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NMM 5769. Tenor saxophone in B-flat by Adolphe Sax, Paris, 1872

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Side view of sax NMM 5769.  Tenor saxophone in B-flat by Adolphe Sax, Paris, 1872 Back view of tenor saxophone Side view of tenor saxophone

NMM 5769. Tenor saxophone in B-flat by Adolphe Sax, Paris, 1872. Serial number 36458. Engraved, vertically, on right side of bell: (script) No 36458 / Saxophone Tenor en Si / Adolphe Sax Fteur Breveté / de la Mson Milre de l[’]Empereur / 50, rue St Georges à Paris / [AS monogram]; engraved, vertically, on right side of bell, near bow, below low-B tone hole: No 22 / Donné à la Société de musique / de Bar-la-Duc, par Mr l’abbé Galle / Curé archiprétre de Notre Dame / Juillet 1865; Parisian military band logo stamped on bell, to left of signature: MM / 1. Brass. Later clear lacquer. Fingered range: low B-natural to high F. Dual octave keys. No touchpieces or rollers on E-flat, low C, G-sharp, low C-sharp, or low B keys. Height: 797 mm. Bell diameter: 137 mm. Ex colls.:  Hewitt A. Waggener, Los Angeles; Cecil Leeson, Muncie, Indiana. Transfer from Ball State University, 1994.




Saxophone's Provenance


Article from Los Angeles Record, October 4, 1926

Hewitt ("Doc") Waggener purchased this saxophone from Couesnon & Cie, Paris, on January 23, 1925, for 300 francs, while he lived in Omaha, Nebraska. To celebrate its arrival in the U.S. several months later (and his own concurrent move to Hollywood), Waggener loaned it to the Southern California Music Company (Los Angeles), where it was displayed, during the holiday season, next to a brand new, Buescher True-Tone tenor sax. While on loan to the music store, Waggener's saxophone was also "played over the radio at Chickering Hall by Tom Dering," according to a November 11, 1925 letter in the Waggener archive.

The sax was later featured in an article (left) in the Los Angeles Record (October 4, 1926), where it was shown being played by "Miss Eva Etchart." The photo caption with this article states that "Dr. Waggener is both an artist and an authority on saxophones and has a collection of approximately 50 instruments, among which are four originals made by Sax."

All four of these original Sax saxophones were given to Ball State University (Muncie, Indiana) in 1971 by Waggener's daughter and son-in-law, Peggy and Richard Gould, where they became part of the Cecil B. Leeson Collection and were subsequently restored by the G. Leblanc Corp., (formerly of Kenosha, Wisconsin). The Leeson Collection was later transferred from BSU to the NMM on May 13, 1994.




Maker's Signature, Monogram, and Presentation Text


Maker's name engraved on side of bell Maker's monogram

Presentation text engraved on side of bell




Views of Keys


Neck

Neck and octave key

Octave keys
Right-side keywork
Left-hand little finger keys, view 1
Left-hand little finger keys, view 2

Octave keys

Right-side
keywork

Left-hand,
little finger keys,
view 1

Left-hand,
little finger keys,
view 2




Literature:  "One of Original Saxophones," The Los Angeles Record (October 4, 1926).

"Four Original Adolph Sax Instruments Given to BSU," The Muncie Star (March 17, 1974).

Malou Haine and Ignace de Keyser, Catalogue des Instruments Sax au Musée Instrumental de Bruxelles (Brussels: Musée Instrumental, 1980), p. 243.

Mark Hulsebos, "Cecil Leeson Legacy is Preserved in Collections and Displays," The Saxophone Symposium 7, No. 4 (Fall 1982), pp. 18-19.

Mark Hulsebos, "Cecil Leeson Legacy is Preserved in Collections and Displays," Indiana Musicator 38, No. 4 (May 1983), pp. 11-12.

Phillip T. Young, 4900 Historical Woodwind Instruments (London: Tony Bingham, 1993), p. 202.

Robert S. Howe, "The Invention and Early Development of the Saxophone, 1840-1855," Journal of the American Musical Instrument Society 29 (2003), p. 176.

Go to Checklist of Saxophones Made by Adolphe (Antoine-Joseph) and Adolphe Edouard Sax

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