Keilwerth, Dörfler & Jörka, and the Bundy/Bundy Special Revisit


Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
A re-re-revisit on the Bundy and Bundy Special saxophones:

* There definitely were Bundy Special baritones. Those have rolled tone holes. I've seen a couple really bad photos (think the Bigfoot film) and I've read a lot of posts from people that actually have them.

* One rule of thumb that recently got shot to pieces was that I could say, "Plexiglas left keyguard? Keilwerth serial number? It's a Keilwerth!" There are a couple problems with that.

-> Paraphrasing Helen, Dorfler & Jorka was sued "in the early 1960s." Then, "around 1965," Keilwerth bought out Dorfler & Jorka and "the partially finished saxophones that Keilwerth assumed from its takeover of D&J that had not yet been engraved were given Keilwerth key guards and a traditional neck fastening screw. The D&J saxes that already had their engraving, for example Jubilee, were then assigned a Keilwerth serial number." Earliest post-buyout D&J I have pics of? sn 35467 (1959). That doesn't line up with the year Keilwerth sued D&J, so, that needs more research.
-> Take a look at this horn, specifically the bell-to-body brace. It's not something you'll find on other "real" Keilwerths. Maybe one could say that UP TO sn 542xx -- that's 1965, so the date looks good -- Keilwerth made the Bundy/Bundy Special, then D&J made them. 54xxx is also about the highest serial number I've seen on Bundy/Bundy Specials. You might also note how that meshes with the date the H-Coufs came into production.

So, while I like the theory of splitting up the manufacture between the two companies, I'm going to fall back on something Helen said, earlier: D&J never had tooling to build baritones or sopranos (and I also need to check to see if there were Bundy/Bundy Special sopranos), so, provided the horn is a baritone or soprano AND has a Keilwerth serial number, it's a Keilwerth. That's the best guide I can give you until I can find more horns, at least.
So, as I'm home sick, I was able to look up a bunch of Bundy Special horns. Well, about 11.

* The "wishbone" and "standard" bell-to-body brace horns were available at the same time. The closest ones I saw were both s/n 54xxx (1965), which is also the highest serial number I've seen.
* What also happened around s/n 54xxx? The H-Couf horns were introduced.
* What also happened in 1965? Hubert Jörka retired.
* The lowest serial number I saw was 38663 (1960). That doesn't correspond to anything in particular. The Plexiglas "Angel Wing" keyguard horns were still available at that time.
* I did notice that some horns were stamped "West Germany" and others were stamped "Western Germany."

Here's something a bit interesting to ponder: I also think the last of the "Angel Wing" horns were made until 1965, but I have Toneking Special horns -- horns with the sheet metal keyguards and the new design low Eb/C keys -- way back at s/n 42380 (1961). It's not too much of a stretch to say that the Toneking Special was introduced at the same time as the Bundy Special. That's an awful lot of models for Keilwerth to have available at the same time!

I tried to find the Keilwerth v. Dorfler & Jorka lawsuit and I can't, so I can't give you a real date on when that happened and if this affected any of the above.

All this research has made me extremely wary of any Keilwerth that was made after 1960 and had sheet metal keyguards, UNLESS it has the Keilwerth name stamped or engraved on it. Even then, you have to ask if Amati had their hands in the manufacture.
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