Late Vintage C.G. Conn New Wonder I Alto Saxophone in Gold Plate # 139117
Collectors Piece - Beautiful Portrait!
Pictured above is a C.G. Conn 1925 New Wonder I in gold plate, serial number #139117. These saxophones predated the Virtuoso Deluxe series and 'Chu Berry' Series, but some did come with an engraving of a portrait or scenery, this saxophone is one of them! On the front of the bell, you can see a woman with gorgeous wavy hair at a 3/4 turn posing for a portrait with a plain smile and a flower placed on her head opposite of her part. The engraving is still cut deep and prominent through the gold plate. Near the serial number and thumb rest is an ornate insignia of J.E.G.
New Wonder I models feature key work from low Bb up to palm F, a front F mechanism, alternate G# trill and back-door Eb trill, and nice and wide left pinky table keys for better leverage on the split bell keys. The micro-tuner neck is in great condition and turns freely. The palm key action differs from the New Wonder II as these are stopped by a post rather than an extension of the key to the body. These horns also feature rolled tone holes and blued steel needle spring powered key action.
The horn's overall physical condition has a few blemishes, but predominantly is unscathed. At the connection of the body tube and bow, you can see evidence of trauma and a bit of resoldering. Outside of this, there are no resolders or dents. The micro tuner neck is functioning well and turns freely.
Sonically you will find that this horn plays and sounds similar to a New Wonder II almost to the extent that you won’t be able to tell the difference from sound alone. These blow freely, slightly dark, and the gold plating seems to be bringing out warm characteristics of the tone. Intonation in the upper stack notes can be a bit sharp, as well as the low notes, but once you find the tendencies of this horn playing it becomes a breeze
With a proper overhaul to address the damages and replace pads and materials anew, this horn will play flawlessly and maybe with a bit more clarity because currently, its tone is being affected from small leaks. This is more a collector's horn than a player's horn, but both types of buyers will find joy with this horn either way.
The New Wonder I will ship in as-is condition with a non-original Conn case.