Saxophone/The "King" Alto Sax


King alto sax
King alto sax  
Would like to approximate value of this Sax that belonged to my father.

1.549.911     pat'd 8-18-25    83841
I have the original case, music holder, glass cork grease jar, neck strap and metal oil can.   It has been refurbished and is gold plated with pearl keys.  I will attach a photo

Hello Diane, your fine sax is from 1925. In 1916 [around s/n 55,000], responding to the rising popularity of the saxophone, the HN White Company began producing their own "King" model saxophone. The entire saxophone production from 1916-1918 was sold to the U. S. Army.
[Around] 1924 [or 1926], King revamped their saxophone lines with the introduction of the New Series horns, and the King line was expanded to eight instruments: C soprano, straight and curved Bb sopranos, Bb saxello, Eb alto, C Melody tenor, Bb tenor and Eb baritone. These instruments continued many of the features of the previous King instruments, such as braised rather than drawn tone holes, and featured a front F key [on alto and Bb tenor], a wider G sharp key, and an improved octave key. This mechanism, designed for King by Henry Dreves (US Patent 1549911, granted August 18, 1925) was an attempt to eliminate the hissing that often occurs between high G and high A. In this system, the tube of the neck octave pip was slanted, and the point of pad contact was rounded to better seal against a pad with a concave surface. Additional engraving, hand burnished gold finishes, and nickel plating also became available. Some of the engraving found on King horns of this era is spectacular!
A well-engineered G# cluster to provide "maximum flexibility for technical work"
[Conical ("smooth") keycups that visually set the King line apart from other instruments]
The addition of two G# tone holes. By adding an extra G# opening, all the notes from open C# down the body lie open. A 1926 catalog claims that this "... greatly improves tone quality and makes the instrument in perfect tune. The muted A is unknown ...." In any event, this feature does permit the playing of some arpeggiated passages between both hands with a simplified fingering.
In the mid to late 1920's, a "Crystal Silver" thumb rest was offered to prevent discoloration of the thumb and corrosion to the instrument.
Instruments were ONLY offered in low pitch, A=440hz (todays pitch standard)
[Available Finishes (from a 1926 Catalog)]
I. Brass, Highly Polished
I-G. Brass, Gold Lacquer [(beware of relacquered examples!)]
II. Silver Satin Finish, Gold Bell
III. Silver Satin Finish, Gold Bell and Trim [(i.e. "two-tone")]
IV. Gold Satin Finish, Burnished Bell
Artist's Special, Gold -- Hand Burnished
King De Luxe [(gold plate or gold wash with additional pearl key touches and very elaborate engraving)]
you have hit the jackpot!!!! Your sax is finish number IV!!!!Gold satin finish!!!the value is currently...Your sax could be worth to the right buyer, $1000, plus 15% for the gold plate.
King saxophones made before the Zephyr models, are not fetching the same high dollars as the famous King Saxello however your sax is in mint condition. So it could be worth around $1150 to $1200... The case is spectacular too!
good luck,
Grant Koeller  


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Grant R. Koeller


I'm a Professional Jazz Saxophone soloist recently retired from 23 years with the USAF Band Of Flight, WPAFB, OHIO, experienced in performance, technique and equipment. I'm not a buyer/seller or dealer. I have 40 years Alto, Tenor, Soprano and Bari Saxophone performance experience with additional years on the Flute, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Bass Guitar, Piano, Drum-set, Guitar and Voice. I'm a third generation professional military musician, my father, Bill Koeller(1939-1997) was in the USAF 1958-1962, and played Jazz Hammond B-3 organ from 1957-1997, and my fathers Uncle, Alfred Koeller (1912-1993), was a professional Acoustic Bassist in the Army Air Corps in WWII, and also performed on Jazz Guitar, Hammond organ, Piano and tenor saxophone.


Professional Saxophone Soloist, 23 total years with the USAF Bands, 6 years with the USAF Band of Flight, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, performing on Tenor, Alto, Soprano, Clarinet, and Flute. 4 years in Japan, at Yokota AFB with the USAF Band of the Pacific. An Avid Composer and Arranger for the Night Hawk Protocol Combo. Former Lead Alto Saxophonist with the USAF Night Flight Big Band performing the music of Glenn Miller as well as other hits of the Big Band Era. I collect LP records of Jazz, blue's, classical and rock, and have over 12,000 records.

USAF,Phi MU Alpha Sinfonia, Men's National Music Fraternity, Johnny Mack Super Big Band, Tom Daugherty Orchestra, Kim Kelly Orchestra, Dayton Jazz Orchestra, Eddie Love Big Band, Gem City Big Band, Jazz Central Big Band, Shin Sings Orchestra, Kim Kelly Orchestra,USAF Night Flight Jazz Ensemble, Different Hats Big Band, Jimmy Baker Blues Band, This Side Up, Freelance, KING KOELLER Quartet, Jazz Central Big Band, GB Work, Sax On The Web,

Saxophone On the Web; Anchorage Daily News; All Experts; Augustana College Public Radio, WVIK;

North Texas State University School of Music, Jazz Studies 1982-1986 Lead Alto, Lab bands 1982-83 and small group leader 1983-1984, Jazz Radio Host WVIK 90.1 FM NPR affiliate Rock Island, IL United States Collegiate Wind Band European tour 1980 Augustana College, Rock Island IL, Liberal Arts Music Mentors/Teachers:My father Bill Koeller, a Jazz Hammond B-3 Organist (1939-1997) Great Uncle Alfred Koeller, Acoustic Bass 1912-1993

Awards and Honors
Paul Shartle Musician of the Quarter Spring 2008; Glenn Miller Festival, Clarinda, Iowa featured soloist; McDonald's All-American Band and Jazz Ensemble 1979; US Collegiate Wind Bands,Paul Lavalle Conductor, tour of Europe,1980; John Phillip Sousa Award, 1980 Dimond HS Anchorage, Alaska; USAF National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star; USAF Achievement Medal with 5 Oak Leaf Clusters; USAF Good Conduct Medal with 6 Oak Leaf Clusters

Past/Present Clients
Performed with, Bob Hope, The Platters, Four Tops, Jimmy Dorsey, Crystal Gail, Helen Ready, James Williams, Dallas Jazz Orchestra, Jack Jones, The Mills Brothers, the G-Clef's, Lionel Hampton at Carnegie Hall, Performed for the King Of Thailand 2005, Tom "Bone's" Malone, Roy Hargrove, Tommy Turrentine, Performed for President Gerald Ford, President George W. Bush, The Maguire Sisters, The USO Girls-Andrew Sisters Tribute, The Four Lads, Lincoln Berry, The Dayton Jazz Orchestra, Louis Bellson, Buddy DeFranco, Walter Bishop Jr, Sadao Watanabe, Bobby Shew, Pete Jolly, Quad City Jazz Ensemble, Augustana College Symphonic Band, Jack Scott, Catfish Jazz Society, Intrigue-Boston Wedding Band, The Mark Herbert Little Big Band, The Pacesetters Big Band, The Ambassadors Jazz Ensemble, Pacific Showcase Big Band, Jimmy Dorsey Big Band under the direction of Lee Castle, Ronny Scott Orchestra, Big Al's Hot Dance Orchestra, The Dayton Sidewinders, Tom Daugherty Orchestra, Johnny Mack Super Big Band, Ken Peplowski, Eddie Daniels, Buddy Guy, Roy Hargrove, Warren Parrish, John OMeara Jr., Dave Holcomb, Albia Silva,Vinnie Demartino, Clon VonFitz, The G Clef's

©2017 All rights reserved.