C. G. Conn Sarrusophone

Ten years after Sax invented the family of saxophones, a French bandmaster name appropriately Sarrus, invented the Sarrusophone. A patent was taken on the instrument by P. L. Garutrot, Sr. (Subsequently Couesnon) in 1856 who then started manufacturing the instrument in eight sizes.

Originally intended for use in military bands the instrument can be described as a double-reed instrument made of brass with a fingering system similar to the saxophone. Later adaptations were also made with a single red mouthpiece.

The Sarrusophone was employed by both European and AMerican bands. It was played in European orchestras, both as a substitute for the contrabassoon and as an instrument in its own right having won the approval of especially certain French composers.

Our rare example was built by the C. G. Conn Co. of Elkhart, Indiana. We acquired it from the now closed Dunbar (Kanawha County) High School in Dunbar, WV. Prior to that we believe it was owned by the Shrine Gold Band of Charleston, WV, a band so-named as legend has it that this entire band was equipped with gold plated instruments.