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Saxophones David's Interesting Finds - Oooh! A Selmer MkVII Baritone for sale!

DavidUK

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Just chatting with the seller. Asking him if he'd like me to post a thread here as he bought it at a car boot and has absolutely no idea how or if it works!

I did a quick Google and came up with @helen explaining about this "mythical" model, here: The Mythical Selmer Mark VII Baritone Saxophone

So I suggested to the seller some of you may have ideas on value, or want to ask questions about it so as to help him with his sale. I've suggested he may like to donate to the forum charity if we do help him to sell it.

I have absolutely no idea what it might be worth. More photos here: Selmer MkVII Bari

It looks to me as though a buyer would need to factor in up to a full overhaul as it's not in pristine condition, but that's my only comment. Over to you... in a nutshell... what's it worth?

NB. I have no connection with the seller whatsoever.

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rhysonsax

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I saw one of those at a dealer's maybe 15 years ago. That one was marked as a MkVII but actually a MkVI made during the brief run of the Mk7. It looks like this one (if genuine) is the same, judging by the MkVI-style pinky keys.

It should be worth the same as a late MkVI low baritone in the same condition.

Rhys
 

MMM

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I saw one of those at a dealer's maybe 15 years ago. That one was marked as a MkVII but actually a MkVI made during the brief run of the Mk7. It looks like this one (if genuine) is the same, judging by the MkVI-style pinky keys.

It should be worth the same as a late MkVI low baritone in the same condition.

Rhys
So not a lot: I'll buy it!
 

DavidUK

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Ah... now here's an interesting twist... a potential buyer has asked the seller for the s/n and explained to the seller where to find it. The seller has sent me a message to tell me this and to say it looks as though it's been wiped...

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So I said "Hmmm... have you put two and two together? No serial number + car boot = "?
NB. Looks as though it's been slung in the back of several getaway cars over the years!

He's now taken it off sale, thinking it may be stolen. But I wonder... as @helen refers to, Selmer say in their history pages "However, only the alto and tenor saxophones saw the light of day; the soprano and baritone “Mark VII” prototypes started during this period were used instead as a basis for the “Super Action 80” versions."

If it were a prototype, could that be another reason for no s/n, as it was never intended for sale?
Helen's Japanese one DID have one.
Would Douglas Pipher have the answer to this I wonder?

Other questions:
Q. Where would there be a list of stolen Selmer horns to find out if a MkVII bari has ever gone missing?
Q. Is this one stolen recovered and already a total loss, bought from an insurance company?
Q. and...why do I get involved in this kind of thing!
 

DavidUK

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I saw one of those at a dealer's maybe 15 years ago. That one was marked as a MkVII but actually a MkVI made during the brief run of the Mk7. It looks like this one (if genuine) is the same, judging by the MkVI-style pinky keys.

It should be worth the same as a late MkVI low baritone in the same condition.

Rhys
Look at the opening photo in post #1.
I did wonder if that second "I" had been added. It doesn't look like it was done at the same time as they first one.

Are you referring to r/h or l/h pinky keys?
 

rhysonsax

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Look at the opening photo in post #1.
I did wonder if that second "I" had been added. It doesn't look like it was done at the same time as they first one.

Are you referring to r/h or l/h pinky keys?

On the "MkVII" engraving the second I doesn't look very suspicious to me. It would be a strange thing for a crook to turn a MkVI into a MkVII, as the value wouldn't go up as a result !

I was referring to the RH pinky keys, but as the page by @helen says, the example she had pictures of did not have Mk7 style pinky keys for either hand. But it did have the M7 shield on the front of the neck.

Apart from factory prototypes, my view is that a Selmer Mk7 baritone would most likely have the same body tube, neck and mechanism as a late MkVI, just some different markings.

Rhys
 

rhysonsax

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If the serial number has "been wiped" then that seems to indicate it used to have one but it has been removed or made illegible. I don't think that Selmer would do that for a prototype - it would either have a number stamped or no number.

Rhys
 

DavidUK

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Although the lack of serial number would reduce the value of the horn dramatically, for fear you could be buying a stolen one, it would take other identifying marks to prove it's the one someone's lost and that would mean they'd have to have some photos of other identifying marks on their pride and joy to accomplish such proof.

Makes me think that s/n alone isn't sufficient to identify a horn that's stolen, and if your horn is pristine it may be worth making a small hidden mark somewhere (perhaps inside the neck?) so you could prove ownership. I did this once at a Ford dealer who I suspected was charging for work not done. I made a small cross on a faulty windscreen wiper arm. When I went back to collect, the service chap said "All done for you." I asked if that had included the wiper arm. He said "yes, the arm's been changed for a new one." I commented that I'd seen the car in the car park and the arm still had the same small cross I'd scratched in it before I left the car. "Ah... oh... let me check again. Ah... that's it, no sorry, I got yours confused with another car. Haven't they done it then...?"
 

JayeNM

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So first off, I think given the photos posted here it's at least...premature...to suggest that this is a "VI marked as a VII" because we cannot see the other side of the horn...so in absence of the pinky table image, I would not go there, myself (yet).

The wiped out serial # stinks...that is really gonna hurt any resale value but then again, if the guy didn't pay too much that doesn't matter much. It's quite simple, really...again, from the pic posted here we cannot tell if there was a serial which was removed post-factory (this isn't hard to tell) or whether it is simply absent one. Hopefully for owner, it's the latter.

So, a close-up of the pinky and a close up of the serial area (and perhaps owner should check if the serial appears anywhere else on the horn) will answer those 2 questions as well as help determine valuation.
 

DavidUK

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From the available photos, here: Selmer MkVII Bari (link in first post also) I can zoom in a little...





Is that good enough for you to be able to tell?

From Helen's blog, the Selmer history page tells us MkVII also had "The body to bell ring changed to a ring anchored at three points. And there was the return to the use of a plastic booster on the pads."

Also, Helen says:
"If I could speculate wildly for a moment, the backwards facing model stamping on the bow to body connecting ring may tell us something. Normally, if a horn has such stamping, and not all do, the model stamping faces forward on the bell to bow connecting ring, like it does on this Mark VI tenor #103451.

Selmer Mark VI tenor sax, silver sax, bell engraving, Mark VI stamping, bell to bow connecting ring

Source: The Sax Group on eBay.com

This change in location might be, and I stress might be, an indication that the Selmer Mark VII baritone saxophone in question was not a regular production horn, but rather a prototype, since other Mark VIIs have their model stamping facing forwards. The backwards facing stamping might be what signifies this as a prototype."
 

JayeNM

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Pics aren't large/detailed enough of table to tell. From what I can see I cannot say consclusively the table is different than a late VI table...
 

rhysonsax

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The RH pinky keys are NOT Mk7 style, the LH pinky keys are too small for me to see properly but might be more like a Mk7. The bell to body brace is NOT Mk7 style.

I wouldn't buy it because of the concern that it's been stolen and even if that were not an issue, I wouldn't really want it as it's probably just a late MkVI with some different markings.

Rhys
 

MMM

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It is a Mark 6, the body to bell ring is also a tell tale sign.
I also think (from the photo provided) that the serial number has been buffed away...
 

DavidUK

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Yes, buffed away in that specific area not whilst cleaning.
But we nor the seller will ever know why it was removed, and I'm sure Rhys is correct that Selmer wouldn't have done this.
If it were a student Yamaha I'd theorise it could be a school instrument, never returned and made untraceable by a worried student.
How about ex-services? But again something underhand must have gone on?
 

Colin the Bear

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What else would you buy with the serial number removed? Not much. Reduces sellability imo. Some sort of authentication of status is needed.
 

DavidUK

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I never knew they produced the VII baris and sopranos.
Did you read Helen's blog, linked in first post? Selmer agree they were just prototypes, but Helen's find "escaped" as has this one. Perhaps these are "transitionals" FROM the MkVI rather than toward the SA80?
 

DavidUK

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@Colin the Bear it certainly needs some new provenance such as letters from Selmer and "the police" to say it's not been reported stolen. These would be impossible to obtain though.
 
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