Is there anyway to date a Lawton MP

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  1. #1
    Bulldogz's Avatar
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    Default Is there anyway to date a Lawton MP

    Hi guys is there anyway to date a Lawton MP, it came with a sax I bought and the owner said he bought
    the Lawton second hand around 15 years ago (which may or may not be true), it’s quite tarnished and I’m
    assuming its made of brass, pictures attached. Sound wise it is quite nice, mellower than I would
    have expected, but good tone and handles the altissimo range just fine.
    Images attachées Images attachées

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    Distinguished SOTW Member rhysonsax's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there anyway to date a Lawton MP

    Lawtons are not made of brass. The standard metal pieces are and were made of nickel silver, plated and finished either in Gold plate (majority) with a few finished in silver plate. They have also been made of surgical stainless steel, ebonite and bronze.

    The model B is a good compromise between warmth and edge. The plain model (no letter) has a bit less edge, but is a long way off being a classical piece (in my opinion). The BB model is much edgier and not very flexible.

    Hard to date your piece exactly, but the date it is said to have been bought second hand would mean it was made by Geoff Lawton (died in October 2003) and the size of the lettering supports that. His last period pieces usually had the larger font lettering and Jason's pieces since his death also have that.

    I have about 25 Lawton pieces with a couple going back to the mid 60s (marked Lawton-Barton) and some up to the end of the Geoff-made pieces. I would guess this example was made in the '90s.

    Rhys

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    Default Re: Is there anyway to date a Lawton MP

    ask it's father for permission.
    Don't do drugs. Do Overtones.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGPySDpoSiY

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    Default Re: Is there anyway to date a Lawton MP

    Quote Originally Posted by littlewailer View Post
    ask it's father for permission.
    Where’s the groan emoji?

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    Default Re: Is there anyway to date a Lawton MP

    Thanks for the info Rhys, it is much appreciated.

    BTW. You can currently buy the Lawton in Stainless steel, brass or bronze at the sax.co.uk site

    David.

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    Distinguished SOTW Member/Mouthpiece Guru MojoBari's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there anyway to date a Lawton MP

    I have worked on several Lawton’s. None of them stuck me as being made of nickel silver. The bronze seems harder than most lead free brass. Almost as hard as SS.

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    Distinguished SOTW Member rhysonsax's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there anyway to date a Lawton MP

    I think the majority of the older pieces were nickel-silver, but Mojo maybe be right about some being brass. In the old (1990s) Lawton leaflet I have it mentions Nickel-Silver, Surgical Stainless Steel and ebonite but not brass.

    John Robert Brown did a long interview in the mid 1990s with Geoff Lawton http://www.john-robert-brown.com/geoff-lawton.htm and it includes the following points from Geoff,:

    Underneath the gold it's silver plated, which is also expensive. The base metal isn't brass, like most people use. I just use the best materials available. I use nickel silver, which is one of the most noble alloys you can get, 50% dearer than brass.

    I make saxophone mouthpieces in nickel silver, brass, some in pure bronze - basically high tin and copper. I also make a tenor mouthpiece in bell metal. Pure bell metal. It's extremely hard, but if you dropped it on a hard surface it would break, crack like a pot. It's similar to bronze, but contains more tin. Proper bell metal has 20% tin, 80% copper. Very similar to what Zildjian make their cymbals out of. But it's all a matter for the individual player.

    So in the same interview Geoff seems to contradict himself about whether he does or doesn't use brass.

    Rhys

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    Distinguished SOTW Technician. Oric Muso's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there anyway to date a Lawton MP

    Maybe he thought of his brass as being different to ordinary brass? I'm pretty sure I've seen brass mentioned on the little sticker on his boxes. Can't remember exactly whether it was bell metal or bell brass that was mentioned, but one of those.

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    Distinguished SOTW Member rhysonsax's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there anyway to date a Lawton MP

    Quote Originally Posted by Oric Muso View Post
    Maybe he thought of his brass as being different to ordinary brass? I'm pretty sure I've seen brass mentioned on the little sticker on his boxes. Can't remember exactly whether it was bell metal or bell brass that was mentioned, but one of those.
    I've got lots of Lawton boxes to go with my Lawton mouthpieces, all dating from Geoff's period as the designer and maker. Here are what they say about material on the printed stickers and how many of each I have.

    • Special Model - Made of Bell-Bronze (7)
    • Precision machined from hard rubber "ebonite" hand finished (2)
    • Precision machined from stainless steel bar designed to give a modern bright sound (1)
    • No mention of material (4) (all from gold plated metal pieces)


    I've probably got a few more boxes hiding in instrument cases and with mouthpieces that are out on loan, but I am confident that none of them mention brass.

    Rhys

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    Distinguished SOTW Member/Mouthpiece Maker mfry's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there anyway to date a Lawton MP

    I'm afraid I don't know anything about dating them, but I have worked on dozens of these. Mostly brass, the rest bronze. Mostly gold plated, seem to recall silver plated bronze too I think?

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