Conn, New Wonder, Curved Soprano Saxophone, Bob Wilber Collection
This is most probably a New Wonder Conn Curved soprano dating to 1922-26. Bob Wilber had the right thumb-rest moved down for his personal playing comfort, but given that Bob tended to concentrate his buying on instruments from this period, we can be pretty sure of its likely age. The coating/finish is a bit of a puzzle. It looks like gold-coloured lacquer, but none of it is missing, which is never the case with lacquer. It may be gold-plate on top of silver-plate. The engraving is faded, indicating that it has been re-plated/re-lacquered in the past. The body is in very good condition, with no dents/dings/damage (other than the right thumb-rest having been re-located). This heavily gigged and toured instrument really needs an overhaul, re-pad, and re-cork. Please view the photographs carefully, and in close up mode [ simply select a photo and hover your mouse over it]. (He also had a silver-plated curved Conn Soprano, which was his spare. It is seen in some of his YouTube videos.)
This instrument can be heard on YouTube being played by Bob Wilber:
This Soprano has a forked Eb mechanism. It is designed to make the low C to low Eb tremolo possible, by trilling the right middle finger only, while keeping the right pinkie on the low C key. It also gives an easier D/Eb trill, because the middle finger is more dexterous than the pinkie. This mechanism only works when in critical alignment, so it is standard practice to disable it by inserting a cork between the pad-cup and the guard of the relevant tone-hole (on the other side).
This instrument is supplied with a mouthpiece; Bob Wilber’s Ria ‘Anticorodal’ metal mouthpiece (in need of cleaning), which looks very like a Dukoff in shape and colour, and Bob Wilber’s custom case with a combination lock.