This quirky novelty item is for me the rothophone of the toy saxophone world. The Luxophon really does look like it suffers severely from an eating disorder.
Much like the Sirenephone, the Luxophon is from Germany, and most likely is pre WWII, since it doesn’t bear a distinction of being made in either West or East Germany. However unlike the Sirenephone, which is around 7″ in length, this one is much smaller.
The seller described the Luxophon like this:
THIS HORN REALLY WORKS, IT IS 4 1/2″ LONG. THERE IS ONE SMALL SHALLOW DENT. MARKED MADE IN GERMANY.
Since I first noticed the above Luxophon on eBay, many more have popped up on the auction site. One was even a souvenir of the 1933 Chicago Worlds’ Fair.
Unfortunately many of these vintage saxophone-shaped collectibles are in terrible condition. A couple that I have seen have been well maintained, and I have chosen to include them here, because they are a different finish than the one I originally noticed on eBay.
This particular photo gives you a really good idea how small these toy instruments really are.
In both the photo above and below, the letters D.R.G.M. are clearly visible under the Luxophon name.
The acronym D.R.G.M. stands for Deutsches Reichsgebrauchsmuster. I have seen it spelled a number of other ways including: Deutsches Reich Gebrauchsmuster, Deutsches Reichs Gebrauchs Muster, Deutsches Reichs-Gebrauchsmuster, etc. From all the research I’ve done on both German and English sites, there is no clear consensus on how it is spelled. However, more sites spell it Deutsches Reichsgebrauchsmuster than any other, so for now that’s what I’ll go with as well.
D.R.G.M., or sometimes DRGM, is not a German patent. It was instead a way for inventors to register a product’s design or function in all of Germany. From 1891 to 1952, products manufactured in Germany might have been stamped with this D.R.G.M. designation, if the manufacturer opted not to pay the outrageous patent fees that Germany was charging, but instead chose to copyright their product’s intended way of use, or design. This copyright was initially for a period of 3 years, with an option to extend it for another 3. This gave the copyright owner a maximum of 6 years protection.1
1 Source: assistedknife.com
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