These horns were completely designed and patented by Edward V. Powell, son of Verne Powell (the founder of the Powell flute company) and are absolutely glorious pieces of craftsmanship.
I arrived at a date range for these horns
by extending the serial number charts into the "serial number
black hole". At the very least, I can say that these horns definitely
came before the next models, because:
I have no exact idea when the production
on these models stopped. I'm just assuming that they were produced
up until the next Buffet model, which has RH bell keys. I can say
that they only appear to have been produced in alto and tenor pitches:
definitely not bass, based on the above article and the existence
using earlier tooling, but there may be a soprano hiding out there
This mechanism looks so much like the
new Selmer Harmonic models,
one wonders if Selmer copied the design from Buffet.
If you get a chance, please look through the patent drawings listed at the right. They give you a better understanding at how complex a horn this is -- even though one of the patents mentions that they're trying to "simplify" saxophone keywork design!
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