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Dearman Master Model Alto

#1
A friend from our local community band plays a very well looked after Dearman Master Model alto. I've undertaken to find out something about it for her. I know that the Dearmans were stencils, and she thought it might be a Keilworth, but it doesn't look much like Keilworths I've seen. She inherited if from her Grandfather, who played it for years. It has a serial number of 236. It plays and tunes quite well and has a clear mellow tone. The pad cups are much the same shape as those on a Bundy, but it doesn't look much like a Bundy. Can anyone suggest where this might have originated?
Thanks.
IMG20171024211116.jpg
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
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#2
* I don't think Julius Keilwerth because of the serial number and that G#/C#/B/Bb cluster is wrong. The horn should look more like this.
* I'm pretty sure it's not a Max Keilwerth, either as a horn he made under his own brand names or as a horn made for FX Huller.
* "Bundy" isn't a bad guess because the G#/C#/B/Bb cluster does look like something from a Bundy or Aristocrat. Of course, Bueschers don't have rolled tone holes :).
* G#/C#/B/Bb cluster is very similar to some CA Wunderlich stencils. Some of the CA Wunderlich horns were made by FX Huller, but I'm still waffling on saying ALL of them were made by FXH. I think I need to hit that FXH website again.
* A couple other Germanic manufacturers used the same G#/C#/B/Bb cluster.

So, requests for more pics: full right and left sides of the horn and the engraving, if it has any. Seeing that keywork will help, as will finding out if it's a split-bell-key horn. Search for a "made in" stamp, too.
 

Helen

Content Expert Saxophones
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#3
We would need some more photos Tony. Dearman ordered their horns from a variety of different companies. From that image alone, my guess would be F. Köhler, but like I said, I'd need to see some more to either confirm or rule it out.

BTW, the serial # doesn't really fit a F. Köhler--at least none I have seen have had numbers that low.
 

Helen

Content Expert Saxophones
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#4
BTW Pete, I know you're not believing me on the CA Wunderlich made by F. Köhler. I'm not sure why--it has been documented--I just need to find it again... I think it might have been in a book somewhere, which is why I can't find it online....
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
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#5
I can definitely accept that some were. Just not all. FWIW, the guy on the FX Huller website says that a similar (probably the same) CA Wunderlich I linked to is an FXH. I can accept the reasoning on that: FXH made a billion stencils and some CA Wunderlich horns are obviously FX Huller stencils. (For those of you that don't know what I'm pointing to, it's the cross-hatch chromatic F# key and the low C/Eb keys. It's a bit clearer to see on this horn.) I just don't make the leap from "some" to "all" :).

However, I haven't found an FXH with the same G#/C#/B/Bb cluster as on Tony's friend's horn on an FXH. One of the shortcomings of that FXH website -- and I think a lot of it's great; don't get me wrong -- is that there are lots of pics of sax bells. I'd like to see both sides of the horn AND the bells.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
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#7
Pretty engraving!

I should have remembered that a lot of English (as in, "From England") importers used the "foreign" designation. That's always annoying when you're trying to determine a manufacturer. However, I do think we've gone from, "It looks a lot like that CA Wunderlich horn on my website" to "It looks exactly like the CA Wunderlich horn on my website, minus the microtuner neck." So, the question is, "Who made that CA Wunderlich horn?" Speaking for myself, I don't know. I have not seen any split-bell-key Kohler horns, period. FX Huller did make split-bell-key horns, but I haven't seen any with that exact G# cluster. Hey, Josef Lidl had split bell key horns, with a somewhat similar G# cluster and had a Master model.

So, I think the most accurate answer is, "It's probably of Germanic origin, but pinning that down is a bit difficult." Best guess? FX Huller or Franz Kohler, provided that we can prove that Wunderlich didn't make any saxophones -- and it's almost impossible to prove a negative.
 

Helen

Content Expert Saxophones
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#9
BTW Pete, I know you're not believing me on the CA Wunderlich made by F. Köhler. I'm not sure why--it has been documented--I just need to find it again... I think it might have been in a book somewhere, which is why I can't find it online....
OK, so after much digging around, I did find it, it was in, Saxophone: Ein Kompendium, by Uwe Ladwig, 2nd Edition. p.137.

I could go on and type out all the German, but I have already translated it on my website's Franz Köhler's page.

Franz Köhler—not to be confused with Kohlert—was born in Graslitz in 1895. He began learning his trade while at Höfer in Graslitz from 1909-1912. Höfer is a nearly forgotten musical instrument company from the 19th century....

While finishing his journeyman’s certification in 1913, Köhler worked for Carl Kruspe in Leipzig, Oscar Adler, and finally with Gebr. Mönning. He ended up staying with Gebr. Mönning until 1933....

After leaving Gebr. Mönning, Franz Köhler started his own, independent workshop at Erlbacherstr. 22 in Markneukirchen. It was in this workshop that he began making alto and tenor Empor model saxophones. Even in these early days Köhler was already supplying saxophones to companies like C.A. Wunderlich [emphasis added] and Schuster, and was employing up to 10 journeymen.
As fare as finding an online source for Franz Köhler being the maker of CEA horns, there is this manufacturers chart on the German saxophone history page on Saxwelt.

Franz Köhler - Empor und Cea - Stellte 1961 den Saxophonbau ein [ Ceased saxophone production in 1961]
IIRC, this was also discussed on the Markneukirchen's Museum Forum somewhere. If I find the reference again, I will link to it here as well.

The point is, I suspect we are not used to seeing F. Köhler horns with split bell keys, b/c we see newer ones with his name on them.

Since he was making saxes in his own shop back as far as the 1933 or 34, and at the time he was supplying horns to companies like Schuster and Wunderlich, it would make sense that his designs changed over the years. His earlier horns would likely not have had the features we see in his latter ones--things like right-sided bell keys.

I can definitely accept that some were. Just not all.
I never said all were. I just said this one was. ;)

As a matter of fact, on my website I have an example of an Amati-made C.A. Wunderlich, as well as a Max Keilwerth one.

If it makes you feel better you can cling to the FX Hüller theory as a possible manufacturer, but there is no evidence that this horn has any FX connection. This Dearman alto has all the hallmarks of a F. Köhler-made horn, which was made during the time that the company made the CEA horns for Wunderlich.
 

Helen

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#10

Helen

Content Expert Saxophones
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#11
The Markeneukirchen Museum's website is crazy-making b/c of the bastardization of the spelling when it appears online. Something gets perverted through the forum software...

In any event, here is what Dr. Enrico Weller wrote about C.A. Wunderlich:
Die Firma C. A. Wunderlich (gegr. 1854, aufgelöst 1966, Schutzmarke Ceâ) galt in der ersten Hälfte des 20. Jahrhunderts als eines der bedeutendsten Großhandelsunternehmen für Musikinstrumente im Vogtland. Der Firmengründer Carl August Wunderlich I (1826-1911) war zwar gelernter Metallblasinstrumentenbauer, später wurden jedoch selbst keine Instrumente mehr hergestellt.

Was Wunderlich von anderen Musikinstrumentenhändlern unterscheidet, ist die Tatsache, dass er bestimmte Modelle seines Sortiments von namhaften Handwerkern der Region herstellen ließ, auch wenn deren Signatur dann trotzdem nicht erschienen ist....

Helen translate says.....

The company C.A. Wunderlich (founded 1854, dissolved 1966, Trademark Cea), was one of the most important wholesalers for musical instruments in the Vogtland. Although the company's founder, Carl August Wunderlich I (1826-1911), was a brasswind maker, the company ceased its own instrument production later on.

What differentiated Wunderlich from other musical instrument wholesalers, was the fact that he had certain models of his product line manufactured by prominent craftsmen in the region, even if their signature didn't appear on the instrument....
 
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pete

Brassica Oleracea
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#12
Oooh. The German text now looks better. I'll post the "how to" in the Admin forum. I'm a little uncertain what the original German for "Großhandelsunternehmen" should be, so I didn't change the "Ã" character. [Edit: fixed it!]

OK, I'll relent. I'd really like to see a Kohler split-bell-key horn that has "Kohler" stamped or engraved on the bell, though.

I did want to expand a little on the date: we do know of late 1930s/early 1940s CA Wunderlich stencils that have split-bell-keys. Julius Keilwerth and Kohlert made several different "levels" of horns and their lower range was composed of split-bell-key horns, even into the 1940s. That's probably the case for some other Germanic manufacturers, too. If you saw a US-made horn with split-bell-keys, you'd probably be correct with "1920s or earlier."
 
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Helen

Content Expert Saxophones
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#13
Oooh. The German text now looks better. I'll post the "how to" in the Admin forum. ... [Edit: fixed it!]
That would be fantastic. Thanks Pete!

OK, I'll relent. I'd really like to see a Kohler split-bell-key horn that has "Kohler" stamped or engraved on the bell, though.
So would I. I've been tracking F. Kohler horns for years, but so few pop up, that is very difficult to find any examples. I wish his company records would have survived... Much like Max Keilwerth's records though, they have apparently been destroyed.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
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#14
There's so much to learn. Not enough hours in the day.
 
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