Saxophone/trying to find out about tenor sax we just bought
Just purchased a tenor sax stamped "Camelot" and "26." The seller thinks it is of Italian origin, but knows nothing else. Can you help?
Doing a little research I found an Ebay auction for a Camelot with 26 as the serial number, I assume thats your horn.
The origins of this sax is going to be hard to pin down. From the looks of it I would say it's a Eastern or middle European stencil most likely from the 1950's or 60's. A stencil means a manufacture made it for a company that stamped their name on it. These factories rarely kept records of their stencils, if they did they have been lost to time.
Because of the political situation in Europe in the middle of the 20th century many of the musical instrument factories that existed prior to WWII, suddenly found themselves under Soviet control. These factories tended to copy each other and even companies that were outside the soviet block. Competing factories may manufacture the same design and just have a different name on it. So it's nearly impossible to identify the manufacture. Over time the factories in Czechoslovakia, East Germany, etc began to make a cheaper and cheaper product that differed greatly from what they were producing earlier. So with horns from this era it's a hit or miss situation regarding build quality, fit, finish, etc. However with a low serial number it should be OK. It's also possible the horn was not built in a Soviet controlled country and may be of Italian or West German origin and be quite good.
From what I can find on the Camelot is that they are heavy horns with a very dark tone. It looks like the one on Ebay was based loosely on some of the Selmer Paris traits, but mixed with some from Yanigsawia. So if you like it and it plays well, play it and enjoy it.