Courtois Beaugnier Silver Alto Saxophone "The Face"
Courtois Silver "The Face" alto saxophone, made by Beaugnier, most likely in the early 1960's. Courtois was a high quality brass instrument maker, and for a brief time sold saxophones which were made by Beaugnier, a small botique saxophone manufacturer, in France. This is the famous "The Face" model, which Noblet also sold under their name. Beaugnier is a bit off the radar of many saxophonists, but it shouldn't be, as they made very high quality professional saxophones which are certainly professional level.
This saxophone has several very interesting features. The most striking is the face stamp seen on the front and back of the bell brace, as well as the neck. I'm not sure who this is supposed to be, but it's very distinctive. Second, look closely at the engraving, all of which is all original. It looks exactly like the famous French Selmer engraving pattern seen on European Mark VI's and later models. Perhaps the Selmer engravers made extra money by working in the Beaugnier factory during their time off. Nevertheless, it's a beautiful design, which makes this specific saxophone a standout example. Third, the LH pinky cluster has an extra roller between low C# and Bb, which I have never seen before. This does make the roll between these two notes quite a bit easier, so for my playing, I like this improvement. Fourth, the previous owner slightly (and very tastefully) built up the low Bb and high D keys. The job was very well done and helps slightly with the ergonomics of the saxophone, which are already very good.
This saxophone plays very well. The pads are sealing perfectly, which are a mix of old and new. The resonators are metal. The tone is very beautiful. It reminds me of a vintage Selmer BA/SBA. If you're looking for a top of the line saxophone with a unique voice and story, you really can't do a whole lot better than this one.