Saxophone/vito tenor sax--serial #888A
I have a tenor sax that was purchased for me by my mother about 1968 or 1969 I believe. It is in good shape still, was only used by myself a few years and then my niece some years later. I remember they said at the time of purchase it was made in France, and if I remember right, it cost my mother quite a good amount.It is in good shape except it needs new cork on the gooseneck. The original case is in fair condition. How much do you think would be a good price to ask for it?
The Vitos were marketed by Leblanc and was their student line. The interesting thing about the Vito instruments was Leblanc never manufactured them. Every Vito instrument was a "Stencil" instrument based on another companies model, with slight changes. Usually the shape of a key or the color of the lacquer, etc.
Apparently Leblanc would put out bids to manufactures and who ever gave them the best price and whoever got the deal manufactured the Vito instruments and there were multiple companies making variations at the same time. The result of this is there are so many different Vito saxophones that without seeing a picture of them it's nearly impossible to tell which one you have. Every now and then one will pop up that is still new to me. However if the horn you have has "Made In France" stamped on it then you would have a horn made by Beaugnier. This company is not as well known in the U.S. as they are oversees, but they made some great instruments. You can recognize their instruments by a large Low Bb key that forms the shape of the letter "L" with the long side under the B and C# keys.
However for a time the Leblanc company was just buying parts from Beaugnier and having them shipped to Kenosha Wisconsin where they were matched to body's produced there. So these instruments were partially made in France, but fully assembled in the U.S. So over the years there were many "Vito" saxophones and many variations.
The Vito line was finally discontinued in the late 1990's or early 2000's. At that time they were being produced in Japan by Yamaha and were exact copies of the legendary model 23. The parts are even interchangeable. The only difference was the lacquer on the Vito's was darker.
As far as the serial number goes it doesn't mean much as every factory seemed to use their own system and to my knowledge a serial number list does not exist for Vito.
In terms of value.... This is difficult as the true value of something is the amount 2 parties agree to. However a student model tenor sax in fairly good condition, from this time period, may sell for between $400 to $800, but if it needs repairs, you will need to subtract the cost of the repairs from that value.
I hope this helps.