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There's a Lawton piece currently for auction on "that site," but the pics aren't the best. I couldn't tell if it was silver- or gold-colored, which would usually mean "surgical" steel or gold-plated brass or bronze respectively. I asked the seller and he informed me that Lawtons are gold-plated stainless. My initial reaction was, "Umm no." I've been into Lawtons for a long time, and in all that time I've never seen a steel Lawton with plating. Besides, that really seems like a waste of gold.

That said, I know Lawton like to experiment, but those experiments were usually marked in some way to indicate that they were different. Does anyone out there know if Lawton ever made a plated stainless piece? Maybe earlier production pieces? Otherwise I'm assuming that if the plating is wearing off and the base material is silver-colored it's either a silver layer to help the gold stick to the brass/bronze, or maybe nickel silver, which I know he used as a base at some point.

Thanks, and Happy New Year!
 

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Could you post a link to the auction ?

I have about 25 Lawtons and also a couple of Lawton-Barton mouthpieces. I am currently writing up a history of Lawton mouthpieces, but keep learning new information all the time.

As you suggest there would be no point in gold plating over stainless steel and I certainly don't think Lawton ever did that. Here is an interview with Geoff Lawton http://www.john-robert-brown.com/geoff-lawton.htm and you can read that:

I even do the plating, because I could never be happy with someone else doing it. They either knock the mouthpiece, or the plating comes off, or they don't put enough plating on. When you're talking about gold, you're talking about money relative to something you're trying to sell for around $150. That's after the shops have taken their profit and the Government have taken their thing. Gold has been $850 an ounce! It's not that expensive now, but it always teeters around $500-$600. You can't put too much on ... Underneath the gold it's silver plated, which is also expensive. The base metal isn't brass, like most people use. I just use the best materials available. I use nickel silver, which is one of the most noble alloys you can get, 50% dearer than brass.​

Although in the interview Geoff Lawton says that he didn't use brass, he did for some mouthpieces.

Hope that helps.

Rhys
 

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Thanks, Rhys! I knew you'd have something to say about this! HERE'S A LINK TO THE AUCTION. He doesn't list the materials in his listing. I just responded to the seller and gently (I hope) gave my reasons why he might be wrong. We'll see what he thinks.
 

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Just heard back. Said he wasn't sure so he did a search and got conflicting info. I'm still unsure as to whether the piece appears gold or silver. After scrutinizing the photos I'm leaning toward silver (stainless steel). For now anyway. I should probably ask again.
 

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It looks gold to me in the pictures on the auction.

Lawton also finished pieces in silver plate at certain times. I have seen two different styles of stainless steel - one very bright and shiny and smooth and the other, which I think was older, was a matt grey finish.

Rhys
 

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Lawton also finished pieces in silver plate at certain times.
Yeah, I recently sold my 1968 silver-plated alto piece. It was beautiful, but I couldn't bring myself to be the one to turn a museum-quality piece into an everyday player. I'll let someone else do that and find myself a nice stainless piece to beat around.
 

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Thanks, Rhys! I knew you'd have something to say about this! HERE'S A LINK TO THE AUCTION. He doesn't list the materials in his listing. I just responded to the seller and gently (I hope) gave my reasons why he might be wrong. We'll see what he thinks.
I was looking at that auction and when you brought it up I knew exactly which one you were referring to.

Honestly to me it looks like bronze, with the ligature something different and wearing off. To me, on my monitor, it doesn't look silver or stainless.
 
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