth much and they are nothing like the value of an Adolphe Sax. Adolphe Sax sold the drawings and royalties for these instruments to other companies which adapted them ( and somehow modernized). Believe it or not some of these are very late (not this one). Yours has also two octave keys ( which existed also on old saxwhich makes it very awkward to play but also older. Yet, older doesn’t mean more valuable and in your case, I am afraid that , unless it has any special meaning to you (like this being a family heirloom ), it is better to keep the horn as is. As you can see these were made to work with extremely thick “ pillow-like” pads which would be impossible to be found (it is not only that they are white and without resonator). You could have them custom made but it would cost a small fortune and you will end up still with a horn worth very little. These things is like beating water in a pestel and mortar. You start with water and aftr a lot of work, you end up with... water.

few other examples.

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