Adolphe Sax’s E-flat baritone saxophone

The Léon Courtin-Marcelle Bouché Fund, managed by the King Baudouin Foundation, has recently acquired a baritone saxophone in E-flat. This type of saxophone developed rapidly after Adolphe Sax’s first trials with the bass saxophone. 

The instrument is dated 1846 and carries the series number 2686. It is the oldest saxophone recorded of any sizes of the instrument.
The stamp on the bell of the instrument indicates that the saxophone was patented, so it was probably produced after 21 March 1846, the date on which Adolphe Sax registered a patent for “a system of wind instruments, called saxophones”.

Born in Dinant in 1814, Antoine-Joseph (known as Adolphe) Sax trained whilst he was a young man to make musical instruments in his father’s workshop. He went to live in Paris shortly before 1850 and created a workshop there for woodwind and brass instruments. Thanks to his highly creative nature, Sax made a large number of instruments there. The saxophone was just one of his inventions and he registered 47 patents and certificates of addition in Belgium, France and Great Britain.  

This saxophone will be exhibited at the Museum of Musical Instruments in Brussels, which already possesses one of the most important collections of instruments made by Adolphe Sax.  

Musical instrument
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Type of acquisition: 
Acquired by the Léon Courtin – Marcelle Bouché Fund
Year of acquisition: 
Depository institution: 
Museum of Musical Instruments