The Martin saxophone is one of the most sought after collectible vintage brands around. Martin made a variety of different lines of saxophone from the years from 1919 to 1967. Some of the product lines were the “The” line, Handcraft, “Typewriter,” and others. It’s a bit confusing, but what collectors now call the “The” Martin saxes are ones that had “The Martin” engraved on the bell, with the type of sax, (alto, tenor, etc.) engraved above these words.
Collectors rave about the quality of some of these old saxophones. One Martin that really gets a lot of praise is the baritone sax in the Master “Typewriter” series. This series was apparently nicknamed for an arrangement of keys that resembled a typewriter. In addition to baritone saxes, Martin also made soprano, C melody, alto, and tenor saxophones.
The oldest Martin line is the Handcraft. It was made from 1914 to 1930. The Master (called the Typewriter) was produced from 1929 to 1932. From 1932 to 1936, Martin made the Handcraft Troubadour and the Handcraft Imperial. Committee and Centennial are other names used between 1936 and 1943. These have the nicknames “Sky-line,” “Searchlight,” and “Lion and Crown.”
From 1945 to around 1967, Martin made the line called “The” by collectors. The Official Music Man was seen in the early 1960’s, while the Magna was manufactured from 1956 to around 1967. All of the saxophones listed above were professional models that still have their devoted fans. However, Martin made student and intermediate saxophones, too.
If the Martin saxophone you own is an Indiana, an Imperial, or a Medalist, then you have a student model in your collection. The student intermediate models were made in the 50’s and 60’s. Martin is a popular collectible in the world of vintage saxophones, and a brand that is held up as having a great sound as well as classy engraving and good looks.