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I keep hearing all of these ideas that Japanese businessmen are running around paying outrageous prices for vintage horns, but I have yet to encounter one. Is this just myth or is this really happening?
 

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Possibly a little of both. I used to sell vintage electronics and clothing and a lot of vintage American stuff I sold went to Japan and then later Thailand. Vintage Levi denim stuff for instance was being gobbled up over there for crazy money. Some Japanese designers/manufacturers seem to be pretty good at reverse engineering this stuff and making fairly authentic high quality reproductions of a lot of legendary, iconic, American goods.

There is a good chance you are hearing a lot of exaggerated gossip though.
 

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This urban myth has been around since the 80's. It doesn't mean it's not true though. I knew of one doctor from Japan who had an unbelievable collection. There was also a guy in Belgium who had some of the greatest looking horns that you could imagine. He even had a web site.
 

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I had a friend who was selling Steinway pianos in Japan during that era. Business was great but very frustrating for him as a serious pianist as he said he never sold a single one to an actual pianist, they all were sold as status symbols to households with lots of money.
 

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I had a friend who was selling Steinway pianos in Japan during that era. Business was great but very frustrating for him as a serious pianist as he said he never sold a single one to an actual pianist, they all were sold as status symbols to households with lots of money.
I tune and fix pianos in OC SoCal and I see that all the time, brand new Steinway for their 6 month old baby.

Three pianos when nobody really plays.

It's called conspicuous consumption.

I got my Muramatsu flute direct from the factory in 1977.

A friend had a stewardess smuggle it in her luggage.
 

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I knew of one doctor from Japan who had an unbelievable collection.

There was also a guy in Belgium who had some of the greatest looking horns that you could imagine. He even had a web site.
I would be very interested to see either of those collections, if anyone had a link to them.

Or to any other Sax/Selmer collectors.
 

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I would be very interested to see either of those collections, if anyone had a link to them.

Or to any other Sax/Selmer collectors.
Attilio Berni has an incredible collection in Italy. He has a Facebook page and posted photos of some of his collection a few days ago. Really a Pandora’s box of rare and unusual saxophones. The one that amazed me was a left handed alto!
 
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