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Distinguished SOTW Technician, Forum Contributor 2
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It seems folks abandoned ship. I was hoping for some further discussion after I took time to pull out some horns and take picture from the same angles. Please come back and take a look and provide some comment.
 

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It's not just the C key guard and the G# key - the tone holes are different and the serial number, with the C above and L below, is consistent with Couturier and not Martin. This horn was made at the Couturier factory in LaPorte, Indiana.
You can find similarities between almost any two horns. Many manufacturers now make close Selmer copies. That doesn't make those copies "Selmers." Could Couturier have copied Martin? It's possible. But if you read through the Couturier threads here and all the research done by Felix Jungschlager (member name "LaPorte") there does not appear to be any evidence that Couturiers were made by Martin, in the Martin factory, or from Martin parts. Ditto for L&H. If you read that info, you would know that L&H ended up buying Couturier, so yes, L&H did make saxes in LaPorte from 1924 to 1928. The OP's horn however is a Couturier stencil made before the buyout.
I think spending some time reading the Couturier threads will answer a lot of your questions.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Technician, Forum Contributor 2
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1,760 Posts
Thanks for chiming in. I have followed the Couturier threads over the years and have owned a few of them. I do appreciate Felix's research. That's why I find this particular horn interesting.

It's not just the C key guard and the G# key - the tone holes are different and the serial number, with the C above and L below, is consistent with Couturier and not Martin. This horn was made at the Couturier factory in LaPorte, Indiana.
You named 4 differences in these horns and based on that state that it was manufactured by Couturier and that no way could Martin have anything to do with it. Did you look at the picture of the right hand stack and see any differences at all? There aren't any (except for the G# trill bar that was purposely removed on the Martin horn). Also, the tone holes are exactly the same as some of the early Martins that I have.

You can find similarities between almost any two horns. That doesn't make those copies "Selmers." Could Couturier have copied Martin? It's possible. But if you read through the Couturier threads here and all the research done by Felix Jungschlager (member name "LaPorte") there does not appear to be any evidence that Couturiers were made by Martin, in the Martin factory, or from Martin parts
The pictures don't show similarities -- the features are exact -- made with the same tooling. No company would go through the effort of copying Martin machinery and manufacturing to exacting details. I didn't post hi-res pictures due to their size. If you go over the blown-up pictures centimeter by centimeter, the only conclusion is that they are exact -- not just similar. I'm sure that the right-hand stack keys could be swapped between the horn in question and my Martin. You couldn't do that between say Conn and Buescher or any other American manufacturer.

I'm not going to lose any sleep over this. i'm sure if I had the two horns in hand and could swap parts between them that some folks would still deny that there is a connection with Martin with this particular horn.
 
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