Many, many years ago a Selmer Mark VI alto sax came into my possession by way of my grandfather, who had bought it brand new back in the late 1950’s. Grandma and Grandpa are both gone now, but the saxophone has stayed under my stewardship; I still maintain it and play it regularly and plan to do so until I’m done playing and another family member or family friend is in need of an excellent instrument. At that time I’ll likely give it to that person with the stipulation that they do the same – maintain it, play it, respect the history of the instrument, then pass it on to someone who will do the same.
It was overhauled at the factory, including new lacquer, in the late 1960’s or early 1970’s, and I’d had it mechanically overhauled about 10 years ago, so it’s in great playing shape. The one thing that was just not quite right about it was the engraving – it was terribly faded and worn down – partly from the factory relacquer job and general wear from plenty of use over the years.
I started to ask some questions, like “Is there such a thing as saxophone re-engraving? What does it do to the sound of the instrument? Do I need to put a new finish on after the engraving is reworked? Who does something like that (and how much does it cost)?” and I came up with many answers: 1) Yes! 2) Nothing! 3) If you want to, but not required! and 4) Sherry Huntley in Granger, Indiana (and not nearly as much as you’d think)!
Anyway, if you’re ever considering something like getting the engraving reworked on a vintage horn, I’d highly recommend Sherry Huntley. Her company is called Artistic Engraving, and she’s great to work with. If possible, I’d recommend going there in person and watching her work just a little bit to get an idea of how how amazing what she does really is.