Saxophone Forum

by [email protected]
(1 post)
6 years ago

Silver Holton 1922 C-saxophone

Silver Holton 1922 C-saxophone 
15 years ago we bought at an auction in Devon, UK a very old silver sax, that was in good condition, except it was badly tarnished.

After polishing, it looks great, and it turned to be a Ken Holton Elkhorn Sax. Its serial number 6244 puts it at 1921. The mouthpiece is Selmer, perhaps - at least it has that printed on it.

What is very interesting, is that it is in C, not B-flat.

To me, the sound has great resonance, but I am just a hopeless amateur, and the instrument has clearly been looked after and kept in good working order, with the pads having been renewed.

Might I please ask, is this a rare sax, and a good one, or just a historical oddity? It would be good to know if it is for playing still?

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  1. by historicsaxwhisperer
    (644 posts)

    6 years ago

    Re: Silver Holton 1922 C-saxophone

    The C Melody horns were produced during the 1920s. It was the high end of parlor entertainment along with a piano. Groups of people would get together and entertain. The sax is an easy instrument to play BADLY, so it was all the rage of the time.

    The C horns fell into being an oddity as times changed. It voicing was never written into the popular music, so they went unplayed and sat in closets for 70 to 80 years. By 1930, they were simply no longer made until recent years when Asian producers are making a few cheaply made horns.

    Now days, they are starting to be used again Joe Lavano, a prominent jazz player has used them. Ska bands and upcoming musicians that are trying new things are using them again.

    The Holton saxophones in gerneral do not have a big following, but there are a group of players that love the Holton horns. Yours being in very good shape is a plus.

    I would expect a sale price on Ebay under 400 dollars. Putting money into it to get it to play well would not get you a better return on a sale.

    If the Selmer mouthpiece is a Selmer France piece rather than a Selmer usa piece, it could bring a few hundred bucks on its own.


    Good Luck

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