Saxophone/Vintage Horton Sax


We have a sax that we know nothing about.  There is a beautiful engraved makers signature front and center on the horn.  It is embellished with a large leaf and ribbon design around the makers signature and place made.  I could not understand the writing, but the city and town that is was made was in print so easier to read.  It was made in Elkhorn Wis. so I assume it is a Horton.  On the back there are a couple of stamped numbers and letters.  The first are letters Eb.  The second are numbers 29346.  Third are capital letters L P.  
It is silver with a brass color on the inside of the horn opening.  Some of the note tabs look like they have mother of pearl on them.

We are not sure where we got this as it was found in my husbands late fathers possessions.  Is this worth keeping/ restoring?  

Thank you for your time.



Your correct in that the sax you have is most likely a Holton. I would need to see some photos to know for sure. The horn is actually silver plated and the bell has a very thin layer of gold on it. We call this a gold wash as the gold is nearly transparent as it is so thin. Often the gold wears off and all thats left is the silver underneath

As far as being worth keeping, that depends on what you are going to keep it for. According to the serial number this horn was made in 1914 and is the "Elkhorn" model. That was it's official name. Holton was and still is known very high quality brass instruments especially french horns. The also made some great trumpets and trombones. The saxophones they made in the early 20th century were not so good. By 1925 they pretty much got out of the saxophone business as they could not compete with Conn and Buescher. Also I think they made saxophones because somebody figured they could. Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should. The biggest problem is Holton, tried to experiment and make changes and modifications and none worked or caught on. Instead they should have worked on getting them to play in tune as that was their biggest problem. AS their saxophones didn't sound that good and they didn't sell well. Right now I have a Holton tenor in my shop that I use as a conversation piece as I've completely detached the bell from the body, removed all the keys and it now just hangs in the shop in various places.

So my recommendation is to donate it to a restaurant to hang on a wall or maybe a repair tech would like to have it and make a lamp out of it. I'm sorry for the bad news.

Charles Harris  


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Charles Harris


questions regarding equipment, performance, repairs, lessons, etc. Almost all saxophone related questions.


I am a professional member of N.A.P.B.I.R.T (National Association of Professional Band Instruments Repair Technicians). I have been repairing saxophones, flutes, clarinets, and brass instruments since 1993. I perform in several professional groups covering genres form classical, jazz, and rock.

N.A.P.B.I.R.T (National Association of Professional Band Instrument Repair Technicians

St. Petersburg Junior College (AA) University of South Florida.

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