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Saxonette AKA The Hohner Sax

Saxonette AKA The Hohner Sax

M. Hohner’s Saxonette

This German-made Hohner Saxonette is a blow accordion. The seller of the instrument said that there were:

12 keys over recessed holes and there [were] even KEY PADS on the keys. It appears that each hole is equipped with a metal reed placed inside… It measures 17 1/2″ in length and has a 4″ bell.

This Saxonette was missing its mouthpiece.


To date the only other Hohner Saxonette that I have seen for sale appeared on eBay March 2016. This one still had its mouthpiece attached. 

Hohner Saxonette, blow accordion, vintage saxophone-shaped musical instrument, Saxonette badge on bell of instrument,
Source: Tomahawk-Coin-and-Antique on

The Hohner Sax

The two Saxonettes shown above are the only sax-shaped, blow accordions that I have seen from Hohner that carried this name. The far more common name that these antique blow accordions from Hohner are known by, is The Hohner Sax.

blow accordion, vintage, German, The Hohner Sax, Saxonette
Source: williamg on

Vintage catalogue pages for the Hohner Sax, formerly known as the Hohner’s Saxonette

Over the years I have come across many, many pages of catalogues that showed the Hohner Sax. There have been so many in fact, that I stopped gathering them together. As I was updating this section of my website, I started to examine those old catalogue pages I did have, and I began to notice how widely the prices varied.

Therefore I decided to update this page to show how the Hohner Sax, and its companion piece the Organette, were advertised, and what they sold for. This will also allow for further updates in the future.   


On this page, from a 1929 catalogue from the Belknap Hardware & Manufacturing Co. in Louisville, Kentucky, the The Hohner Sax and Organette are really well described. 

vintage catalogue, 1929, Saxonette, The Hohner Sax, Organette, Belknap Hardware & Manufacturing,

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The text for The Hohner Sax and Hohner Organette reads as follows:

Toy Horns

Hohner Sax

Heavy brass body, highly burnished; regular saxaphone [sic] bell and goose-neck mouthpiece. Fitted with 10 treble keys, twenty reeds accurately tuned, 2 bass keys.

A practical musical instrument of an extremely novel character which will afford fun, education and music.

No. 22B–Length 17 1/2 ins. $11.25
One in cardboard box; wt each 2 lbs.

Hohner Organette
Heavy brass body, highly burnished; metal mouthpiece and bell.
Fitted with 10 treble keys and 2 bass keys, all nickel plated.
A novel and attractive musical instrument which affords and abundance of real, good music.

14B–Length 14 3/4 in $4.80
One in cardboard box; wt each 1 1/8 lbs.

In the above catalogue page from Belknap Hardware & Manufacturing Co. in Louisville, Kentucky, notice the price difference between The Hohner Sax and the Hohner Organette. The sax sold for $11.25, while the Organette was only $4.80. In 2012 dollars that would be $151.05 and $64.45 respectively. These were not cheap “toys”. Furthermore, this price difference confirms what Musica Viva stated on its site (when it was up), that:

….saxophone-shaped blow accordions were a step-up, or fancier version of the simple design that was the most common.

Here is a table that shows all the prices and particulars at a glance.

Instrument NameModel Year Publication NamePrice
Organette12B1929N. Shure Co. Chicago1.63
Hohner Sax22B1929N. Shure Co. Chicago3.27
OrganetteC14B1927Hibbard, Spencer, Bartlett & Co. 3.35
Hohner SaxC22B1927Hibbard, Spencer, Bartlett & Co. 7.35
Hohner SaxNot listed1926Johnson Smith & Co5.95
Hohner SaxNot listed1922 Johnson Smith & Company, Racine, Wis.8.95
Organette14B1929Belknap Hardware & Manufacturing Co.4.80
Hohner Sax22B1929Belknap Hardware & Manufacturing Co.11.25

The Hohner Sax in glorious colour

This is what The Hohner Sax actually looked like, complete with the original box.

 blow accordion, vintage, German, The Hohner Sax, Saxonette, original box

Source: Jesus-Is-Our-Savior on

 blow accordion, vintage, German, The Hohner Sax, Saxonette, original box

Source: Jesus-Is-Our-Savior on

 Source: Jesus-Is-Our-Savior on

Although this one is missing its original box, it is still in pretty decent condition given its age, and that it was likely used as a child’s toy.

 Source: williamg on

I have had the following 2 examples of The Hohner Sax on this site now for a number of years. I decided to keep them both here because they were nice examples of this vintage German instrument, which was marketed as a toy—albeit an expensive one—here in North America during the early part of the 20th century.

In the summer of 2010 this complete Hohner Sax popped up for auction. Unfortunately despite it having its mouthpiece, it had a lot of dents.


In November 2010 this lovely specimen appeared on eBay. Not only did it have its mouthpiece, but it also appeared to be dent free.

The seller described the instrument like this:

Although it looks like a saxophone, it sounds more like a harmonica. Not surprised, considering it was made by M.Hohner of Germany. All brass construction. It still works!!


Another Kind of Saxonette

I don’t know why Hohner changed the name of their blow accordion from Saxonette to The Hohner Sax. Perhaps it had something to do with these instrument called saxonettes, which are in fact related to the clarinet family

These Hohner blow accordions keep appearing on eBay so regularly now, that I don’t even bother keeping track of them any more. However, by far and away the name that appears on the instruments’ name badge most commonly is not Saxonette, but rather The Hohner Sax. This leads me to believe that Hohner dropped the Saxonette name very early on in the production of this particular model of blow accordion.

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