I’m Looking For Some Max Keilwerth Horns…

No, not to buy… My G.A.S. hasn’t gotten the better of me. 😉  Just some photos for research, and possibly illustration purposes. (The latter only if you give me permission to use them.)

I’m doing research at the moment on Max Keilwerth—the brother to Julius and Richard Keilwerth—and will be adding a page for him to the main portion of my site. This new page will be the first of 3 that I am writing on the Keilwerth brothers.

I have many, many examples of Max Keilwerth’s last horns, the Hohner President, but only 1 example of a horn he built before then. It was the Mars alto that appeared on the German eBay site earlier this summer.

Early in his career Max Keilwerth worked for Oscar Adler and F.X. Hüller, and was instrumental in the development of F.X. Hüller’s saxophone department. However, after this, and before he began working for Hohner, he worked independently, and designed and built saxophones which carried the name Mars, President (not to be confused with the Hohner President), and ????

     Source: bluespeter1 on eBay.de

Max Keilwerth’s saxophones can be distinguished by the Pure Tone Trademark that he stamped on them. This trademarked bell tells you that what you have is a Max Keilwerth saxophone.

Although I have not seen any, apparently there are President saxophones that have this Pure Tone Trademark. I would be most interested in seeing some photos of such saxophones.

So this is a request to all those out there who have a horn with this type of marking: Please get in touch with me. I would really like to see some photos of your saxophone.

I don’t use any photos on my website that people send me, without their permission. So please, don’t worry about your sax appearing online if you don’t want it to.

I am trying to learn as much as I can about Max Keilwerth’s saxophones, and trying to see if I can establish when certain design features appeared on his horns. I am also curious if he ever built anything other than alto and tenor saxophones.

Perhaps you have a sax with this stamp that you know nothing about, in which case we’ll be helping each other out.

Thanks everyone!

…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!

© 2011 – 2013, Helen. All rights reserved.


Helen Kahlke is a professional horn player and sax teacher who lives in Abbotsford, British Columbia. She plays soprano, alto, C melody, tenor, baritone, and bass saxophones.


  1. Also lacking an F# thrill key.
    They could fit into the tradition of high pitch amateur bands present in Europe during the first part of the last century.
    In these bands you could find reduced key saxophones.

  2. Hi Helen,

    Here is a link to a surprising globe alto.


    It is keyed to low B and dimensions are remarkable.
    The bow looks a bit too wide.
    It starts like a pee shooter.
    For a low B the bell is too large.

    I guess it has a larger taper than a President.

    • Hi Theo. Funny you should link to this. I just saw this horn today, and saved the pics. I did notice that it was keyed to only low B, but haven’t paid close attention to it other than that. It does look like an interesting horn. What caught my key was the lack of a Front F key.

      I have another Globe tenor that I haven’t had a chance to upload to my Gallery. It it too is only keyed to low B. Check it out… It’s serial # is 2320.

      • Also lacking an F# thrill key.
        They could fit into the tradition of high pitch amateur bands present in Europe during the first part of the last century.
        In these bands you could find reduced key saxophones.

  3. Hi Helen,

    Here is a World saxophone attributed to Max with an extra right hand palm key.
    No serial number. The engraving reminds me of a Julius Keilwerth Triumph.


    No news on tne pictures of the J. Steyn Tonemaster, but I keep a look out.

  4. Hi Helen,

    Here is a link to a damaged pure tone alt saxophone “Tonemaster” nr 3441 (in Dutch).
    It is engraved with the name of the music store “J. Steyn” in Zaandam.
    Bell tone holes on both sides and a damaged crook.
    The seller has the same name.


    • Unfortunately the sale has been removed. Did you happen to save the photos Theo?

      • I could not find the pictures in my computer.
        I will contact the seller if she will send them.
        These MK saxophones with Dutch music store names are rare.
        Only saw one with the name Tierolff Roosendaal five years ago.

  5. Hi Helen,

    There is a Präsident alt on ebay to watch:


    No nail file in the left pinkie table.
    The bell-body brace is different, but difficult to see.

    • That was an interesting auction to watch Theo. I wonder what the seller ended up getting—it certainly was under the ask of EU 550.00.

      I have only seen 1 Max Keilwerth President with that style of engraving (German spelling) before. I was on German saxophone forum. I wonder when MK switch from Präsident to President in his True Tone Series? We know it must have been before the 51xx tenor that you have. (That is the earliest MK President with a confirmed serial # that I have photos of.)

      • The first MK in bassic sax pix is the 1878 Mars.
        This Präsident has the same curved bell to body brace and G# key.
        There is a nail file pattern on it, I did not see it the first time.
        This makes the Präsident to President shift somewhere between 3 and the 53xx as we have seen two Präsidents.

        From another point off view I think that the Präsidents are from before this Mars tenor.
        The Keilwerhts are very consistent in their play with horizontal and diagonal lines.
        You can spott an MK from a JK from a long distance by these lines.
        Präsident is written horizontally, Mars and President diagonally.
        Therefore I would place the Präsident before this Mars.
        As this is extremely flimsy evidence we have to see more MKs.

        :smoke: :smoke: :smoke:

      • The seller has increased the price to EU 750 and writes:

        “This is Max Keilwerth Präsident . No Pure Ton mark.
        Back to the horn here. It is engraved Präsident ….still trying to figure that one out. But this horn is 100% Präsident , identical body, identical keywork, the Hohner logo Präsident is on the body tube and G# keytouch. This is a straight tonehole version. ”

        To me the toneholes look rolled. I can’t see a G# logo or evidence that Hohner is involved. It could be a very early one from before the time that MK used the pure tone trade mark. I have asked for a serial number.

        • No serial number found.

          • No. I was hoping that the seller would show or mention it in the re-list. Apparently the first seller failed to pay, so the alto is back on the market. Too bad it wasn’t a tenor—I’d likely put a bid in on it.

        • BTW, Uwe Ladwig mentions that the very first Hohners infrequently had microtuners. That said, the earliest ones had bevelled toneholes, so this makes this particular alto quite unusual.

          Too bad that the photos aren’t great, and the 1 image of the bell engraving might not be from the same horn. It also looks like there might be some resoldering at the upper octave vent on the neck. I also wonder if the microtuner has been fixed in place with solder. These things would prevent me from paying his full asking price.

          IMHO the seller is asking too much money for a vintage sax that need to be rebuilt. But hey, if he can find a sucker to buy it… The fact is vintage sax prices have dropped like stones—even in Europe. Even beautiful examples are going unsold, or are selling for hundreds of Euros less than they did 2 years ago. To the seller I say: Good luck with that. 😉

  6. I am interested in one of thease alto PURE TONE where can i get one AUS > Melb

    • Hi there. Welcome to my site.

      These horns are not all that common. That said, I have seen about 4 or so in the past year. At least 1 or 2 have been in the US, and the rest have been in Europe. If you really want get a Max Keilwerth-made. Pure Tone Trade Mark horn, my suggestion is that you register with eBay, and set up a notification for all the key words that apply. For instance: Max Keilwerth, Pure Tone Trade Mark, Pure Tone, Mars, President, (by prepared to filter out the Hohners that you end up getting notified about) etc, etc. If you take a look at the Max Keilwerth gallery on my Bassic Sax Pix site, you can find the names of some more of the horns he produced. I would enter all those names as well, and get eBay to notify you if one of those saxophones comes up for sale or auction. Oh, and make sure you set your preferences on eBay to Worldwide, this will also increase your chances of finding something.

      Germany’s eBay site—eBay.de—has by far and away the greatest number of Max Keilwerth horns come up for sale and auction. You might want to start you search there.

      You will most likely have to be patient. Finding one of these in good condition, will likely not be easy. However, you are looking for an alto, so that does increase your chances. A tenor would be more difficult to come by.

      Best of luck to you. When you do find one, please let me know. I’d love to get some photos for the MK gallery.



  7. Hello, you have some nice photos from me.

    • Hello Kober.

      Yes, I have seen many of your very fine vintage horns, and have been tempted by more than 1 of the G.H. Hüller tenors that you have had for auction. You do have some some amazing vintage saxophones. They always appear to be in wonderful condition.

      I didn’t know that you also had a store outside of eBay. What I often do for dealers, is link the photos in my gallery, to the dealer’s website. I can easily do that for you. Would you like me to do that?

      Thank you for stopping by. I read, write, & speak German. So if you would like to write to me in German, please do so.



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