Saxophone/Seeking info on a Noblet alto
I was going through some of my old belongings and came across my alto sax from high school. I bought it used around 13 years ago for $300. The person that sold it to us said that it had belonged to a deceased loved one for many years, so it was old and unique. I was just wondering approximately how old it is. There seems to be little information on Noblet when it comes to s/n's, dates, and appraisals. I doubt I'll ever sell it, but I'd like to know what it's worth for insurance purposes. It still looks nice despite a couple of cosmetic blemishes from use, and it still plays great. I'm hoping to hand it down to my daughter one day.
It's a Noblet "Standard" alto sax with the s/n 11165.
I remember liking the fact that my sax was unique compared to all of the newer ones that my other classmates played. I never had to worry about a mix-up with our instruments because mine was the only one with intricate stenciling and the only one made in France. Looking back, it was an oddball...like me. :-)
The Noblet brand was manufactured by the Leblanc company in Paris France. At the time your horn was produced Leblanc had 3 lines that were manufactured for different markets. The Leblanc horns were for the professional and the Leblanc clarinets are still considered to be some of the finest in the world. Noblet was their intermediate line, and then there was the Vito instruments which were for the student market. As the Noblet's were the intermediate market it was not uncommon for them to have the extra engraving and feature a few modifications usually found on the more professional instruments. More than likely if the sax was made in Paris it was manufactured the Beaugnier factory, for Noblet. This is a process known as stenciling. Meaning one company manufactured and instrument and "stenciled" another name on it. This is still a very common practice today. Beaugnier was known for making some fantastic saxophones, however most of their professional instruments were distributed in Europe and very few made it to the U.S. therefore they are not as common over here. If you do a web search for Beaugnier saxophones you should find a few photos of them that will share some common characteristics with your instrument. If you would like to know more about the history of stenciling just google stencil saxophones or review some of my older messages. There is a good amount of info on the web about this topic.
As far as value I would estimate it's between $300 to $600 depending on condition etc.
If you have any more questions please feel free to ask and I hope this helps.