Beaufort American Stencil: Martin or Buescher?
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Author:  paulrace [ Fri Aug 30, 2019 9:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Beaufort American Stencil: Martin or Buescher?

A reader writes:

I received a STENCIL SAX - It's labeled BEAUFORT AMERICAN; CHICAGO,USA. It appears to be silver plated. It has a SERIAL # 39976 on it and it looks like an Eb is stamped on it below the thumb hook.

I didn't (and still don't) know anything about it except that it is old. I took it to music store to have it overhauled & new pads,(back in 1996). I was going to leave my son play in it in the high school band.

When I picked it up, I was told that "kind of Sax" really belong in New Orleans because it's sound. Well, as any good mother would do, I brought my son a newer sax and packed the STENCIL SAX away, thinking that if it belonged in New Orleans, it really should go to a professional SAX PLAYER.

I still haven't made it to New Orleans. I LOVE SAX MUSIC and if it is of any value, I would like a professional to play it.

I really would appreciate ANY INFORMATION AS TO HOW TO CONFIRM the BRAND. The information that I found is that:
BUESCHER (might of Manufactured it about 1918-1919). If so, the SERIAL # matches up to that time frame. The thing that baffles me is "CHICAGO" that engraved on the front of it. I can't find any history on BUESCHER being in Chicago, only Elkhart, Indiana.
Thanks for any help.

Stencils were often made for big music store chains, yours may have been made for a chain based in Chicago. But it was probably made in Elkhart. If you send me clear photos of the thing from every angle, especially showing me the bottom curve and the keys all the way around the top half of the horn, I may be able to tell you more, including whether it's probably a Buescher.

If you're son's still playing, chances are it has a better sound than whatever you bought him and just needs a better mouthpiece to really sound nice. The keys are laid out a little differently but most people make the adjustment easily.

The serial #s on stencils are usually set according to the music store's whim so aren't always helpful.

Best of luck

Paul Race

Author:  paulrace [ Fri Aug 30, 2019 9:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Beaufort American Stencil: Buescher?

The reader sent back photos, including this one.

DSCN5858.JPG [ 116.95 KiB | Viewed 12607 times ]

It's a Martin. You can tell by the beveled sound holes.
From other photos you sent, I would guess that it is late 1920s Handcraft. From 1929 to 1930, the left pinky keys on the Martins were round buttons. In 1930, they got away from the buttons, but VERY FEW stencils were made after 1930.

The earliest Handcrafts had very short G# keys. Yours is longer, which is why I suggest the 1920s rather an the teens.

Hope this helps.

- Paul

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