Saxy Christmas Kitsch

Saxy Christmas kitsch: is it really that time already?

We were with friends the other night, and as we were looking at the December calendar planning our next evening together, I came to the realization that Christmas is only 5 weeks away. :hair:   How did that happen? Where did 2014 go?

This would explain the sudden explosion of Christmas gifts, kitsch, and other stuff targeting the consumer that is everywhere from stores, to TV, to newspapers, to radio, to the Internet. Even eBay has gotten into holiday shopping mode already. On their homepage they’ve placed a large banner ad that alternates with other features ads, as well as a drawing of a mitten, along with the words “Shop Gifts”.

Ah yes, with all this Christmas cheer floating around, I couldn’t help myself, I just had to look and see what the latest in saxy Christmas kitsch was. Surprisingly—or maybe not so surprisingly—this year’s early saxy Christmas kitsch was very similar to what we’ve seen in the past.

The new and improved Bassic Sax Kitsch Scale

All this Christmas kitsch made me revisit my original Bassic Sax Kitsch Scale that I developed in 2011. Yesterday I thought about how I could improve on this basic scale, and make it more informative.

Today I’m proud to unveil the new, illustrated Bassic Sax Kitsch Scale. With its easy-to-follow explanations, and clear illustrative examples, this chart will easily help you decide if what you are holding in your hands is truly a work of art, or simple a piece of kitsch. :tongueincheek:

kitsch, kitsch scale, The Bassic Sax Illustrated Kitsch Scale

To show you how simple this chart is to use, I’ve chosen a random saxophone collectible currently for sale on eBay… This plastic Christmas decoration in the shape of a saxophone with an elf in the bell. (The word plastic gives it away as Extreme Kitsch, not to mention, it happens to be the object I chose to illustrate the Extreme Kitsch box.) ;)

plastic holiday decoration, saxophone Christmas decoration, mid-century Christmas decor, saxy Christmas kitschSource: keltool on

Ah yes, it’s hard to believe how your home could look more festive. This bit of saxy Christmas kitsch is sure to make any room in your house the centre of attention. The way the elf’s paint is worn off due to age and/or use draws a person’s eye immediately.

plastic holiday decoration, saxophone Christmas decoration, elf, mid-century Christmas decor, saxy Christmas kitschSource: keltool on

And why wouldn’t the owner of such a fabulous piece of saxy Christmas kitsch use it year, after year, after year, after year? … In the words of Billy Crystal, it simply looks mahvelous….

BTW, this is how the seller describes this bit of saxy Christmas kitsch:

For your consideration is a vintage mid century plastic Christmas decoration. It is in the shape of a saxophone with an elf on it. It measures 13″x 4″ x 7″ and is made out of plastic. . Condition: very good; there are areas where the paint has come off ( see pics) from a smoke free home & thanks for looking.

If you live in a big city—remember, that is a criteria for this to be trendy   :tongueincheek:   —and you want to sax up your holidays with this bit of vintage Christmas kitsch, you only have until tomorrow night to get your bids in. The auction for this bit of saxy Christmas kitsch ends on November 20, with bids to start at $9.98. There had been no bids yet at the time of writing.

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

Gautrot Marquet Soprano Sarrusophone

I seldom write about sarrusophones—in part because they are fairly rare—but there is currently a cousin of the saxophone family for sale on eBay. A seller very near to me, here in British Columbia, is seller this Gautrot Marquet soprano sarrusophone. If the instrument being a soprano sarrus isn’t strange enough for you, perhaps you’ll find the finish as peculiar as I did: It is silver plated with brass keys.

Gautrot Marquet soprano sarrusophone, antique musical instrument, sarrusophone, double reedSource: ron_vdk on

The only silver plated sarrusophone that I ever remember seeing before is this tenor by Evette & Schaeffer that appeared for sale on eBay in 2008.

Is the finish on this Gautrot Marquet soprano sarrusophone original? I wouldn’t want to say one way or the other since I’m not an expert on sarrus finishes. Compare the crispness of the bell engraving to that of the alto and soprano Gautrot Marquet bare brass models that appeared for sale in December 2011 and decide for yourself. Me, I’m a bit torn. Yes, it could have been re-engraved after a plating job. Or perhaps it is original.

Gautrot Marquet soprano sarrusophone, bell lip, bell engraving, antique musical instrument, silver plated sarrusophoneSource: ron_vdk on

This is how the seller describes this soprano sarrusophone by Gautrot Marquet…

Up for auction is this lovely Soprano Sarrusophone still in its original case!

I don’t know too much about it other than it’s “Extremely Rare” and in pretty good condition for it’s age. It appears to be made of silver plated brass. It was made in the mid 1800’s by Gautrot Marquet and bears his name and the words ” brevete s.g.d.g a Paris”. All of the buttons and springs work. There is some wear on the plating of the buttons.
The fabric in the interior of the case is quite worn. The exterior is fine with only a few little chips on the corners and edges. The latches work and there is a locking mechanism.( for which I have no key) There are also a few attachments in a little box.
If you have any questions feel free to inquire, I’ll be happy to assist.

Here are the photos of this intriguing antique instrument…

If this Gautrot Marquet soprano sarrusophone looks interesting to you, I can tell you that you’ll have to dig a little deeper than you would if you wanted to buy a vintage or antique soprano saxophone. The seller has this antique horn on eBay for the Buy It Now price of $3,800 US. That said, he is willing to entertain offers, but as of the time of writing no offers have been made on this interesting bit of musical history.

If you are interested in this Gautrot Marquet soprano sarrusophone, Pete Hales mentioned something when the alto and soprano bare brass horns appeared for sale in December 2011. At the time he commented:

….I’d think that these Sarrusophones could be French Standard pitch (A=435hz) or high pitch (A=457hz). I hope the buyers took this into account.

If you are interested in this horn, it would be worth contacting the seller before putting your offer in. If you plan on playing this sarrus with others, and it does turn out to be in anything other than A=440, you will be SOL, since the seller does not accept returns.

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

Remembrance Day 2014

In honour of Remembrance Day, Veterans Day, and Armistice Day.

logo-tolr-largeIn Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

– Lt.-Col. John McCrae


Source: Historic Royal Palaces

This year the Tower of London features an incredibly powerful art exhibition titled, Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red. In total 888,246 ceramic poppies are filling the Tower moat. Each poppy represents a British military fatality during WWI.