W. Stowasser’s Söhne is a very old name in musical instrument manufacturing. Their familial history in the industry can be traced back to 1770.¹ Wenzel—the “W” in W. Stowasser’s Söhne—started as a brass maker in 1824 in Graslitz, and continued until his death in 1860. After their father died, his sons Josef, Julius, and Richard continued the business as W. Stowasser’s Söhne. From Graslitz they branched out to Verona, Buenos Aires, Barcelona, Catania, Hamburg, Napoli, New York, Riga, Sao Paolo, Sofia, and Warsaw.²
After WWII, apparently the W. Stowasser’s Söhne company was liquidated by the communists when they came to power, and folded into what had become the cooperative known as AMATI. The Stowasser name is owned by AMATI-Denak, who now makes student model flutes bearing the once-proud name.³ For an interesting history lesson about the AMATI company, you might want to check out Dennis Gazarek’s AMATI Instrument Manufacturer: The History page on Sax On The Web.
This bass saxophone comes from the Verona, Italy manufacturing plant. I was originally contacted by someone who had the opportunity to buy it in the summer of ’09, but he passed on the sax. Then in March, 2010 I received an email from the owner in Italy informing me that the sax was still for sale. He included a couple of new photos as well—they are the ones showing the bass in the shop. He also mentioned that the sax was from the 1930s.
Source: Antonio Acciavatti
I don’t know if all W. Stowasser’s Söhne saxophones were made in Verona, but it is interesting that Scott Robinson’s contrabass came from there as well. As a matter of fact, I don’t know if W. Stowasser’s Söhne made anything other than bass and contrabass saxes, since these are the only 2 saxophones of this brand that I have ever come across.