Adolphe Sax Trumpet in C
If you watch Ebay closely for old brass instruments, you probably saw this trumpet listed four times. The last time it was listed with a "Buy it Now or Best Offer". I was surprised when my offer was accepted, being well under half of the asking price, but I'm happy to have such a rare trumpet. Also, by the time of the last listing, the previous owner had done some research and had obtained a copy of Selmer's log book (pictured below), where each instrument was entered by serial number when ordered or completed. This is obviously the same Selmer trumpet series that we are familiar with. This shows that six or seven trumpets of this exact design were entered into the log on March 9, 1942 for the music store "La Lutherie Francaise, Paris". None of the other trumpets listed on this page are described as "Sax" and I have no way of knowing if they are the only examples ever made.
The seller also states that the only other known survivor of this batch of trumpets is in a museum in Paris although I don't find it listed in the Cite de la Musique. This trumpet has a bore measuring .441", bell rim diameter or 4 9/16" and overall length of 18 7/16".
Flush with cash from the saxophone craze, Selmer had purchased the bankrupt Millereau shop in 1931 in order to add brass instruments to their line of offerings. According to the New Langwill Index, Millereau had been making brass instruments since 1861 and had taken control of the "Adolphe Sax" and "Sax fils" trademarks and tools from Adolphe Edouard Sax, son of Antoine Joseph (Adolphe) Sax, in the 1920s. Notice that within the familiar "AS" monogram is the word "fils" (son). These are certainly the same bell stamps that were used in the first two decades of the 20th century, before all these business changes occurred.
Sax had not been an important part of the industry for decades and it is doubtful that they had been manufacturing since shortly after the death of the elder Adolphe in 1894. Millereau was a going concern in these years and I know that they were making a C trumpet very much like this in the 1920s. Indeed, the Selmer C trumpets appear to be a continuation of the Millereau designed instruments at least into the 1950s.
I've included photos of Millereau (1920s) and Selmer (1952) examples for comparison (third and fourth photos). These two have the same design valve port positions that is most commonly seen in the Selmer Balanced model trumpets, but was originally designed by Millereau for their trumpets including this "Balanced" (valve section forward) C trumpet.
I have not been able to find any particular reason for the reintroduction of the Sax name at this late date, but since they were all made for one particular music store, I suspect that it was by their request. Another obvious question is whether or not the government of the Nazi occupation had anything to do with this request. Even though spelled in the French idiom, the name "Adolphe Sax" sounds more German