1920s

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  • Conn Chu Berry New Wonder 1 Tenor Saxophone Burnished Gold Plate Portrait 1924

    $ 4,350

    Just freshly overhauled! New photos posted late June 2020!

    Conns from the 1920’s like this have an enthusiastic following these days. I’m told that it’s now more common to see a tenor player in NYC playing a Conn than a Selmer, which is hard to believe if true. I have definitely noticed a large and growing amount of interest and enthusiasm for Conns like this over the last 5 years at least.

    The way I think about vintage Conn tenors is this. They are all built quite well, and they are all good players once you get them all fixed up and overhauled. So if you have the choice, and budget allows, you might as well buy the nicest one you can to fix up. This is for a couple of reasons. First, resale value will always be better the more beautiful the horn is, and the rarer the finish. Second, you get to experience the satisfaction, even joy, of owning such a beautiful piece of craftsmanship from the world’s greatest musical instrument factory of the 20’s and 30’s, which is undoubtedly Conn. Conn set the standard for musical instrument manufacturing during that time. Its designs were copied by all the other makers, from France to Germany, Italy, and even eventually Japan. They are still being copied today in fact!

    If your goal is to get the best, most beautiful, rarest Conn that you can, it would be hard to do better than this beautiful burnished gold Conn New Wonder 1 ‘Chu Berry’ tenor saxophone from 1924. The finish is a bit tarnished at present, because I haven’t had time to get it disassembled, cleaned, and polished yet, but there’s a lot of original gold plate there, and not a whole lot of finish wear. The burnished (bright) gold Conns like this are incredibly rare. Much rarer than the satin gold examples, which are themselves very rare. The engraving is striking. Each burnished gold Conn had the option for a custom portrait. I wonder whose sweetheart this is! Some stylish flapper 20’s lady in any case. This would almost definitely have been pro-owned by the tenor player from a big band. I got the horn from Ohio, if there’s anyone who can connect the dots at all. I have never seen any other Conn tenor with engraving like this, so it has some historical value as well, to me at least.

    This tenor comes in pretty good playing condition. It was tuned up before I got it, and I’ll probably spend some more money on pad work before I sell it. It also includes a nice Hiscox case with my favorite, the red interior, which is no longer offered. Much better than the blue for a gold saxophone.

    Just for fun, here’s Lester Young on his New Wonder 1 tenor just like this one, also gold plated. The wide, lush, spread, medium dark tone is just gorgeous.

     

  • King Soprano Saxophone Gold Plate Fresh Overhaul Amazing! 99847

    $ 3,600

    Just freshly overhauled!! This got a full restoration, so it’s back to like new mechanical condition.This is the vintage soprano you should get!

    This amazing gold plated King soprano saxophone will blow the walls down. It is in excellent condition, with nearly all the original gold plate intact. It has just received a full overhaul and restoration, which is not a small job on a 90 year old instrument. It is now back in like-new playing condition and ready to make music for many many years to come.

    King sopranos are rare, and were only made in low pitch (regular concert pitch). They tune nicely, and have a big, warm, medium-focused tone that is less polite sounding than a Buescher, and really fills a room with ease. This example in gold plate and in such amazingly good condition is extremely rare. The great depression in 1929 spelled the end of most of the saxophone market, and marked the end of most makers building sopranos in any kind of quantities. So it’s not surprising that you don’t see a King soprano later than this serial. This is one of the very last ones made, and the latest serial I have seen. The later the better is my motto on vintage sopranos generally speaking, so getting a late one also in gold plate is really exceptional.

    Only one available!