Lafleur was one of the brand names that Boosey & Hawkes used for their saxophones. Over the years, I have seen Lafleur saxophones made by a number of very different manufacturers.
- B&S made some—Stephen Howard reviewed a low A bari on his site;
- Amati made them by the boatloads;
- Hammerschmidt made the Lafleur De Luxe;
- Beaugnier stencilled its Special Perfect for the cause as well;
- And finally, there is this quirky Varsity alto that belongs to my friend. It is engraved J.R. Lafleur & Sons. This sax’s pedigree has stumped some of the best saxophone historians.
Then the other day I received the following Lafleur price list in the mail from a fellow in Sri Lanka. It came along with a late 1970s, J.K. catalogue and price list that he sent me.
I’m not sure what the connection to the JK materials is, since this looks nothing like the JK material, and this was obviously torn out of larger book of some kind. None the less, I find this really interesting.
The horns depicted in these photographs look nothing like the Lafleurs we see floating around on eBay and the likes:
- Both of these saxes have low C key shapes that are very JK-like in appearance.
- While the tenor has its chromatic F# around the back, like some J. Keilwerth horns of earlier years did, the alto has it on the side, like the Tonekings & The New Kings did.
- The tenor has a Selmer-style bell to body support ring, while that of the alto looks more Kohlert-like.
- I don’t know what the name of the ligature style/brand is that is on the tenor sax, but it appears to be the same as those that came stock on many mid-century German saxes, including JKs.
Although there is no date printed on this catalogue page, based on the prices, I’d say that this likely predates the 1979 price list for the Julius Keilwerth saxophones. I am curious though, by how much.
If you have any ideas who might have made these Lafleur horns, feel free to throw some names out. I’m wondering if these were built with parts from multiple manufacturers. It is a bit of a head scratcher. :scratch:
Thank you to Kumar for sharing this piece of vintage saxophone history with us. It is a real test of one’s knowledge of historical, saxophone trivia. :saxy:
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