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Borgani Joe Lovano Pearl Silver Tenor Saxophone Excellent Condition 19626 – Sounds like a Conn!$ 3,950
Borgani Joe Lovano model in Pearl Silver with 24k gold plated keywork. This has not been played much since it was bought new last year by the original owner. It plays like a vintage Conn but with modern keywork, which is pretty cool. More like a New Wonder II than like a 10M. The tone is big, dark, wide, and pretty spread. You can find videos of Joe Lovano playing this model, if you search on Youtube. If you love the sound of a Conn, but you don’t want to play a horn with vintage keywork, this is really your only option among modern saxophones.
This horn has no dents, no dings, no past repairs at all. It has been well cared for and feels quite good under the fingers. It just got the pads checked out, and it is playing very easily. It comes in the beautiful original case which is also in great shape.
Only one available!
Buescher True Tone Alto Saxophone 202609 Original Gold Plate Very Good Condition$ 950
Buescher True Tone Alto Saxophone 204539 Original Gold Plate Good Condition$ 800
Buescher True Tone Series IV Tenor Saxophone Original Gold Plate Good Pads 212844$ 2,150
Buffet R13 Golden Age Clarinets Amazing Factory Gold Plated Silver Keys Fresh Repads 1967-68$ 5,500
This is a unique pair of factory gold plated silver keys golden age Buffet R13 clarinets. Bb and A, in original case. Every. Single. Thing. In the case is gold plated – the reed trimmer, the ligatures, the screwdriver. It’s deluxe. Serials are prime 96525 and 89682. Both of these just got repadded with nice cork pads. No repairs, no significant wear. These were babied. Wow do they ever play great. Asking price is cheaper than one boring new R13. Original gold plated keys R13’s from 1966-67 are extremely rare. These are the only two you are likely to see. Includes everything in the photos – the beautiful Lifton-made Buffet double case with zippered cover, two Couf Artist mouthpieces with gold plated ligatures, the works.
Conn 6M Transitional Art Deco Burnished Gold Plate Alto Saxophone The Best!$ 3,950
Price just lowered!!
This is one of those super-rare Conn alto saxophones from when Conn was at the height of it’s manufacturing expertise. Conn had the most advanced saxophone manufacturing facility in the world, and it set the standard for quality for all other manufacturers. This alto would have been a special, top-of-the-line model. It has the most elaborate thick burnished finish that is also by far the most time consuming to apply. (Ever burnished anything by hand?) This is original (real, actual) gold plate. (People often think this can’t be real gold, but hey, welcome to the 1930’s where both gold and labor were cheap, and American craftspeople were the best in the world! And there’s the most desirable engraving pattern here also, or at least one of them. For just about a year and a half, Conn did this deluxe ‘art-deco’ geometrical engraving style on its nicer instruments. There’s a lot to see here – it’s a masterpiece of hand engraving that is no longer done at this level by any manufacturer today.
Conns from the early 1930’s are my absolute favorite There was a short burst of gold plate examples mixed in with other horns between 238k-252k, and they are the best of the best in my book.
Conn C Soprano Original GOLD Plate Rare! New Wonder 1 143xxx with C Mpc 117193$ 2,950
Conn New Wonder 1 Alto Original Burnished Gold Plate Portrait 84738$ 2,950
There are a ton of beautiful altos on the site, but this one stands out from the crowd. It is the heaviest gold plate finish that Conn offered – basically sheets of thick (actual) gold rubbed onto the brass to give you a finish that will last for centuries with minimal maintenance required. Both gold and skilled labor were cheap back in 1920’s America and Conn could afford to invest an extra couple of days’ labor in applying all this gold by hand-burnishing, and engraving such an elaborate scene on the saxophone, and still make a profit. These days, it would be literally impossible to reproduce saxophones like this and market them. They would cost far too much. Just a thin layer of modern gold plate costs like $3500 to do.
So this horn is something very special. Not just as a piece of art, or a piece of exceptional craftsmanship, but as a musical instrument as well. William Morris, the influential artist, famously encouraged us to “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, and believe to be beautiful.” This alto sax just wails as a player, and definitely fits both requirements nearly as well as a saxophone could. The engraving features (probably) Apollo, god of music, with his harp, and an extremely ornate C.G. Conn logo and decoration.
This alto has very good pads, and plays extremely easily on the current, high-quality overhaul. It feels nice and snappy under the fingers, and the pad work is very good, flat and ‘dry’ feeling, which is a sign of high-quality work with rolled tone holes. The tone is pure 1920’s jazz power: wide, smooth, warm, and dark, but very projecting. This horn vibrates under your fingers even at moderate volumes, and is super fun and responsive to play. Low register is easy. Intonation is good, though you can easily bend notes around also. The keywork is vintage, so it will feel weird if you’re coming from a Yamaha, at least at first. But the tone and beauty you get in exchange makes it well worth it.
Only one available!
Couf Superba 1 Alto Original Gold Plate Near Mint$ 3,950
King Alto Saxophone Original Gold Plate Old Pads Beautiful Engraving 105999$ 1,200
King Original Gold Plate Soprano Saxophone Beautiful Engraving 56362$ 1,500
This is an original gold plated King soprano from about 1922. The engraving is exquisite, as it usually is on gold plated King saxophones, and the horn itself is in very good physical condition. Keyed to high Eb, it currently plays ok on old pads, and the tone is very warm and pleasant. As is typical with sopranos of this age, the intonation is pretty flexible, but given a good ear and voicing it is entirely possible to play in tune- just don’t expect this to do the job for you like a modern Yamaha or Yanagisawa! The trade-off is, as it usually is in my experience, richness of tone for flexibility of intonation, although a large chamber soprano mouthpiece (like a vintage Buescher) will make the job a lot easier. I was playtesting this on a modern Yanagisawa piece though and enjoyed it quite a bit, without any notable intonational problems for me personally. This is from a collection and has old pads. But just the gold plate is worth the entire price of the horn. It’s a super deal. You could easily find this priced double somewhere else. Includes the nice Buescher soprano mouthpiece in the photos!
The original case for this instrument is in good condition and fits it very well.
King SilverSonic Alto Saxophone Super 20 Fresh Overhaul 346xxx Plays Like Crazy$ 7,950
This is the King to get if you want all the bells and whistles AND you want the most modern version of King keywork. It lacks only the side/palm key pearls to be virtually the same as the coveted Series II SilverSonics, and it plays the same as those, but with more comfortable left hand spatula keys.
King Soprano Saxophone Original Gold Plate Excellent Condition Rare! 99847$ 1,600
Selmer Mark VI Alto Saxophone Original Gold Plate (Vanishingly Rare) Japanese Market Near Mint 156928$ 20,000
Possibly the nearest to new condition original gold plate Selmer Mark VI in the world. This might be a keeper for me, because it is also in the best serial range for altos to play well. My favorite VI altos have all been in the early medium bow range like this. Plus it’s an original Japanese market horn, which is rarely seen. One of a kind.
There is nothing rarer than original gold plate Mark VI’s like this. This is the first I have seen that was definitely original gold for sale. Rarer than Full Pearls Silversonic King saxophones, rarer than mint Super Balanced Action tenors. Pretty hard to beat.
Selmer ORIGINAL Gold Plate Tenor Sax 16164B Coleman Hawkins Al Cohn Sal Nistico$ 14,999
This tenor is an exceptionally rare original gold-plated Selmer Super Sax in very good physical condition. Sporting ornate engraving down to the bottom of the bow in a burnished background, the body of the sax is a matte gold plate finish while the keys and interior of the bell are burnished. Factory gold-plated Selmers are not common, and this is one the few original gold-plated Selmer tenors from this early Super Sax era ever made, and likely one of the nicest still surviving, if there are indeed others still out there. The keywork is tight and shows very little wear- although this horn shows signs of being used, it was well cared-for and well loved.
This horn has recently been given a thorough check-up and plays well. I am a big fan of these Super saxes, and this instrument is a good example of why. It plays with what is arguably the biggest voice of any Selmer, and is one of the few instruments that can give a good Conn of the same period a run for its money in richness. But the velvety Selmer tone is there along with the fatness, making for a uniquely broad and ballsy-sounding Selmer with a lot more power than most horns. The keywork is quite nice and although of an older style ergonomically, those that play these do not find them difficult or an impediment to technical facility.
The serial number is also interesting: although infrequently seen, the B at the end of the serial (sometimes it would actually say “bis”) is Selmer’s way of denoting that they struck the same serial twice on two different instruments! So this is Selmer #16164… B. All in all, a uniquely beautiful and rare instrument with the bonus of a historical quirk.
The last 7 photos are of some of the tenor greats playing similar horns to this.