Original Catalogue Pages Of Sax-Shaped “Things”

One of the most popular sections of my website is the Sax-Shaped “Things” portion, which features everything from simple plastic children’s toys to high-tech wind controllers. The toys and instruments featured in that section of Bassic Sax span nearly a century of our instrument’s history.

I regularly get emails from the owners of vintage or antique saxophone-shaped musical instruments and toys asking about their history. Sadly, for most of these instruments and toys the history is long forgotten, and often very little is known.

A few days ago I decided to dig through some of the numerous digital versions of catalogues that were sent to me from a fellow in Europe. Low and behold I found some very interesting pages in a 1930 Jedson & Mastertone catalogue.

For your research and viewing pleasure I now offer up the following vintage sax-shaped “things”, just as they were originally listed. (Please note that the prices are in British pound sterling.)

Sax-Shaped “Things” as the were listed in a 1930 catalogue

The Weiss Fluta – A blow accordion that looks like a Hohner Organette

1930 Jedson & Mastertone catalogue, vintage catalogue, sax-shaped "things", Weiss Fluta, blow accordions

The Weiss Fluta (# 2712) looks pretty much identical to the Hohner Organette. Based on the spelling, Weiss Fluta, I’m guessing that this instrument is also from Germany.

The Jazzophon

1930 Jedson & Mastertone catalogue, vintage catalogue, sax-shaped "things", Jazzophon, kazoo

John E. Dallas & Sons Ltd.’s catalogue spelling error aside (there was no “e” at the end of Jazzophon), Calura’s saxophone-shaped kazoo must not have sold all that well. To date I have only come across one for sale on eBay.

What’s worth noting on this and the following page is that Swanee—the makers of the famous slide sax—also made a number of other instruments and toys. Unfortunately not all of them are illustrated.

The Swanee Slide Sax and a bunch more Swanee Stuff

1930 Jedson & Mastertone catalogue, vintage catalogue, sax-shaped "things", Swanee Sax, slide sax

BTW, notice the price of the Model A Swanee Sax. According to this UK Govt. website, the £2 10s 0d from 1930, would be worth £83.55 in 2005. My, how these little gems have appreciated. They regularly sell upwards of £400 on eBay.

The Saxie and The Saxette

1930 Jedson & Mastertone catalogue, vintage catalogue, sax-shaped "things", Saxette, Saxie

Although the John E. Dallas & Sons Ltd.’s catalogue lists the Saxie and the Saxette as the same instrument, to my knowledge they were always made by different companies. While the Saxie was made by the French company Couesnon, the Saxette was the brainchild of music teacher Elver Joseph Fitchhorn, who had the instrument manufactured through the Saxette Company in his native Delaware, OH.

Sax-shaped Harmonica

1930 Jedson & Mastertone catalogue, vintage catalogue, sax-shaped "things", sax-shaped harmonica

The information on No. 7651 was found on page 74 of the catalogue. It is as follows:

“Strauss” Sax-mouth Organ, 28 reeds, with nickelled [sic] Saxophone attachment .. .. dozen £2 4 0

I have not seen any of these Struass harmonicas for sale, but this La Traviata and this Radio harp have appeared for sale in the past few years. The story about the saxophone-shaped bells can be found on the Radio harp page.

Lots and lots of toy sax-shaped “things”

1930 Jedson & Mastertone catalogue, vintage catalogue, sax-shaped "things", sax-shaped brass toys, 4-valve toy saxophone

This four-valved, sax-shaped toy (No. 7914) is described in the page below…

1930 Jedson & Mastertone catalogue, vintage catalogue, sax-shaped "things", Simplex Saxophone, blow accordion, 8-valved toy saxophone

The valved-instruments shown in the two pages above, are perhaps those which I get the most requests for information about. I have quite a few of these on my website already (check out the Toys with Valves on this page), and many more in my photo archives that I just have to find time to write about—including the Simplex Saxophone. BTW, I’m sure the Simplex Saxophone, which is actually a blow accordion, looks like the Hohner Sax by design, and not by fluke.

Since I have not yet had a chance to create a page on the Simplex Saxophone, here are some pics of the instrument…

With regards to blow accordions, the early part of the 20th century was littered with them. Sax-shaped blow accordions seem to have been all the rage. The silvered wood 8-note version shown above (No. 2958) is very similar to this German blow accordion that appeared on eBay. The most obvious difference is in the style of the mouthpiece.

To see more of the blow accordions that I have collected images of, check out the Blow Accordion portion of Sax-Shaped “Things”.

In conclusion then…

I hope that these pages are helpful to those of you looking for a bit more information about the instruments and/or toys illustrated or listed above.

If you have any of the items listed above and would like to share images of them through my website, or even have information to share, please contact me. I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks!

If you’re looking for more images on sax-shaped “things”, make sure you check out my website. I’m currently working on a number of new pages for this section, and hope to have them up in the coming weeks.

…this is just my blog. My “real” website is www.bassic-sax.info. If you’re looking for sax info, you should check it out too.There’s lots there!

Moonliters Performing For Culture Days

Moonliters Logo, The Moonliters Big Band,

This coming Saturday, September 27, the Moonliters Big Band will be performing in the rotunda at Abbotsford Senior Secondary School at 2 pm. Abby Senior is located at 33355 Bevan Ave. in Abbotsford.

If you’re like me and haven’t been to the school since you graduated from there, yes, this is a new school. They levelled our old one, but you can still get there the way we used to as well. You don’t have to use the Bevan Ave entrance.

This is a FREE concert being held as part of the Canada-wide Culture Days. This concert is sponsored by the Fraser Valley Regional Library, which also has its new library on site as well. Personally, I would have found it truly amusing to play in the library for an hour.

So here are the details of the Moonliters Big Band’s upcoming performance:

Place: rotunda at Abby Sr. Secondary
Address: 33355 Bevan Ave. in Abbotsford.
Time: 2 – 3 pm
Date: Saturday, September 27, 2014

I’ve been subbing with the Moonliters since January. First I was in the 2nd alto/clarinet chair. Since my clarinet chops are non-existent, I switched with the 2nd tenor player. Now I’m subbing in that seat.

As the band’s name suggests, the Moonliters Big Band performs songs from the Big Band era. In addition to performing at special events, we also hold two dances a year which are attended by the dance clubs in the area. It is at their request that the band has, in recent years, added a number of Latin tunes.

For our upcoming performance at Culture Days, the Moonliters are described like this:

Culture with a blast! Abbotsford’s Moonliters is a musical tour de force, with musicians from throughout the Fraser Valley and even Sumas, Washington! Get your ‘swing’ on and enjoy renditions from Big Bands such as the Dorsey Brothers, Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman, as well as more recent popular tunes and music with a Latin beat.

To get an idea of what we sound like, this is a video taken at a recent dance, and put together by our piano player…

…this is just my blog. My “real” website is www.bassic-sax.info. If you’re looking for sax info, you should check it out too.There’s lots there!

The Bassic Sax Stop Sign

It’s been awhile since I made up a new saxophone sign. (The last one was in September 2013.) This week I had an idea,   :idea:     so I opened up my Photoshop program and played around a bit. A little under an hour later I had produced the Bassic Sax Stop Sign….

Stop Stupid, Bassic Sax Stop Sign, broken saxophone, broken sax

This was inspired by the Conn Director Series alto that lent its image for the cause. I originally got this horn from my good friend, the late Hans Martini in Fredericton, NB. Hans was a pro player and repair tech who I met when I moved to the Maritimes from BC in 1996.

Whoever owned this MexiConn had wanted get some work done on the horn. In order to save money he removed the all the keys, and most of the springs. When he brought the horn to Hans and asked for a quote for the work, Hans told him it wasn’t worth fixing. It would have cost more to do the work, re-spring the horn, and reattach the keys than it would have been to buy another used MexiConn.

The owner got so pissed, he smashed the MexiConn on the floor of Hans’ workshop and stomped on it a few times. Then he proceeded to walk out of the shop leaving the horn and all of its bits behind. :pissed:

Over the years Hans had used most of usable parts on other repairs. One day he gave me the crushed body tube and bell and told me that I should hang it up in my studio as wall art. It’s been there ever since.

Bottom line: Yah, it’s good to save a buck, and in this economy, who wouldn’t want to. But as this Bassic Stop Sign points out: Stop and think about your actions first.

Sometimes you can’t undo what you’re doing, and your actions could lead to consequences that will cost you far more than if you’d have gotten an expert’s advice before you proceeded.

…this is just my blog. My “real” website is www.bassic-sax.info. If you’re looking for sax info, you should check it out too.There’s lots there!