This section was prompted by a comment on The Woodwind Forum.
There are at least two American manufacturers of saxophones in the 1920’s (and somewhat earlier) that very little is written about: Couturier and JW York. Interestingly, these two makes intersect at some point, too.
While I do have confirmation that Couturier definitely did make some saxophones, they did it for such a brief time and the history is confused with their involvement with Lyon & Healy, JW York and Holton. — and then “Couturier-designed” horns sold by Holton. What I am trying to do, at this point, is find some good pictures and compare them with models from Martin, Holton and York. That’s going to take awhile, so please be patient. There’s a lot to wade through.
An important note: the name “Couturier” appears on a number of stencils, as does JW York, so if you find a Couturier sax, just keep in mind that it’s not necessarily made by Couturier — and Lyon & Healy never made saxophones.
Confused? I certainly am.
The reason behind creating a section for these horns is because there is some debate as to who made the Lyon and Healy Perfect Curved sopranos and who made the beautiful Olds Super saxophones. Conventional wisdom had it that the first Lyon & Healy Perfect Curved was made by Holton, the second improved model by Martin. The conventional wisdom on the Olds Super is that Martin made it for Olds, which didn’t have their own saxophone manufacturing division.
So, let’s see what I can find out!