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Thread: Holton Saxophone; Serial number registry

  1. #61

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    Default Re: Holton Saxophone; Serial number registry

    Just to add some info to the compilation. I have owned 2 Holton saxes, a tenor and an alto, and both were virtually the same, so I'll list their features together. The alto is 31760 and the tenor is 26937.

    silver plate (matte with shiny keys and an area on the bell where it says Frank Holton, Elkhorn, Wis.)
    forked Eb
    trill keys for G# and D#
    NO extra vent key near low C
    front F (no pearl there, sort of tear drop shaped)
    Bell keys on opposite sides

    The alto has its original mouthpiece (the kind with the tightening screw and no cork on the neck) in original condition. The mpc is marked "Pat. Applied for" and "Pat. Jan. 1923." It is metal coated with hard rubber. I assume the lig and cap are original, but they are unmarked.
    The alto also has a tool marked Holton that is a screwdriver and pad-prick? spring tool?

    I just got the alto, and haven't played it but once, but it has a nice tone and very workable ergonomics.

  2. #62
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    Default Re: Holton Saxophone; Serial number registry

    Quote Originally Posted by petersaxplayer View Post
    I just inherited a saxophone… It says HOLTON and the only s/n i could find was this 036679 and it says JAPAN below that.
    Sorry, i don't know anything about Japanese Holtons. As a guess, it's probably from the late 1960s or early 1970s. Not made by the famous USA Holton factory.
    Life is too short for long tones

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    Default Re: Holton Saxophone; Serial number registry

    Quote Originally Posted by Wilbur Weltklang View Post
    Plays beautifully and so similar to the VI it's incredible.
    Mark, are you still enjoying the Holton alto? Please tell us the serial number and model number. Interesting that you find it comparable to the Mk VI.
    Life is too short for long tones

  4. #64
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    Default Re: Holton Saxophone; Serial number registry

    I just bought a Holton Tenor (a rare Wiedoeft tenor) off Ebay. I will re-pad it and report on it. The pictures are excellent, with no wear even on the thumbrest. If it is like my alto, it will have the big sound of a Chu Berry Conn, with added brightness in the top end. There is a puzzler on Ebay, #170246839879, which looks like a C Melody. It is serial #26551, which according to my Holton documents, was built in the spring of 1928. Oddly, there is an old note with the horn dating it to 1923. The horn has the features of 1923, as by 1928 they had the high F key. This horn does nothave the alt. F. Furthermore, I have seen some Holtons from 1923-24 with dark green plastic key touches instead of the pearl. These green touches are present in the EBay photos, which further date the horn to 1923. I think the touches were originally black, but those early plastics deteriorated in color (in this case to green) and broke easily, as this specimen has a few touches missing. Holton was always trying to be different in their saxes. What makes this EBay listing crazy is that there is a starting price of $4800! It's worth $150. I suspect the serial # to be 16551 and not 26551. The bum rap given to Holtons has kept the price down so the knowlegeable few can buy great horns.

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    Default Re: Holton Saxophone; Serial number registry

    The one for $4,800 (if it is the one in Florida) looks to be an alto. He claims it is sterling silver but is way off on the price. I think 1923 is the closer year. I got out my gold plated Rudy Alto to photo it to sell and it is really a nice horn. Holtons are much better than we all thought.

  6. #66
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    Default Re: Holton Saxophone; Serial number registry

    On closer look, it looks altoish. I also see in the photos, a loose alt. F key and G# trill key laying on the accessory box. Maybe the serial # is correct, but the penciled in date is not. Holtons did NOT have alt. F in 1923. These non-Rudy altos usually sell for less than a C Melody. I Remember when C Melodys and Albert clarinets could be had for $10-15.00 only ten years ago where I live. I know of few players, so I guess they are falling into collections of people with a hoarding disorder, which is common amongst males over fifty, like some of us.

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    Default Re: Holton Saxophone; Serial number registry

    Both of my non-Rudy altos have the front F but it is not a pearl and looks like a current Yana.

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    Default Re: Holton Saxophone; Serial number registry

    Quote Originally Posted by jazzbug1 View Post
    I just bought a Holton Tenor (a rare Wiedoeft tenor) off Ebay.
    So you're the one! I was watching that but didn't bid on it. Very interesting horn. Please report when you get 'er fixed up.
    Life is too short for long tones

  9. #69
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    Default Re: Holton Saxophone; Serial number registry

    I was watching that one too!

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    Default Re: Holton Saxophone; Serial number registry

    Quote Originally Posted by soybean View Post
    So you're the one! I was watching that but didn't bid on it. Very interesting horn. Please report when you get 'er fixed up.
    Ditto! I had made up my mind to buy the next nice looking Rudy Tenor I saw on ebay, but managed to let this one get away. Nice price, and good on you, Jazzbug--I hope she plays as good as she looks!

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    Default Re: Holton Saxophone; Serial number registry

    Hi everybody,

    I'm new here and got some good info from this site. The reconstruction of the Holton serial number list belongs to my historical interests, too.

    Frank Holton began producing saxophones in Chicago (Revelation model) probably 1917 (Reference:Leblanc). The production in Elkhorn began spring (prob. April 1918; Ref.: Holton Loyalists). Here are the serial numbers from following early 'pre-Elkhorn' alto-saxophones, engraving:"Made by Frank Holton Co Chicago", I've documented:

    # 639
    # 759 (in my collection)
    # 1189

    Felix

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    Default Re: Holton Saxophone; Serial number registry

    You have the very first Holton saxophones. Is the plating good, as I've seen many in the 5,000-10,000 range where the plating was very thin and worn in spots that weren't even touch zones. Please check your horns with a tuner. Let's see if the intonation is OK. Don't expect spot-on with early horns, but at least 20 cycles tolerance is OK. I'm curious, as being a big Holton fan (maybe because they are so cheap!) I'd like some feedback on your horns, as I have no experience with very early one. THANKS.

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    Default Re: Holton Saxophone; Serial number registry

    I am expecting the Rudy tenor to arrive in a few days. I will re-pad, set it up, and see how it plays. I strongly suspect that it will equal my 1941 Conn 10M, in which case, the Conn, in top playing shape with 85% original lacquer, will go on Ebay. The 10M was played by a late friend who toured with Les Brown and the Mal Hallet bands in the 1940s.
    I will then have all the Wiedoefts except the very rare baritone, which I have played, but it is not quite the match of my 1927 Conn "Chu Berry" model. I will save the $$ in my quest for a vitage sopranino. Then I will have all the horns I have ever lusted for, pass away out of a lack of challenge, and become a legend in my backyard.

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    Default Re: Holton Saxophone; Serial number registry

    Quote Originally Posted by jazzbug1 View Post
    Then I will have all the horns I have ever lusted for, pass away out of a lack of challenge, and become a legend in my backyard.
    LOL
    Life is too short for long tones

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    Default Re: Holton Saxophone; Serial number registry

    Quote Originally Posted by LaPorte View Post
    Frank Holton began producing saxophones in Chicago (Revelation model) probably 1917 (Reference:Leblanc). The production in Elkhorn began spring (prob. April 1918; Ref.:Holton Loyalists). Here are the serial numbers from following early 'pre-Elkhorn' alto-saxophones, engraving:"Made by Frank Holton Co Chicago", I've documented:

    # 639
    # 759 (in my collection)
    # 1189
    Very interesting. Thanks for adding the numbers and welcome to Sax on the Web!

    I had to search for Holton Loyalist. It's a website dedicated to… Holton. It seems to be primarily focused on brass, but there is a sax area. They are looking for old catalogs and photos. Jazzbug, you should send them some pics of your Rudys.
    Life is too short for long tones

  16. #76
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    Default Re: Holton Saxophone; Serial number registry

    Originally Posted by jazzbug1:
    You have the very first Holton saxophones. Is the plating good, as I've seen many in the 5,000-10,000 range where the plating was very thin and worn in spots that weren't even touch zones. Please check your horns with a tuner. Let's see if the intonation is OK. Don't expect spot-on with early horns, but at least 20 cycles tolerance is OK. I'm curious, as being a big Holton fan (maybe because they are so cheap!) I'd like some feedback on your horns, as I have no experience with very early one. THANKS.
    Only the one with SN #759 is in my collection, the two others were listed on ebay recently (#1189) and one year ago (#639). The numbers could clearly be identified by the added Fotos.

    My Chicago made Holton-alto needs professional overhaul including dent removal and post-resoldering. The silver plating is solid and 100%, even in touch zones. The only differences to the early Elkhorn-made ones are the following:

    1. Engraving "Chicago" instead of "Elkhorn" (of course)
    2. No mother-of-pearl inlays
    3. Front-F key (surprising!), comparable to the Revelations from the later twenties

    All other application is the same including the additional G/G# and C/D keys.

    Felix

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    Default Re: Holton Saxophone; Serial number registry

    I've never seen an early Holton with a front F key. They must have discontinued the idea soon after and then began adding it again in the mid 20s, unless it is a carefully soldered later addition, which is not hard to do. Does your early Holton have the C to D trill key protruding on the right near the side Bb and side C? Frankie Trumbauer preferred Holton. Rudy Wiedoeft preferred the Selmer, as it was a smaller bore and had much more of a concert sound. Selmer continued this practice until the Balanced Action of the mid 30s.

  18. #78
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    Default Re: Holton Saxophone; Serial number registry

    Quote Originally Posted by jazzbug1 View Post
    I've never seen an early Holton with a front F key. They must have discontinued the idea soon after and then began adding it again in the mid 20s, unless it is a carefully soldered later addition, which is not hard to do. Does your early Holton have the C to D trill key protruding on the right near the side Bb and side C? Frankie Trumbauer preferred Holton. Rudy Wiedoeft preferred the Selmer, as it was a smaller bore and had much more of a concert sound. Selmer continued this practice until the Balanced Action of the mid 30s.
    You are right, the early Elkhorn-made Holton's don't have the front F Key as far as I could see. My early Chicago made Holton has this key and this was rather surprising to me. I'm shure it is original. I hope I can take a foto and get it here sometimes. It looks identical to the Front F mechanic of the later horns (similiar to clarinets, beginning ca. 1926).

    Yes, my early Holton has this typical C to D trill key near the side keys you mentioned.

    Thank you

    Felix

    Thank you, too giving us the only exact reference with your c-sopranosax (18319) which was shipped out 11-18-1924.
    Counting from the beginning of 1918 (evt. late 1917) until the end of 1924 we have a medium annual output of nearly 2,650. My rating of the yearly production from 1918 to 1928 was ca. 3,000/year.

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    Default Re: Holton Saxophone; Serial number registry

    Quote Originally Posted by soybean View Post
    Very interesting. Thanks for adding the numbers and welcome to Sax on the Web!
    Thank you for welcoming me on SOTW !

    Felix

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    Default Re: Holton Saxophone; Serial number registry

    Here is a list of Holton-models from 1916 to 1940:

    BEAUFORT **(stencil, Austrian made); ca. 1916/1917; rare): split bell, keygards with forged ends (looks like duck feet)

    REVELATION-model, series Ia (Chicago 1917/18; rare): split bell, soldered toneholes, front F key, additional trill keys.

    REVELATION-model, series Ib (Elkhorn, spring 1918 - ca. 1930/partly longer?):
    Production continued in Elkhorn, Wisconsin, front F key from ca. 1926, early ones without front F key.

    RUDY WIEDOEFT model (ca.1925/28 - 1930/31..) B and Bb left side, corkless neck, round g#-key with mother of pearl-inlay, additional low C vent-key. From the beginning thirties without the "Rudy Wiedoeft model"- engraving.

    COLLEGIATE-series I* (1928/29/30?, rare) split bell, solid and bevelled (type: LaPorte, not Martin-style) soldered-on tone chimneys , L-shaped C#-G#-key
    Partly the production was sold under the tradename "Beaufort American" Production ended 1929in LaPorte; continued in Elkhorn ca. 1930?. Some "Beaufort American's" were built by Conn!

    REVELATION series II, (ca. 1931, very rare) split bell, engraving like Revelation I, new proportions, wider bore, new application, spatula keys like RUDY WIEDOEFT model, no front F, made in Elkhorn.

    COLLEGIATE series IIa* (from beginning thirties..): B and Bb left side, Corpus like Revelation II, keys only the 'needed', no front F

    REVELATION series III (ca. 1934/35), rare: B and Bb left side; additional engraving: "REVELATION" (to be continued..)

    COLLEGIATE series IIb* ca.1935-1941, like IIa, including front F! (Tenor stencilled by Gretsch 15xxx, first digit dropped ?! - 115xxx)

    RESO-TONE series 204 (1935-38; rare) Text of the original ad:

    "This is a new Holton Reso-Tone Alto Saxophone, built upon new proportions and with new tonal quality, new mouthpipe, new octave key, new keygards and new thumb rest. A completely new instrument that will set new standard in saxophone construction and tone."

    THE SPECIAL** (beginning forties; stencil, made in France; rare)

    * means: the serial numbers partly follow a different line of numbers
    ** means: the serial numbers follow a completely different line of numbers

    Felix
    Last edited by LaPorte; 06-03-2009 at 09:01 AM. Reason: new information added

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