Antique and Vintage Saxophones

As a guitarplayer I was allways interested in the saxophone. Not only as a musical instrument but just being an art object as well. The various chatgroups about the different marks and sometimes obscure builders helped me a lot! For contact:

Friday, August 11, 2006


The Dolnet Saxophones are more and more known to be the hidden
treasures in the saxophone world. You should check the website and read some comments.
I can confirm this: I had some alto's Bel air and even M70
and their sound is really promising!

This picture clearly shows the problem with some of these
instruments. The soldering isn't allways that tight!
but a good repairer can do the job for you.
On the Bel Air model they also used letters in
the serial number as can be seen in this picture.


A really collectable tenor made by Dolnet just before
they started producing the "Bel Air" sereies.
These horns have a huge sound and this one is
beautifully "Art Deco" engraved.

On this picture you can clearly see the red "rubies"
being an inlay on the keyguards. The original pads
still seems to be there and in good shape!

By clicking on this picture you get a good vue on this
gorgeous saxophone. The diamond shaped connection between
the tube and bell was thought to be introduced together with
the first Bel Air models. As was common this could
be a transition model. Series II from 1940 to 1950.
Very well done engravings!

Dolnet  "Bel Air" Tenor saxophone. 

An older Dolnet Tenor saxophone in very good 
condition. You won't find them this way very often.
As its' condition is pristine one may conclude that
it hasn't been played a lot and therefore probably
is a dog. However the original mouthpiece has very
deep teeth markings so the opposite is true!
Great player and as has been said to me, played
by a professional in one of the orchestra's that
are working for some dutch broadcasting companies.

All the lower keys on one side as is the case with
the older series II. But as his 'brother" this one has
that really gorgeous lower end as well!

I simply like this shot of this oldie taken
well care for! As Dolnet shortly named
these saxes "Imperial" and later again "Bel air' or just no type
engravings at all it can be a little disturbing but regarding
the serial number this one must be dated mid fifties.
It has been produced just after the `Imperial` was


This Grassi Alto saxophone was probably made in the
seventies but they started building these "top of the line"
instrument in the "60. In fact a Selmer copy.


Blogger Unknown said...

hello .
i like this impressive set of photos of these beautiful horns. I can only dream of playing well enough to be worthy of even Holding one.
I own a dolnet Alto sax from 1952. Original pads and all. gorgeous lacquer still. needs an overhaul at this point. 68839J looks to be the ser. number. I'm trying to figure out, to keep it or swap for a playable yamaha or something.

7:23 AM  
Blogger C. Mel Ody said...

Hello rgumpel, how do you know the production year of your alto?

1:55 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5:39 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Found a silver plated Dolnet Belair tenor completely overhauled with mint original finish. Plays and sounds better than any horn I ever owned. My next favorite is my 1965 Conn 10m. I have owned Selmers, Yanigasawa, Bueschers, King Zephyr and Super 20 and the Dolnet blows them all away. Super fast quiet action. Great ergonomics. The only complaint is the strap hook like the Conn 10m is too high and the mouthpiece will impale you in the chops if you are not careful. I soldered a new strap hook ring on the Conn but wouldn't dream of trying it with the Dolnet. My horn has an F# key don't know if they all had one. Near as I can tell mine is a 1970's vintage. Just love it. Why they are not well known is a mystery. Fraction of the price of a Selmer and a better value. Latch onto one.

5:56 PM  
Blogger Lost said...

I have a Dolnet Saxophone, I believe it is an Alto but I can't find a serial number. It has the red "rubies" if that's any indication. The box looks antique. Can anyone help me identify it?

3:09 AM  
Blogger chute2thrill said...

I have a vintage bel air serial e1137
Sax love to get a date and possible value

7:56 PM  
Blogger Dan M said...

Hello, I have a Bel Air (?tenor sax) given to me. Will learn to play it. See # D6369 made in “Itale” ...
Trying to find out more about it...I found this site if anybody can comment. Thanks.

7:28 AM  
Blogger Dan M said...

Hello, I have a Bel Air (?tenor sax) given to me. Will learn to play it. See # D6369 made in “Itale” ...
Trying to find out more about it...I found this site if anybody can comment. Thanks.

7:28 AM  

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