I recently received a Tenor Saxophone from my dad which he bought years ago but never played. I brought it to my music teacher who came back and told me 'I had no idea what I've got here'. He then went on to explain that I had what was nicknamed a 'French King' Tenor Sax from the 1920's, given the nickname by the players of the day because it was the first French saxophone with American fingering.

It is currently at a repair-shop so whilst it was there I was wondering if anybody had any information on 'French King' saxophones?

  • If you could post a couple pictures, including the logo and serial number, that would help. I have a bro who does sax repair and can ID just about anything. Feb 3, 2017 at 12:32

1 Answer 1


'King' is a brand of saxophone made by (or imported by) the American H. N. White company.


In the 1920s they were manufacturing in America. But apparently they imported a French-made model from 1960-80. I know the dates don't agree, but maybe this is what you or your teacher have partially understood?

  • Thanks Laurence close but no cigar. In the article they talk about them all having the King logo engraved on them, which i certainly didn't have. All the engraved writing on mine was in French with no King logo anywhere near. My teacher certainly said it was made in France and had the 'King' part added because King was the main American saxophone manufacture.
    – Sam Stone
    Feb 3, 2017 at 0:30
  • So he reckons it was a fake 'King' by a French manufacturer who wanted to cash in on the name? Interesting.
    – Laurence
    Feb 3, 2017 at 0:33
  • The way it was explained to me was that the company did not name it 'French King', that was a nickname given to it by the players of the day. All saxophones coming out of France had up till this point used a French fingering style so the players nicknamed the French saxophone with American fingers the French King
    – Sam Stone
    Feb 3, 2017 at 0:38

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