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COLEMAN HAWKINS
A c1965 SELMER MARK.VI TENOR SAXOPHONE SERIAL NO.126522.
Gold-plated body with Henri Selmer Paris, Selmer New York Elkhart, London, Made in France Reg and serial number M126522. With a black hardshell case. This instrument comes with a signed certificate dated 1/27/84 from Ponte Music Co. 142 West 46th Street New York, NY 10036 stating that "The Selmer gold tenor sax purchased from us #126522 was formerly owned by Coleman Hawkins" and a cheque made out to Charles Ponte Music signed by Mike Morgenstern.
The saxophone is referred to in THE SONG OF THE HAWK, THE LIFE AND RECORDINGS OF COLEMAN HAWKINS by John Chilton, University of Michigan Press 1990 on page 104: After Hawkins' death, this saxophone (Selmer Mark VI model 126522) was sold to the New York musical instrument dealer Charles Ponte. The tenor was given pride of place in Mr. Ponte's business premises, then on West 46th Street. When Mr. Ponte moved to Florida, he sold the instrument to New York saxophonist Mike Morgenstern, who said in a letter to me, dated 6 August 1987 "According to Mr. Ponte it was quadruple gold plated; he had it displayed for a few years in a glass case with a $ 5,000 asking price. I got it for $ 3,000 in January 1984 because Ponte was liquidating his stock. It's too valuable to play on casual gigs. It's my "back-up" horn, partly because it's so doggone heavy from all the plating, and partly because I favour the sound of the Conn 10 M. The horn is not for sale!"
Coleman Hawkins (1904-1969), often referred to as "Hawk" is a key figure in the history of jazz and one of the pioneers of improvising on the saxophone. During his long career he worked with Fletcher Henderson, Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Sarah Vaughan, and many other major artists. His recorded versions of jazz standards such as 'Body and Soul' are regarded as definitive classics and he has been hailed as "the father of the tenor saxophone."
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