Adolphe Sax #36-History
Note: I have a lot of research to do before I get into working on this horn and the story I'm about to tell you is just hearsay. Although I do not doubt the validity of the stories I've been told, I do not yet have any documentation. I'm writing this from my hotel room and I only got this instrument a few days ago. The instrument is here with me in the hotel. OK, no more caveats. Here is the story as I know it...
Ferdinand August “Gus” Buescher, took a trip to Europe and played some instruments while he was there. In doing so, he found an instrument, an Adolphe Sax saxophone, that he particularly liked. He acquired this instrument and brought it back to the United States to the Conn Factory, where he was employed. He showed the instrument to Conn and discussed the possibility of making saxophones modeled after this particular instrument, Adolphe Sax #36. Conn did not care for this idea and would not allow Gus to do it.
Later, Gus Buescher left Conn and started his own company under his name. Gus Buescher used the saxophone #36 as a prototype for his own saxophones and started producing some of the finest saxophones in the world based on this Adolphe Sax instrument. Now, fast forward. Sigurd Rascher began to play a Buescher instrument and was, in some ways, an endorser for the Buescher company. The relationship between Mr. Rascher and the Buescher Band Instrument company was well know. Buescher was proud to have Mr. Rascher play Buescher saxophones and used his name and photos in promotions. This included the well known Buescher commercial with both Sigurd Rascher and his daughter Carina Rascher, both of whom played Buescher Saxophones.
The fact that Mr. Rascher asked for (and received, as far as I know) no monetary compensation for his strong endorsement of Buescher Saxophones only made the relationship between the Buescher company and Mr. Rascher stronger. So strong in fact, that Mr. Rascher was presented with the saxophone from which all Buescher Saxophones were based - the famous prototype, #36, brought back from Europe by Gus Buescher himself. Of course, Mr. Rascher cherished the instrument, as can be seen in many promotional photos of Mr. Rascher, and he kept it his whole life. When he passed away, the saxophone was left to Carina Rascher, daughter to Sigurd and Soprano player in the famous Rascher Saxophone Quartet for many years.
So, I have had the extreme honor to work on Mr. Rascher's Buescher Alto Saxophone (only cleaning it and preserving it) as well as the honor of completely overhauling Ms. Carina Rascher's Buescher Soprano Saxophone (with RooPads, of course!). Carina Rascher seemed to be please with the work done on her Soprano Saxophone and has trusted me and the MusicMedic.com Sax ProShop with restoring the Adolphe Sax saxophone #36. Tomorrow I will begin my journey home with #36 much like Gus Buescher did so long ago. I will take the instrument to my shop in Wilmington, North Carolina and store it safely.
Before any work is done on this instrument, I will do my research. As I know that not all history is written, I invite you to share your thoughts with me as we document the restoration of this precious saxophone. I have far more questions about how to approach this restoration than I do answers, and I am more than open to your thoughts and ideas. If you know anything about this saxophone or have general information to share about Adolphe Sax Instruments, please write me.
The photos I used in this post I was given while visiting with Carina Rascher in Basel and one I stole from the net. As you can see, #36 is in the photos with Mr. Rascher. I will be sure to document every step along the way as this horn is getting restored in the future.
All the best, Curt