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Thread: Holton Saxophone; Serial number registry

  1. #321
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    Default Re: Holton Saxophone; Serial number registry

    Got photos? It could be worth as little as $100 if it needs a lot of work but if it is in mint condition, maybe $700. The C Melodies have not had a big following until lately. It is probably satin silver plate with polished keys and may have a godl wash (plate) inside the bell. Having the case is important regardless of condition. To clean, use a soft silver polish like Haggerty's liquid but do NOT get it on the pads or keywork where things move or they will cease to move! These C Melodies are between an alto and tenor and play in concert pitch like a piano, flute, violin, etc. Popular for church use as you can read off the hymns.

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    Default Re: Holton Saxophone; Serial number registry

    New R.W. alto in #292.
    Couturier straight soprano > Claude Lakey 7* > Vandoren java / marca jazz 2.0
    Couturier alto > Jody Jazz esp 8 > m.a.r.c.a. jazz 2.0
    Couturier tenor> Jody Jazz esp 7* > m.a.r.c.a jazz 2.5


    "Why would I play on an ordinary, modern horn if it doesn't bring any special character to the music?" Al Mc Lean

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    Default Re: Holton Saxophone; Serial number registry

    Here is LaPorte's link:
    Quote Originally Posted by LaPorte View Post
    This is from Dr Larry Ross. I don't know him but he always has interesting saxes for sale. His collection must be amazing.
    Life is too short for long tones

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    Default Re: Holton Saxophone; Serial number registry



    Does anyone know what the text says?
    Life is too short for long tones

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    Default Re: Holton Saxophone; Serial number registry

    The seller emailed me this photo with the same resolution (300x400). For me the text is hardly to decipher. The date could be "march 7 1928".

    Felix
    Couturier straight soprano > Claude Lakey 7* > Vandoren java / marca jazz 2.0
    Couturier alto > Jody Jazz esp 8 > m.a.r.c.a. jazz 2.0
    Couturier tenor> Jody Jazz esp 7* > m.a.r.c.a jazz 2.5


    "Why would I play on an ordinary, modern horn if it doesn't bring any special character to the music?" Al Mc Lean

  6. #326
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    Default Re: Holton Saxophone; Serial number registry

    http://cgi.ebay.com/NR-TOM-BROWN-ALT...QQcmdZViewItem

    A Couturier made stencil
    Tom Brown
    xxxxxxx
    Chicago

    Could anybody help me to identify the second line of the front engraving (picture two)?

    The same 'Tom Brown'?
    http://cgi.ebay.com/1929-ORIGINAL-AD...QQcmdZViewItem

    Felix
    Couturier straight soprano > Claude Lakey 7* > Vandoren java / marca jazz 2.0
    Couturier alto > Jody Jazz esp 8 > m.a.r.c.a. jazz 2.0
    Couturier tenor> Jody Jazz esp 7* > m.a.r.c.a jazz 2.5


    "Why would I play on an ordinary, modern horn if it doesn't bring any special character to the music?" Al Mc Lean

  7. #327
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    Default Re: Holton Saxophone; Serial number registry

    It says:

    Tom Brown
    Professional
    Chicago

    Tom Brown was an early star of the saxophone. There is a book about him and his group called "That Moaning Saxophone". http://www.amazon.com/That-Moaning-S...1224162&sr=1-2
    Life is too short for long tones

  8. #328
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    Default Re: Holton Saxophone; Serial number registry

    Thank you. So this alto is sold possibly by Couturier himself as a trademark, not a stencil in the usual sense. The 'Couturier rose' can be found on all Couturier saxophones (and brass!) wether they were sold as stencils or not. The flowering design on the front engraving disappeared after receivership Oct. 1923.

    Interesting info about Tom Brown.

    Felix
    Couturier straight soprano > Claude Lakey 7* > Vandoren java / marca jazz 2.0
    Couturier alto > Jody Jazz esp 8 > m.a.r.c.a. jazz 2.0
    Couturier tenor> Jody Jazz esp 7* > m.a.r.c.a jazz 2.5


    "Why would I play on an ordinary, modern horn if it doesn't bring any special character to the music?" Al Mc Lean

  9. #329
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    Default Re: Holton Saxophone; Serial number registry

    R.W alto SN#36599 in #292.
    Couturier straight soprano > Claude Lakey 7* > Vandoren java / marca jazz 2.0
    Couturier alto > Jody Jazz esp 8 > m.a.r.c.a. jazz 2.0
    Couturier tenor> Jody Jazz esp 7* > m.a.r.c.a jazz 2.5


    "Why would I play on an ordinary, modern horn if it doesn't bring any special character to the music?" Al Mc Lean

  10. #330
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    Default Re: Holton Saxophone; Serial number registry

    The Wiedoeft letter comes from a Holton brochure promoting the new Rudy Wiedoeft
    models. The brochure is entitled "Birds of a Feather". The letter is addressed to Frank Holton, March 1, 1929, Elkhorn, Wisconsin and is as follows: "The fact that I am doing heretofore impossible things on the saxophone is of no satisfaction to me compared to the wonderful letters I am constantly receiving from fellow musicians who report similar results with Holton saxophones. It seems that my association with you is making my great ambition come true--That I may be remembered not for my playing, but for having contributed something that all may use to add to their skill in reaching success in music."
    This letter is interesting in several ways, in that it is clear Rudy knew he was the best in the world (recordings confirm this) and the fact that "report similar results with Holton..." clearly indicates he did not play a Holton. By this time he was close friends with Henri Selmer and played a Selmer. Rudy was interested in a concert sound by the later 20s and the small bore Selmer fills this need better than the Holtons. I have played Selmers from the 20s and they are not much of a jazzy horn. They have a very restrained, proper sound, probably closer to Mr. Sax's original intent. I have played every American- made C Melody and I have found the Rudy (rare!) to be the best. That silly-looking key attached to the low C really does open up notes below F, giving the horn a beautiful resonance. The bore of the Holton is a bit under the Martin and wider than the Conn or Buescher, which gives it a decent volume level. The intonation is excellent and the front F key makes it able to play altissimo notes (using a Goldbeck mouthpiece). That funny little side key allows an easy C to D or D to Eb trill. Both of these Rudy features were copied from Buffet, who used these around 1910. (See my earlier blab buried somewhere in this website). The Holtons of this era have a very bright sound compared to the 20s Conns and even the later Conn 6M alto. I notice the price on Holtons is going up, whereas Conn C melodys and altos are dropping on EBay. Is it due to our chats? The truth is out. Don't believe the old negative talk about Holton saxophones. Just PLAY one.

  11. #331
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    Default Re: Holton Saxophone; Serial number registry

    http://i546.photobucket.com/albums/h...922/ba64_1.jpg

    Very interesting! Thank you, Mr. jazzbug1.
    Last edited by LaPorte; 01-16-2009 at 10:08 AM.
    Couturier straight soprano > Claude Lakey 7* > Vandoren java / marca jazz 2.0
    Couturier alto > Jody Jazz esp 8 > m.a.r.c.a. jazz 2.0
    Couturier tenor> Jody Jazz esp 7* > m.a.r.c.a jazz 2.5


    "Why would I play on an ordinary, modern horn if it doesn't bring any special character to the music?" Al Mc Lean

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    Default Re: Holton Saxophone; Serial number registry

    Quote Originally Posted by jazzbug1 View Post
    …the fact that "report similar results with Holton..." clearly indicates he did not play a Holton. By this time he was close friends with Henri Selmer and played a Selmer.
    Thanks for giving us the text. I didn't interpret it that way. To me it says: other sax players report similar results with Holton, as I have. Everything else you say, i agree with 100%.

    As far as your Rudy C-mel, do you feel it is superior to the Holton non-Rudy C-melody models? Is that because of the breather key attached to the low C? Other than that, my horn has all the masterkeys, etc. I wonder which model Tram played.
    Life is too short for long tones

  13. #333
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    Default Re: Holton Saxophone; Serial number registry

    New R.W. alto SN#36979 from 'wideangleman' in #292.
    Couturier straight soprano > Claude Lakey 7* > Vandoren java / marca jazz 2.0
    Couturier alto > Jody Jazz esp 8 > m.a.r.c.a. jazz 2.0
    Couturier tenor> Jody Jazz esp 7* > m.a.r.c.a jazz 2.5


    "Why would I play on an ordinary, modern horn if it doesn't bring any special character to the music?" Al Mc Lean

  14. #334
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    Default Re: Holton Saxophone; Serial number registry

    The Wiedoeft model has a more resonance in the E-D range. It is especially clear with the middle D, which is stuffy sounding on all C melodys I have played. The only variable is that funny little breather key at the low C, which appears to open the sound. C melodys have a smaller bore and conical shape, so I think this note is more sensitive than on an alto or tenor, which are typically a different bore shape, and hence have much more resonance and volume capability. Listen to my video on You Tube under Jazzbug1 where I play "Body and Soul" on a Wiedoeft model. The horn plays remarkably easily up and down. It's all in the horn, as the player is a rank amateur.

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    Default Re: Holton Saxophone; Serial number registry

    Rudy Wiedoeft Tenor on ebay.france #292.
    Couturier straight soprano > Claude Lakey 7* > Vandoren java / marca jazz 2.0
    Couturier alto > Jody Jazz esp 8 > m.a.r.c.a. jazz 2.0
    Couturier tenor> Jody Jazz esp 7* > m.a.r.c.a jazz 2.5


    "Why would I play on an ordinary, modern horn if it doesn't bring any special character to the music?" Al Mc Lean

  16. #336
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    Smile Re: Holton Saxophone; Serial number registry

    Can someone help me with how old my sax is and what its worth? it is a silver alto sax that is ingraved Frank Holton CO Chicago. Underneath that it is ingraved Lociedad ( or Sociedad) Fraternal Hispano-Americana de Filadelfia. and on the other side of the bell is 1200 L.P. I dont see anything else on it, and it plays beautifully. thanks

  17. #337
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    Default Re: Holton Saxophone; Serial number registry

    Hi Holtsax,

    welcome to SOTW!

    The serial number of your alto indicates that it is one of the last Chicago made saxophones. The production in Chicago ended march 1918, so yours is most probably made between January and march 1918. The SN '1200' is great info as it is the highest number seen on a Chicago made saxophone until now! I'll add the number to the list.

    The additional engraving ("Sociedad..) is not originally Holton's.

    The value depends on its condition and playability. In good condition it may be worth 250-500$ (when fixed ca. 200$ higher).

    Would you like to take some photos for the registry?
    Last edited by LaPorte; 01-21-2009 at 07:37 AM.
    Couturier straight soprano > Claude Lakey 7* > Vandoren java / marca jazz 2.0
    Couturier alto > Jody Jazz esp 8 > m.a.r.c.a. jazz 2.0
    Couturier tenor> Jody Jazz esp 7* > m.a.r.c.a jazz 2.5


    "Why would I play on an ordinary, modern horn if it doesn't bring any special character to the music?" Al Mc Lean

  18. #338
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    Default Re: Holton Saxophone; Serial number registry

    Originally Posted by LaPorte View Post
    Frank Holton began producing saxophones in Chicago (Revelation model) 1917 (Reference:Leblanc). The production in Elkhorn was continued spring (April 1918; Ref.: Holton Loyalist). Here is the serial number registry of early 'pre-Elkhorn' saxophones, engraving:

    Made by
    Frank Holton Co.
    Chicago

    # 639 Eb alto
    # 759 Eb alto
    # 848 Bb tenor
    # 1189 Eb alto
    # 1200 Eb alto

    Felix
    Couturier straight soprano > Claude Lakey 7* > Vandoren java / marca jazz 2.0
    Couturier alto > Jody Jazz esp 8 > m.a.r.c.a. jazz 2.0
    Couturier tenor> Jody Jazz esp 7* > m.a.r.c.a jazz 2.5


    "Why would I play on an ordinary, modern horn if it doesn't bring any special character to the music?" Al Mc Lean

  19. #339
    Distinguished SOTW Member jazzbug1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Holton Saxophone; Serial number registry

    Mr. LaPorte-- That Rudy model tenor is quite rare, as I bought one of the only two I have seen on Ebay in several years. It has a remarkable top end and is very comparable to modern tenors, and yet it retains a deep sound below low G. It turned out so good that I sold my 1941 Conn 10M and now use it exclusively. It is flexible enough to play historic and more modern jazz. Most fellow players felt I was crazy to sell the legendary 10M, but after they heard this horn, they agree it is overall a more flexible horn, even though it is a generation earlier than the 10M. All I miss in the 10M is the ability to easily whisper a low Bb, but the Holton is almost as good and does not require the effort of the embrochure to play above high G. The altos and C melodys have a similar brightness I do not find in other 1920s horns, except the very small bore Bueschers, which lack the bottom end. If the dealer is reputable, this might be quite a nice item for our readers.

  20. #340
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    Default Re: Holton Saxophone; Serial number registry

    Mr. jazzbug-- Thank you for the detailed info on the R.W. tenor.

    New post-R.W. alto (without 'Rudy Wiedoeft model'-engraving) SN #40185 in #292.
    Couturier straight soprano > Claude Lakey 7* > Vandoren java / marca jazz 2.0
    Couturier alto > Jody Jazz esp 8 > m.a.r.c.a. jazz 2.0
    Couturier tenor> Jody Jazz esp 7* > m.a.r.c.a jazz 2.5


    "Why would I play on an ordinary, modern horn if it doesn't bring any special character to the music?" Al Mc Lean

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