BUESCHER - BUNDY


Serial Number

Year Manufactured

5,000 1905
5,020 1906 *
6,610 1907 *
7,808 1908 *
8,580< 1909 *
11,250 1910
13,685 1911 *
15,870 1912 *
18,178 1913 *
22,860 1914 *
25,103 1915 (Union Label)
28,875 1916 *
32,350 1917 *
37,540 1918 *
46,975 1919 *
61,255 1920
78,525 1921 *
99,275 1922 *
125,750 1923 *
150,250 1924 *
175,275 1925
202,350 1926 *
222,175 1927 *
235,250 1928 *
275,275 1929 *
255,250 1930
260,125 1931 *
264,025 1932 *
265,523 1933 *
267,356 1934 *
269,000 1935
272,896 1936 *
279,300 1937 *
2?4,418 1938 *
288,024 1939 *
291,000 1940
294,12? 1941 *
297,527 1942 *
303,000 1945
312,000 1948 *
316,000 1949 *
332,000 1950
337,000 1951 *
347,000 1952 *
350,000 1955
360,000 1960
381,000 1963 (Purchased by Selmer USA)
408,818 1965
520,000 1970
630,000 1975
785,000 1980
875,000 1983

* Serial numbers marked with an asterisk (*) were provided by Albert Mensinga

The first Buescher horns (pronounced more like "Bisher" as the name was originally spelled with an umlaut over the "u") were manufactured in 1888. Serial numbers up to approximately 4000 were produced prior to the fire at the Elkhart, IN Buescher plant in 1905, when all records are believed to have been destroyed. The "TrueTone" model was one of the most popular saxophones of the 1920's and one of the few saxes of it's day with very good intonation. The TrueTone was updated in 1926 with the addition of a front F key. These saxes are mostly seen in satin silver plate but there are quite a few in gold plate. 1930 marked the introduction of the "New Aristocrat" which was also mostly done in silver. It was replaced by the "Aristocrat" and then the Aristocrat commonly known as the "Big B" Aristocrat in 1940. The "Buescher 400" was their most advanced professional entry into the saxophone market and was the highlight of their resumption of production after WWII. They also continued to make "The Aristocrat" at the same time. What distinguished the Buescher 400 from the Aristocrat was a larger bell, silver plated key mechanism with a lacquered brass body, highly ornate raised engraving, and options of silver or gold plating for the body and key mechanism the patented "Norton" threaded gold-plated springs, and, the underslung octave key on the neckpiece. This model had slightly larger inner bore dimensions than other models of the period which gave them a bigger sound more conducive to Jazz. The "Aristocrat", on the other hand, was a decidedly "sweeter" sounding instrument, yet still very powerful. After 1960 the Aristocrat became a student model. The earlier "Top Hat and Cane" versions of the "400" are preferable to the latter, less ornate, entries. Most believe that the Buescher models make by the Selmer Co. (after they purchased Buescher in 1963) were not up the quality of the earlier versions. After Buescher was purchased by Selmer, the "400" eventually became the "Signet" and the "Aristocrat" became the "Bundy"; same looks but drastically different bore dimensions. The original Bueschers were each "handmade" instruments, and incorporated Adolphe Sax's unique design of a parabolically curved bore design. Buescher saxes of the late 20's, thru early 50's are among the best saxophones ever made in America.

If you note any discrepancies, or have additional information concerning this company, we would appreciate it VERY much if you would pass it on to The Music Trader. Thank you!

Note: Much of the above history was provided by Mick Boudreau.

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September 2010
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