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Saxophone/What do these markings mean?


QUESTION: I just found an Abbott Premier Saxophone with patent date December 8, 1914.  Also on the back  under the patnent date is:

         III     54

I don't play any instruments and have no idea what type of sax this is.    Can you please help?

Thank you,


ANSWER: Hello Hope,
you have a c melody sax stencil sax... it is, made by Conn Pan American
it is low pitch, Thanks for the great photos....
thanks Grant Koeller

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: So, do I understand that Con Pan American is the manufacturer
but Abbott Premier Saxophone is the company that purchased
and sold the sax?    I didn't send any photo's so I just want
to make sure I have not been confused with another post.

Thank you.

Hello Hope, Thanks for your question.
You have a stencil saxophone. What's a stencil sax you ask? A stencil is a saxophone made by a major manufacturer but will have a different name on it. Music stores, schools and other businesses would order a number of saxophones from a major saxophone maker and have their name put on instead of the company that made them. A major manufacturer could also create separate brand names to compete in certain markets or may have purchased a smaller company and kept the name. Whatever the reason, for the most part these stencil horns were built with many of the features and quality of their parent company. The major saxophone companies that made stencils were Conn, Buescher, Martin, Selmer, Holton and York. Some of these companies were purchased in time and became stencils themselves. There are many ways to tell if a saxophone was produced by a certain company. Tone hole construction, G# key cluster design, key guard design, key layout, octave mechanism type, serial number markings and many more.  Most stencils did not follow the parent companies serial number range so it is hard to tell the year it was made.  I have seen all too many saxophones with the finish ruined by someone using an abrasive like Tarn-x in an attempt to clean a saxophone. This will remove the lacquer right down to bare metal. Even silver polish can damage the finish on some silver plated horns. If you're not sure how to clean a horn, don't do it. Please find a NAPBIRT Trained repair technician to do the restoration. A ruined finish could subtract hundreds from it's value. Stencil saxophones do NOT use the same serial number ranges as the major brand that made it. For instance if you have Maxi-tone Made By Buescher, the serial number is NOT going to be the same as a real Buescher so you can't use the Buescher serial number list. Your sax was made by Conn. The Abbott line was a stencil, made in Elkhart, Indiana. It's a nice, solid well made saxophone perfect for Jazz. This sax would be best labeled as a semi pro model, even though, back then all horns were made by the parent company. This sax wasn't as expensive as a real Conn, but it was almost as nice as one. I would bet that this sax is a real player! Find a local NAPBIRT trained repair technician, and get this horn fixed up. Leave the finish alone. It's worth way more in original condition.
I would say that your sax, depending on condition is worth about $450 to $780 but I haven't seen it, so please send some pictures. That is a low serial number. This horn may be from the early 1920's. Please call 1-800-USA-Horn, Sax Quest, or Sax Gourmet and get even more information. This is the real deal! Vintage, Made IN USA!!!
Good Luck! Grant Koeller


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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

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