Conn 1906 ‘Wonder Improved’ Bb Soprano, Curved, Gold #11,474

1906 Conn "Wonder Improved" Curved Soprano

Price: $2,499.00
  • Year:  1906-1907
  • Make:  Conn
  • Model: Wonder Improved
  • Status:  For Sale
  • Finish: Original Gold plate
  • Serial Number: L 11,474

(On Consignment - Plays ___TBD___)

Super rare, research horn in excellent condition! with mouthpieces, ligatures, cap, and lyre!

A beautiful, Conn Wonder Improved, low pitch, keyed to high Eb with serial # 11K.  Gold Plate looks good at 97%+ intact! Due to having tan pads and rivet resos, it has some major pad work done sometime after the 1940s. There's some fun research to still be found on this era of Conn as their factory burned down in 1910 and lost some data. Please see SaxPics.com for more specifics(I am grateful for all that documentation also!!!), although, they don't have many photos of this model to help address some facts. On this sax we have:

  • Pearls (not considered standard on the Wonder Improved model, although I've seen another curved soprano with pearls). But a #15k without which confirms the pearls coming and going phase.
  • double octave key, expected yet ending in designs.
  • removeable neck (not often noted, but has been seen on others)
  • keyed to Eb (keyed to F being on next designs, within the next 300 serial numbers)
  • Low C guard is not the Mercedez-Benz logo shape(expected).
  • backside bell engraving; perhaps the owner's initials.
  • Only real negative to mention: octave key lever with pad looks more silver than gold. this can be gold plated to complete this package and help restore a more completed look.

RESEARCH: The double octave lever is a point for discussion on the saxpics research page( http://saxpics.com/?v=mod&modID=38) . Adding to this clarification, there is no way this horn was gold plated aftermarket. So, yes, they did make it in gold plate not "bare brass, only". And the double octave [probably ended about 1906], not 1907, with this horn being in the last 300 that may have had it. Although, I must admit that I'm guessing this was more towards the 1906 mark.

WWS RESEARCH CLAIM: Double octave key ends somewhere between serial number #11,474(this sax) and #11,760 (see below) for the Conn Wonder Improved model; at least for curved sopranos. I have seen another #12,80x curved soprano with the solo octave lever. This design change likely began adding the inline palm F key also.

CASE: Original Conn Case

Mouthpiece 1) (NOT PHOTOED, Coming soon) Conn rubber(circle logo), slimline body. Tip original 0.040", with gold plated ligature(different screws). Right now, I'm leaning towards saying this slimline body as the original mouthpiece for this era as it fits the gold plated ligature better proper.

Mouthpiece 2) Conn rubber(circle logo), standard body width we are used to now. Tip original 0.041", with gold plated ligature. Probably came with next model era.

Sound Files of CONN New Wonder I sopranos; Curved vs Straight:
  1. 1.
    STE-043SOP-ConnWondersCurvedvsStrt
    0:57

Item #:WWSConTR1W5.0W0.1006202.1-C120

Here is Conn Curved soprano #11,760 showing the next, single-style octave key AND high F with the inline style. Courtesy of Saxophone.org