SELMER Museum : the inventions of Adolphe Sax

Musée SELMER : les inventions d'Adolphe Sax
Best known for the invention of the saxophone, Adolphe Sax has actually filed multiple patents for wind instruments such as the saxhorn, saxotromba, saxtuba, slide trombone... In 1929, Henri SELMER Paris bought the company Adolphe Sax & Cie, whose workshops were located at 84 rue Myrha in Paris (eighteenth arrondissement). The company then became the universal legatee of the invention of the saxophone, and of several other instruments and prototypes that we present here...

Eb Alto Saxophone

Made by Adolphe Sax, this alto saxophone (serial number15511) belongs to the Selmer Paris collection. Its bell bears the following engraved mentions : "Saxophone alto en mib breveté Adolphe Sax à Paris, Fournisseur de la maison militaire de l'Empereur” ("Patented by A. Sax, Official supplier of the Emperor's Military House").     

Alto Mib Adolphe Sax

Trombone with three valves

Trombonne à trois pistons - Adolphe Sax

Trumpet with four valves

Trompette à 4 pistons - Adolphe Sax

Trombone with six valves

The six valve trombone was specially designed by A. Sax for Ambroise Thomas who had a very difficult solo part to play in the first act of the "Hamlet" opera.

Trombonne à six pistons - Adolphe Sax

Trumpet with 13 bells

Developped by Adolphe Sax son, the thirteen bell & eight valve trumpet is, in theory, a perfectly tuned instrument as each semi-tone owns his own acoustic circuit. This model was built around 1900.

Trompette à 13 pavillons


Little tuba

Petit tuba à pavillon orientable

Saxhorn contrebasse en Mib

Adolphe Sax introduced this model at the "Exposition Universelle" held in the London Crystal Palace in 1851.

Saxhorn Adoplhe Sax


In Dinant (Belgium), the inventor's birthplace, La Maison de Monsieur Sax invites the public to discover his life and work through texts, objects and historical instruments, musical excerpts... You can find there some instruments recovered during the buyout of the workshops in rue Myrha by the SELMER company.


Learn more about the invention of the saxophone
Discover historical Henri SELMER Paris instruments