A Lindell tenor saxophone – an enigma…

Sincerest apologies to Lewis for the delay in posting this – been a funny old week – but he has a tenor sax engraved Lindell, of Italian origin and about which he’d like some more information if anyone has any.   Posting the pics on saxontheweb has , so far, drawn a blank – so I’ll continue in Lewis’ words…


I’m trying to find out some more information on a tenor sax, engraved “made in Italy “, with LINDELL emblazoned on the bell.  It dates from the 30s (stop on side E key and the G/G# trill) with the most outrageous Art Deco “pinky” platform.

Possibly a stencil from Orsi, Grassi, R&C or even Borgani except for one thing….the thumb hook is the best & most comfortable that I have ever encountered. It is a 2 piece brass casting, the plate/flange with a screwed on swivelling hook…even with the screw tight, the hook still swivels. This is an expensive feature, not usually seen on stencils.

The horn is very heavily constructed, has that gorgeous King octave mechanism & where the lacquer has worn off, it reveals brass with a heavy copper content…almost red.  Has anyone ever encountered Lindell before ?


Hover over / Click on the following links for some more pictures –

The lower half of the body (as also shown above)

The unusual thumb-hook

The LH ‘pinkie’ table

The octave mechanism

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28 Responses to A Lindell tenor saxophone – an enigma…

  1. lewis Pelham says:

    Hey Ho. Clearly it must go on eBay as best as I can describe it.
    It belonged to my late chum Sam &, on behalf of his family, I am selling his stuff.
    I had hoped that it might be a rare & valued horn…not the case I fear.  😦

  2. Alan says:

    Lewis – your words here are superb, and should form the basis for a great listing – outrageous, expensive, gorgeous… 😀

  3. lewis Pelham says:

    Thanks Alan, I am not sure how much Sam paid for it on eBay, but it was reasonably inexpensive. He bought it initially because he was so impressed with both my R&C and Grassi tenors; he probably thought that the Lindell was of the same standard, being Italian. In all fairness, it really is a good horn. I am prevented from buying it myself only because:-
    I already have three tenors…& use only one.  😦
    It does not have high F#
    The key spacing requires longer fingers than mine, &
    It has that dreadfull ar$e over elbow American keywork.

  4. alan says:

    Lewis – you talk about the key spacing requiring longer fingers than yours ?  Look again at this picture of me, and my stubby arthritic-riddled digits…
    That’s why I’d really like a real ‘scaled down’ tenor in C !  I’ve played so many tenors where I’ve fallen in love with the sound, but the palm/side/pinkie keys have been unrealistically placed.
    There are still even a couple of keys on the Aquilasax that give me gentle grief, e.g. to get a bottom Bb my LH thumb only retains fleeting contact with the LH thumbrest…  Thanks goodness the bell keys aren’t (usually) used with the octave key – it’d be a ‘no contest’   😕

  5. Mal-2 says:

    <blockquote>There are still even a couple of keys on the Aquilasax that give me gentle grief, e.g. to get a bottom Bb my LH thumb only retains fleeting contact with the LH thumbrest…  Thanks goodness the bell keys aren’t (usually) used with the octave key – it’d be a ‘no contest’ </blockquote>

    Oleg has a bolt-on fix, but of course only you can determine if it is the right one.


  6. lewis Pelham says:

    With relatively short fingers, I too have problems with low Bb…it always seems so much of a reach, especially with tilting mechanism. On my R&C I have made, & glued on, a shaped piece of Mother of Pearl; this brings the key closer, but it is never ideal.
    Mal’s suggestion seems the way to go.

  7. ukebert says:

    I’ve never had any problems like that, having such a large stretch. It can be a pain at times.

  8. lewis Pelham says:

    Sorry to hear that you have a large stretch.
    Five years should result in three, with time off for good behaviour.  😀
    I have posted a thread on the forum about this. What can you comfortably reach on a piano keyboard? My reach is an octave & a third….C to E.

  9. ukebert says:

    C to G I’m afraid.

  10. Mal-2 says:

    My own reach is similar to Lewis — c to e’. I have an easier time making those leaps in the left hand, but that is probably because of the way music is usually written (less dense at the bottom). When writing, I try to remember that not everyone has this kind of reach. I’ve seen pianists with hands that couldn’t even manage an octave, let alone do the C-G-E “open voicing”.

  11. alan says:

    Lewis – have a look at the picture of the thumbhook on this ebay listing
    – apart fron being somewhat meatier, the Conn design looks very similar to the Lindell’s.

  12. Guy’s .. forgive me here … but on the c melody’s the bottom C guard is usually the conn give-away …. the bottom Merc symbol shape on the guard …. any takers … ? 😆

  13. Alan says:

    Deano – the Lindell almost certainly isn’t a Conn, but did the manufacturer ‘borrow’ the thumbhook design from Conn, or vice versa – or was it that amazing thing  “simultaneous invention” on both sides of the Atlantic ? 😆

  14. lewis Pelham says:

    Deano. My first thoughts also was Conn; but the bend in the”Mercedes” guard is not so precise as on a Conn.
    Alan, I was not aware that Conn used that swivelling thumb hook. Not on any Conn that I have ever owned, or seen. I am all ears to learn more.

  15. alan says:

    Lewis – eyes, not ears…    😉
    Click here… – fifth picture in the listing.

  16. lewis Pelham says:

    Very well spotted Alan; that thumb hook is identical.
    The mystery deepens….what on earth is the Lindell?

  17. lewis Pelham says:

    Apologies for not spotting your earlier post.  😳

  18. Alan says:

    No apology necessary Lewis – there were an unprecedented five comments on this post alone, yesterday, I can still smell the smoke…   😆
    Possibly significant that the Conn alto with the thumbhook was a ‘European special’ – I suspect that there was a lot more interchange between US and European saxophone makers than we know of.  Maybe parts of Europe were – to the US – the equivalent of the ‘third world / cheap manufacturing’ saga we see all too often today.  Who knows ? So many Italians emigrated to the US, there must have been a few with saxophone manufacturing skills, and maybe design details went with them.
    Which swivelling thumbrest came first, the Lindell or the Conn ?  After all didn’t Keilwerth make the Conn DJH’s, so maybe there was a Conn-Italy tie up as well ?  Play a saxophone and learn about geography… 😯

  19. JonF says:

    I see it’s on ebay. Bidding is up and running.

  20. lewis Pelham says:

    Jonf.  A surprising number of “watchers” too, especially as the listing was placed only yesterday evening.

  21. Alan says:

    Not a bad result Lewis   😀

  22. lewis Pelham says:

    It achieved about £50 more than Sam paid for it, on eBay.
    I still wish that I could have fitted that floating thumb hook on my R&C.
    Thanks for all your assistance & input.

  23. john kirkham says:

    hi lewis , you might like to look on tenor saxes on ebay was page 13 when I looked, item no 110375131072 I hope you find it enlightening, it will be interesting to see what you think, is it enigma solved or what ? bye for now john

  24. lewis Pelham says:

    Damn, I do believe that you are right. It did play very well & I simply love R&Cs. My first thought was that I should have bought it, but, on reflection, the finger spread was too much for me; I could not find the G# quickly. Also, I already have too many tenors (including two R&Cs). The floating thumb hook, the Art Deco table & the key guards are identical to the Lindell.
    Problem solved, well done & thanks.

  25. Alan says:

    Just love the way the seller says he/she ships to European Union – but ” NO SHIPPING to GERMANY_ NO German Bidders. ”  Something they said ?
    Great location – I wonder, is the  Wind Instrument Museum linked in to this ?

  26. ukebert says:

    Well spotted John. Looks like it was a Rampone stencil then. Always nice to have something like that cleared up.

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