Altsaxofoon, Adolphe Sax, Parijs, 1863, inv. JT0207
Alto saxophone, Adolphe Sax, Paris, 1863, inv. JT0207
Adolphe Sax, born in Dinant, is without doubt the most famous Belgian wind-instrument-maker. With the saxophone, he developed a new family of originally eight instruments that had a uniformity of design and fingering. In the patent he took out on 21 March 1846, Sax expressed his wish that this family would form the basis of an open-air orchestra. Although the saxophone has never found a fully integrated place in the concert orchestra, it has certainly captured one in military and civil bands, and in various operas and chamber music works. It has also attained great importance in jazz and light music.
This alto saxophone bears an extended signature: below the typical monogram with the initials ‘AS’ and the word ‘Paris’, are the name of the maker – ‘Adolphe Sax à Paris’ – and of the instrument – ‘Saxophone alto en mi b breveté’. The mention ‘Facteur de la Maison Militaire de l'Empereur’ indicates that Sax enjoyed a quasi-monopoly in French military bands. Lastly, the serial number ‘25307’ enables the instrument to be dated, as the serial numbers of Sax’s instruments follow each other chronologically. This instrument was made in 1863.