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Serial Numbers

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Serial numbers on Selmer saxophones
Selmer SBA Alto

What Can Serial Numbers Tell Me?

The main thing you learn from serial numbers is the age of the instrument of course. Although the dates in these charts are reasonably accurate, there may be some discrepancies for various reasons. Here are a few things to bear in mind:

  • Sometimes a company may hold back a batch of instruments and then release them a couple of years later.
  • The production of old and new models can overlap, or in some cases features of a new model appear on the later batch of the previous model. This can lead to what we call transitional models, which have some new and some old features. A famous example would be the early 30s Conn instruments.
  • Many companies make other instruments, not just saxophones and the serial numbers are spread over their entire range. So saxophones may not be numbered sequentially.
  • Serial numbers can be used to identify supposedly “better” instruments. It is sometimes (possible erroneously) supposed that five digit MKVIs are the best. Or you want to play a horn with a number that is close to your idol’s saxophone.

Why do people sometimes mask the last three digits of a serial number?

When advertising an instrument for sale, you will often see the serial number referred to as 36xxxx. It is rumoured that there is a scam, by which somebody who acquires your serial number can then claim the instrument is theirs. This may just be paranoia as I have never heard of this happening, nor can I understand how it could happen.

Ideally you should have a record of the serial number with your sales receipt and won your insurance details.

A serial number can of course be used to identify a stolen instrument. If a seller does hide part of the number you may wonder if they are trying to hide the fact that it is stolen. In most cases the reason is for the one stated above, but it is always worth checking when buying an instrument. Ask the seller privately for the number and do a search for that instrument. If it has been stolen recently, the legal owner may have registered it with an online database of stolen saxophones.

Vintage Buescher, Conn, Martin, King & Selmer Serial Numbers

There are quite a few saxophone serial number charts on the internet, these ones have mostly been adapted from existing manufacturers’ and saxophone enthusiasts’ charts.

I will be adding more soon, as well as checking for accuracy and updating these with more historical and instrument information.

Buescher

Serial NumberYear of Manufacture

True Tone

50001905
112501910
251031915
612551920
1752751925

Aristocrat

2552501930
2690001935

Big B & 400 Series

2910001940
3030001945
3320001950
3500001955
3600001960
3810001963

Company acquired by Selmer

4088181965
5200001970
6300001975
7850001980
8750001983

Conn

Serial NumberYear of Manufacture

Wonder

96001905
108001906
120001907
130001908
154001909
178001910
212001911
225001912
250001913
300001914
350001916
400001917
500001919
580001920
640001921
830001922
1017751923
1246001924

New Wonder (Chu Berry)

1454001925
1679001926
1934501927
2092501928
2246001929
2378001930

Transitional

2447001931
2492301932
2565011933

M Series (Naked Lady

2600001934
2635001935
2710001936
2780001937

Connqueror

2840001938
2850001939
2883001940
2952501941
3045001942
3092501943
3093001944
3102001945
3140001946
3200001947

Connstellation – Rolled tone holes discontinued

3271501948
3321501949
3372501950
3418501951
3418511952
3547421953
3592511954
5000011955
5717501956
6520021957
7186261958
7796571959

Production moved to Mexico

8342001960
8985561961
9494651962
C005011963
C738541964
E541061965
H312471966
K352741967
L204541968

Martin

Serial NumberSerial NumberYear
172211919
194821920
199331921
237811921
299421922
348381923
406441924
484891523421925
54853
678521628521926
172051
792541927
866871928
*19253610271929

1st digit dropped

9832429821930
10162271191931
1050961932
1065461933
1083011934
107581112531935
145261165511936
153961180381937
188611269981938
205631320701939
232311360401940
245721401991941
266431444551942
1453221943
1944
1453521945
1542891946
1615201947
1653261948
1703951949
1722151950

First Imperial

172449
1751401951
416931793171952
458241831251953
495861876141954
1937471955
561621962131956
667192038091957
667272019171958
709882053771959
762242090891960
818852116751961
878502139991962
2188551963

Selmer

Serial NumberYear of Manufacture

Modele 22

7501922

Modele 26

44501926
100001929

Cigar Cutter (Super Sax)

120001930
140001931
170001932
180001933

Radio Improved

190001934
200001935

Balanced Action

220001936
240001937
250001938
270001939
300001940
330001947

Super Action

350001948
370001949
400001950
430001951
460001952
500001953
520001954

Mark VI

570001955
620001956
660001957
710001958
760001959
810001960
900001961
940001962
1030001963
1100001964
1200001965
1290001966
1370001967
1490001968
1600001969
1710001970
1820001971
1920001972
2040001973
2180001974
2310001975

Mark VII

2430001976
2560001977
2720001978
2820001979
3000001980
3273001981

Super Action 80

3402001982
3538001983
3664001984
3788001985
3910001986

Super Action 80 II

4060001987

KING

50001915
785001925
1260001930
1610001935
2200001940
2750001945
3050001950
3400001955
3700001960
4065001965
4575001970
5115001975
Serial Numbers

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