Martin Handcraft Value
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Author:  paulrace [ Tue Sep 04, 2018 10:45 am ]
Post subject:  Martin Handcraft Value

A reader writes:

I'm interested in the value of my gold plated sax it's a Martin with the serial # 39482


Your horn was built in 1923, which makes it a Martin Handcraft, their earliest "modern saxophone" model. Its value depends entirely on condition, but will probably not be worth more than $600 if it's completely restored in like new condition - Martin added features to the later horns that make them more desirable to players. If it's in playable, decent condition, you might get $400. If it's in need of repair and restoration, $150-$200 is more likely.

Your horn was not gold-plated. It was silverplated. Some horns had gold plating around the logo on the bell. If your horn looks gold all over, it's been "lacquered," which is something that some folks have done to vintage horns to make them look more modern. A lacqured vintage horn in good condition can bring in almost as much as an unlacquered vintage horn, and it may be in better condition than the average unlacquered horn, since they almost always do a repad at the same time.

I don't do this for a living, though. You might check out other sites. One fellow who rates the value of later vintage martin saxes in perfectly restored condition claims that they average around $2000. I have seen stores ASK this much. I have never seen one sell for this much, though.

Your BEST bet for the most accurate valuation is to go to eBay and look for early Martin saxes, and put "watches" on them to see what they actually sell for.

It will take months before enough of them come through to give you a good sample. But eventually, you'll have some idea of what people are actually paying, which is a better measure of "worth" than what people are asking for them (notice that vintage, silverplated saxophones are worth as much as 4X as much restored as they are non-restored).

Hope this helps,

- Paul

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