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Mystery Saxophones
instrument names we’ve never heard — your input is welcome if you have additional information
1. Periett Paris
Q.  I am a band director and very much a saxophonist.  I came across a horn I have never heard of — its called a Periett Paris (I hope I spelled it right).  Its an Alto, nice little horn, but there is no serial number on it. Engraved underneath the name is 1874. I know it can’t be that old, because the construction is more modern than late 19th century. There is a G# trill key on the lower stack and another key right above the 3 side keys in the right hand that I also can’t figure out what it is. Unfortunately, it needs some adjusting, so its not obviously playing how it could.  The low B & Bb tone holes are both on the front [right] of the horn (as in modern style). It also has a front (fork) alternate F key like modern horns, as well.  I normally don’t use vintage horns, but I would speculate that the horn is about 50 yrs. old, at least. Unfortunately, I don’t know what I have or if its worth anything. Can you help me? Jeremy …

A. First, I’m not familiar with the maker you mentioned. Early in the 20th Century there were many small instrument builders in France, so that’s not surprising. The sax could be from a small, unknown shop, or it could be a stencil of a larger shop. SML and Buffet are known to have done numerous stencil saxes. An SML may have rolled tone holes. The Buffets have straight tone holes. I’ve also seen some Keilwerth stencils that said Paris or France on them, even though they’re German horns. All the Keilwerth stencils I’ve seen have rolled tone holes. The French sometimes hide serial numbers under keywork. Sometimes they’re on the back of the bell, down near the bow joint. Sometimes there are numbers stricken on the backs of keys such as G# or the palm & side keys.

The right hand bell keys pretty much confirm the European origin. Of the USA vintage saxes only the post 1934 Kings, the Buescher 400 and some later Holtons had right bell keys. Only Holton would have made a stencil with both right bell keys, and oddly, some Holtons had extra trill keys. Holton placed a high C/D trill key just above and to the right of the high E key. It was

activated by fingering high C and trilling the extra key. Still, I believe it’s remote that Holton would have stenciled a sax for sale in France. Those are the observations that come to mind from the info you provided. Maybe with some pics we could do you a better job.

Additional Comments

1874 is about the time Adolph Sax’s original patents on the saxophone would have been expiring. Many instrument makers rushed into saxophone production as a result.
We’ll be adding new mystery saxes reported by visitors, so please check back regularly.

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