Antique and Vintage saxes

by Alyssa Freeman
(United States)

Can anyone tell me how old a saxophone has to be to be considered vintage? What about antique? Is there a difference? Also, I have a very old sax - my guess is it's about 80 years old, as when my grandfather bought it for me 30 years ago, there were pins and a newspaper article inside that were from the 1930's. How can I find out for sure how old it is? Thanks!

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Jul 30, 2015
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Old Sax
by: Anonymous

My friend has an old Tenor Sax that was his fathers We would like to get Info on it and weather or not we should have it Repaired. We can not find the Company etc. on line.
The printing on the Bell of the horn is

H.BETTONEY
C.B. Co
Boston,MA. USA
Serial# 111724

Jun 19, 2016
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Vintage vs. Antique
by: Azuka

The definition between antique and vintage is very subjective, each person may have a different opinion and some people use the two words interchangeably.

For me, Antique means 'approximatel' 100 years or more.... but I'm not a stickler for the 100 years thing, just a guideline. A sax made in 1929 or earlier is old enough to have keywork and design features that have been greatly revamped and improved, so it would be easy to justify calling anything of that era an antique.

I use 'vintage' to refer to any sax that is not very current. So, something made in the 70's and before would strike me as 'vintage.'

FWIW 1930 is the year in which Conn first started using lacquer on their instruments. It was a great innovation at the time, and many players with silver-plated instruments wanted to enjoy the benefits of lacquer and a tarnish-free instrument, so LOTS of people had their silver-plated instruments and even gold-plated instruments buffed and lacquered, not realizing that 80 years later, this would significantly harm the market value. But, what did they care? They got what they wanted. But their grandchildren and great-grandchildren ended up with something that could have been worth a lot more, but isn't. Too bad for them!






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