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Saxophone/Question about a Frank Holton & Co. 1920s ish saxophone


I have a saxophone that was apparently played by my husband's grandfather in the 1920s.  Per my father-in-law it is a C saxophone.  It appears to be a Frank Holton & Co. instrument out of Elkhorn, WI.

It probably hasn't been played since the 1920s.

What are the options for this?  It obviously needs to be repaired/refurbished.  Can any instrument repair place do the repairs?  Does this go to a museum?  Is there a music school that collects antique instruments?

Carolyn - great question, here's my best answer:

If it is indeed a C melody horn it is not practical for every day use today.  Collectors may be interested if the horn is in very good condition.  If you do plan on getting it repaired for sale, DO NOT have it refinished!  (Don't do anything to its finish - no polish, no paint).  Simply tell your local shop to get the horn in its best possible "playing condition".

There's lots of great info about the Holton Co - they made some good horns but in general, they were mass produced to meet a growing fascination with saxes in the late 20's and 30's. In general however, not many are considered "collectible"  - in some rare cases, say if the horn was played by someone famous, includes some special engraving or has gold or silver plating, yo may have something special.  Otherwise, it is simply a nice old curio :)


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Eugene Cantera


I have been a music educator for over 25 years and have taught on many levels from young children and school agers on through to college level, professional players and senior citizens. My main areas of expertise are saxophone(s) though I have taught many instruments including, guitar, bass, piano, oboe and drums to name a few. I have also done research on horns both vintage and new.


I have been in music education for 25 years and I have written and published in the subject of professional music education.

The Dallas Morning News, Dallas Business Journal, Marketing and Higher Education Newsletter.

Bachelor of Music Education, Hartt School of Music - The University of Hartford.

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