Virtuoso & Artist Saxophones
Virtuoso Deluxe, Artist & Portrait Models, Supreme Sax Artistry!
Photography was one of Sarge's hobbies, for some 30 years... our intention here is simply to exhibit pics of a beautiful saxes, nothing else. Sarge had never found a comprehensive exhibit of pics of these gorgeous horns anywhere on the web, so it's my pleasure to host them. These were all once a customer's sax. It is not for sale. don't ask. In order to assure these large and detailed pics don't end up as another scam at ebay, I have to brand them, sorry but it's the reality of the world we live in...
Before i get to the pics, if you have something to add, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and i will edit and include relevant comments.
Caution: Watch out for SCAMS listed at Craigslist, Ebay ...etc for these saxes or any others from our website. People can steal these pics and try to use them to scam you. We do not have access to or own any of the saxes on this page.
Conn 'Virtuoso Deluxe' Alto- 1925 #153k
"The Girls" (WWS nickname)
Originally a customer's sax, Sarge did a full rebuild on this beauty and left the door open to purchase the sax: "If this sax is ever for sale, I will buy it." That he did - It ended up in his collection. Of course Sarge did a vintage style rebuild on this, tan medium soft pads and smallish flat metal resonators.
She's stunning, and has silver encased with gold around the engravings. I'm curious if anyone out there has this same engraving of "the girls" or if it's a one of a kind...
Here is what Peter Hale, from Vintage sax pics has to say about the Conn:
"Conn decided to go all out in opalescence on these horns, indicative of the world before the 1929 stock market crash: heavy gold plated horns that have mother-of-pearl inlaid (not riveted like the King Zephyr Special or early Super 20/Silversonic) into the altissimo keys, G# cluster, low C/Eb, chromatic F# and all the RH side keys (Bb, chromatic C and altissimo vent). Just this feature alone qualifies these horns as some of the most elaborate ever made. Conn took another step further, however: these horns have elaborate engraving, sometimes over the horn's entire body AND keys. The engraving is extremely beautiful and detailed, generally showing a portrait or a small scene."
A true work of art!
Conn 'Virtuoso Deluxe - 8M' C-Melody- 1923 #122k
1923 Conn VIRTUOSO DELUXE C-Melody 8M: A super rare Conn VD model 8M, beautiful Gold Plate at 99%. The altos are the most common (but still rare!), but C-Melodies and Tenors are the next rarest. ser#122,xxx dates it to 1923. These are the High-end deluxe models with beautiful craftsmanship in the construction beyond the engraving, also add in the pearl touches on the side keys, octave, palms, and both pinky tables! This sax is scheduled for a WWS Vintage Standard Rebuild with White Roos and natural cork throughout to humor the future owner/Collector who will appreciate the look of this sax as it was originally sent out with (white pads). It will get a Vintage Conn Rebuild with resonators like the later eras with flat metal & rivet. It currently doesn't have a case but I will definitely be on the hunt for one. It's easy to just spring for a nice Tenor case but perhaps a nice C-Melody one will show up. ? It received a full rebuild with it cleaned up to sparkly (no buffing!):
Conn 'Virtuoso Deluxe' Soprano- 1923 Curved #120k
"Elephant-Bird" - Really Odd!
SUPER SUPER RARE! You never see these!!! Pearls everywhere, engraving everywhere...MmmMmm. ser#120K, 98% gold intact! keyed up to high F with in-line palm keys, no dings, solder repairs on low B & Eb guards and octave saddle. Low pitch and a beauty!
Conn 'New Wonder II - "Chu Berry" transitional' Tenor- 1930s
Art Deco Artist
it came to us absolutely filthy, tarnished and neglected, for what appeared to be 5 decades. here is a before pic, or two...
This one belongs to Midnitesax too and he wanted to do something really special for the rebuild, so i ordered up some light gray 'Roo Pads and some of Resotech's solid silver resonators and when they arrived i gold plated them to match the sax...
Of course this one got a complete Premium Rebuild and we finished off her look with black felt and black Ultrasuede throughout.
King 'Artist Deluxe' Alto- 1920s
One of our great customers, who goes by the handle Midnitesax, has a fine collection of rare horns and has had several really exquisite horns rebuilt here, he has even taken a few before and after pics too, but first up is the King Deluxe we just finished for him a couple months ago.
Conn 'New Wonder I - Artist' C-Melody- 1922 #92,9xx
Another of the most requested of all c melodies, the Conn straight neck, or alto style sax. Serial # 929xx, low pitch, A=440hz. This is a very nice, hard to find burnished Gold Plate, Artist Model C-Mel "Alto". This sax has the Full Naked Lady standing on a swan in a pond with water lilies and flower petals. She is also standing on a five sided star surrounding the pond. Under it is the Conn Logo surrounded by flowers over the face of the Greek God Pan. The balance of the bell is engraved in ornate plumes and designs. I have never seen such beautiful engraving on a C melody
Original Gold plating is very good, upwards of 95% . The palm key spatulas have worn through the plating as you can see in some pictures, so to make her really cherry, we restored the silver/gold on those. SOLD to a happy customer 7-2009
Conn 'New Wonder I - Artist' Alto- 1923 #117k
Ser.# 117,xxx dates to 1923. There appears to be silver inlay on the field and the lady's towel. There is some normal wear on the side/palm keys and other common areas. I am considering how much to re-Gold but it looks ok as it--just played mostly worn into the silver; these Artist models always deserve replating work though. These are great lookers and I'm always compelled to make it as pretty as I can. Ergos are not that great, but i know a lot of players that play them in spite of the 20's design and would never switch to a Selmer. Tone-wise...these are warmer than the later Chu era Conn's and bring a full warmth to the sound. Comes in a newer (still old) TRI-PACK case that still has the clarinet 'zone', and flute case elastic straps where a whole flute case might fit in there! SOLD Item#:WWS4.1E7.21.441-1-0-0
Conn 'New Wonder I - Artist' Alto- 1924 #129k
There's not much to say. I'll let the lady with the harp do the talking. I do know that I was fortunate enough to have this sax and the above #117k Artist(Bathing Lady) at the same tame. Both of these needed the full rebuild and some 'smell treatment' due to age. They both had a sweet, warm tone that is very characteristic of the 1920s Conns.
Conn 'New Wonder II - Artist/Portrait' Alto- 1927 custom #189k
Conn "Chu" New Wonder model, S# 189,xxx (1927), with silver bell and neck, satin gold body, gold keys and gold in the bell engravings and in the bell interior. This is a restoration job and i have gone through and made it function, look and play just like new. Nail file G#, rolled tone holes, over 95% coverage on silver and gold plate. Original Conn hand-done engraving of a beautiful flapper era lady, has been re-engraved and exquisitely enhanced, by Jason DuMars.
Here she is all finished, with the gold plated keys on...
Conn 'New Wonder II - Artist/Portrait' Alto- 1928 #209k
"Chu era" These have a great lead sound and have comfortable, fast keywork. Serial #209,000 (1928), Comes with hard to find original case/good condition, clean. This horn blows freely with a very big sound. This was from my private collection and is very, very close to earning that “mint” designation. The original pads were still in it, it has never been worked on and the toneholes are perfect. I have just finished a total Premium rebuild this great horn. The rebuild on this sax is very special, as I have a special place in my heart for the portrait models… I have used Prestini’s waterproof, top of the line, English Tan pneumatic skins. These are on of the most expensive and finest pads on the market, with a 60 Rockwell firm felt and full cardboard back. Then I had specially oversized Sterling Silver flat resonators made, by Reso-Tech. The Reso’s wholesale cost is 95.00. Finally, we use the very finest and newest materials available today, ultrasuede, synth-cork and Teflon throughout the rebuild. Lastly, we carefully center and level the keys over the toneholes and set the key height, to maximize intonation and produce a big sound.
Some of you already know these are one of the greatest blowing saxes of all time, great volume and power. Most renowned for producing a very Charlie Parker like sound. Serial # 209,7xx, which dates it as late 1929. Yes, it does have the Rolled tone holes and fingernail file G# key. There is a lot of flowery engraving and there is beautiful portrait of a flapper lady, all hand done. The original gold plating is appx. 98%. Here is the true story… I bought this many years ago, to keep and play myself, this one played well with the original pads that were in it “and” I sort of liked having one that wasn’t rebuilt, but had that original dark sound the soft spongy white pads produced, BUT eventually, I just couldn’t get those old pads to play, so I decided it was time to put it up for sale, so some talented player can enjoy it like I have. SOLD
Vito 'Model 35S' Alto- 1969-72, #27xx
From Chadd's Collection
This was the first sax in a long time that upon my first notes, my eyes lit up like a young sax player all over again. This is not to be confused with the Vito-Yamaha that most people know after the buyout.
Here's a super rare sax. Probably about 2000 ever made, and to that, perhaps even fewer in the "S" model--SILVER PLATED ENGRAVINGS! WOWZA! Highly engraved on the body tubes: body, bell, U-joint, and neck...with a Butterfly, and 3x Bees.
I acquired this one from a good, local fellow who had it in his collection for 18yrs(hidden in his storage unit)! Only needs a full repad and bell brace resoldered to the body. It has a very heavy build, some rib construction, some silver brazed posts on the body too--unique! This also has the later adaptations of the Vito Leblanc Rationale System keywork (funky keys, precise tuning, High F#, superb bass clarinet Rocker Octave system). Perhaps, a system so genius that it couldn't catch on.
The tone is amazing! It instantly took me back to my former '86 Selmer Super Action 80 Series II, that I played for 10 yrs, but this one had more body and depth like a Keilwerth/Couf.... (french) Selmer crossed with JK? = AMAZING!!!
Conn 'New Wonder II - ARTIST/Portrait' Alto - 1926 #172k
"Indian Chief" ARTIST engraved Conn New Wonder II Alto sax heavily gold plated: "finish 00 - Burnished Gold plate". Ser.# m176,xxx dates to 1926, nailfile G#, rolled tone holes, tuning neck, everything we love. This sax did take rear bow damage in the last 90 years, sadly, and has other repair proof. Plan to play this one and show it off without fear of it being "too pretty to take out and play".
I believe the sax has clear lacquer over the gold that appears to be flaking off as it does over time (see the darker photos of the keys to see this better).
TONE: Classic Conn, robust yet warm, NW IIs and Chu's are powerful and bold. Gold is credited with adding more 'ring' or presence in a tone without hurting the warmed and depth. Chadd Comments: "Four notes in and I was like 'Wow'. It was so rich, warm, and dark. Darker than I expected for a NWII."
Conn 'New Wonder II - Artist/Portrait' Tenor - 1926 #186k
Lady Flowing Hair Portrait
A resume that is very sought after: Chu Berry, Gold Plate, Portrait model!
The gold plating looks to be about 75% intact and the photos will help see her beauty. No need to talk this resume up - I'm sure you know how special these are. Overall condition was "very good". The pearls are not heavily worn either. Wear on the gold is present on the touch points as you'd expect; plus the thumb hook and palm holding zone across the bell front. I see 2 solders (both F-3 palm posts), and some mild repairs to the neck, as well as neck finish. The neck looks like it got 're-gold plate'. SOLD
Conn 'New Wonder II-6M Transitional' Alto - 1931 #246k
From Bob's Collection
Exquisite, Rare, Beautiful. Is there anything that I can really say here? This deluxe 6M is one of the first as they came off the line. The early era didn't have the full back pants guard and the pinky table was changing from the NW2 into the 6M version. This is the 'fully stylized naked lady' or some call the 'sun goddess'. All in all, it's the Artist Special #00 finish (burnished gold) with deluxe engraving in the Transitional era. Some are calling this the "Sun Goddess", others the "Deco full naked lady".
In original gold plate and in fantastic condition. Bob kept it locked in the case most of his ownership. It has the steel needle springs on old pads... and it still plays.
So pretty that it must be the nicest one in the world. AMAZING!!!