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I see this piece as folk art. Doesn't seem to me an attempt to deceive, when the King emblem remains on what looks to be a King case, and the effort seems to be to capture the spirit, but not the details, of the "Top Hat and Cane."

Somebody lavished attention on this saxophone, and I guess maybe because they loved the connection between the ornate look of saxophones and the era of top hats and canes. That would be its appeal to me: the story it tells, not that it is or isn't some particular iteration of a Buescher 400. If it plays well and sounds good ... so much the better.
 

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I suppose that I'm a bit late to this party and that the article that I wrote for the National Saxophone Museum has already been shared, but I would like to assert that the engraving on this instrument is original. The case clearly isn't, but the engraving is. This model S-1 "400" was from 1955-56 based on how little I can make of the serial. It was a time when Buescher was, as others have mentioned, cutting costs. I have seen similar engraving of the Top Hat and Cane with raised Buescher 400 logo on both models B-8 and S-1. I have only seen pictures of one other model S-1 that has the same Super 400 engraving with TH&C but no raised logo. I'll attach photos that I snagged from Reverb listings a while back.

As for the neck: while I don't think that it's necessarily original to the horn from the factory, it is period appropriate from the model 141 Aristocrat. The necks are barely dissimilar dimensionally, and I won't totally rule out the possibility that it was ordered with an over-top octave key.

This is NOT a student horn. It predates that level of cheapening by more than a decade. It IS a professional quality saxophone and was Buescher's top-of-the line offering from the time. While the market may not support it being a $3000+ horn like a raised-logo TH&C can bring, it's still worth considerably more than a model S-5 or later from the 60s-70s.
 

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‘38 Buescher AristoTenor, ‘66 Martin Magna Tenor
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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
View attachment 109682 View attachment 109683 View attachment 109684 View attachment 109685 View attachment 109686 View attachment 109687 I suppose that I'm a bit late to this party and that the article that I wrote for the National Saxophone Museum has already been shared, but I would like to assert that the engraving on this instrument is original. The case clearly isn't, but the engraving is. This model S-1 "400" was from 1955-56 based on how little I can make of the serial. It was a time when Buescher was, as others have mentioned, cutting costs. I have seen similar engraving of the Top Hat and Cane with raised Buescher 400 logo on both models B-8 and S-1. I have only seen pictures of one other model S-1 that has the same Super 400 engraving with TH&C but no raised logo. I'll attach photos that I snagged from Reverb listings a while back.

As for the neck: while I don't think that it's necessarily original to the horn from the factory, it is period appropriate from the model 141 Aristocrat. The necks are barely dissimilar dimensionally, and I won't totally rule out the possibility that it was ordered with an over-top octave key.

This is NOT a student horn. It predates that level of cheapening by more than a decade. It IS a professional quality saxophone and was Buescher's top-of-the line offering from the time. While the market may not support it being a $3000+ horn like a raised-logo TH&C can bring, it's still worth considerably more than a model S-5 or later from the 60s-70s.
Great sleuthing! A service to the community at large, and many thanks!
 

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I just stumbled across this photo of a 1958 Buescher catalog that I have in my phone. It shows the engraving in question on a model S20 tenor
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