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Saxophones Found - The Mythical Selmer MkVII Baritone - But... was it lost?

DavidUK

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This is a spin-off thread from: Saxophones - David's Interesting Finds - Oooh! A Selmer MkVII Baritone for sale!

Please read that thread if you didn't post on it or read it - it could save some time for you, I, and others...

Please NOTE: The Police HAVE been notified and I've checked Pete is happy for me to run this thread.

Anyway... something @Clivey said (post #30) in that thread stuck in my mind...

...Quite sickening actually reading this. How one would feel being the victim like losing a long known friend . We actually don't know how Hot this Bari is either. Someone should be aware there is a chance they could be visited by police as a result of this surfacing.

...so... Thursday lunchtime I sent the seller a message (he withdrew it from sale in January after me pointing out it could be stolen) asking what he'd done with it. It was still on his wall. He said he really wanted to return it to its real owner if it had been stolen. With my assurance I had a better chance of achieving this (he knows nothing about saxophones) he was quite happy for me to have it for whatever price I was offering. So, bearing in mind it may never be mine, I offered £200 which he accepted. I picked it up Friday.

So, now I have it. I have the task of finding out if it's been stolen in the past.

On closer inspection once back home I believe this isn't simply a MkVII prototype with no serial number. The S/N area has been attacked with a wire brush on a drill, giving it a burnished appearance...

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There is tiny brass debris on the pad closest to where this wire brushing was done...

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The case has the same tiny debris and detached brass wires (from the brush) in the area closest to the damage...

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So, here goes another kind of chase for me. Usually I'm tracking down obscure horns but this time it's the owner of a possibly stolen rare Selmer. How do I go about it?

First call this morning was to the Police. I was told they are stretched and don't have the manpower to check if items bought are stolen. Suggested I report on their website under "found" items but this led to a dead end in that I should "make reasonable enquiries to find the owner." So I've emailed details to a local sergeant I know (Pete has his details, and a copy, if anyone is sceptical), to see what he suggests and to put me in the clear from being accused of handling stolen goods (if it is).

I'll also email Selmer France with what I suspect is the S/N on the bell brace (missed that one didn't they!).

But what/where else do I ask? Musician's Union? Any other suggestions as to who to contact?

Info: Pete Hales said, on the previous thread, that this S/N was sold in 2004 on ebay for €2495. The seller told me he bought it from a car boot sale. He invited me to his home and I know his name from his Facebook ad/messages. It's rather beaten up, like you'd expect from a school/military instrument perhaps.

Why am I happy to lose £200? Well, as Clivey said, imagine if it was yours. Wouldn't you want someone to rescue it from an obscure wall in Yorkshire for you?
 

JayeNM

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Great that there was a second serial # on it.

The reply from the police is what I would expect in this day and age, actually...either side of the Pond.


The only thing I could think of is: in situations such as this, can eBay be contacted by a law enforcement official and asked to divulge who the buyer was in 2004 ? I would imagine they have some position in their legal dept. which deals with this stuff, and also imagine that they would only enter into a conversation with a legal official, not just a regular schmoe....
 

DavidUK

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When the police come back to my I shall suggest an eBay contact.
Meanwhile I've now emailed Selmer and the Musician's Union.

@JayeNM - No harm taking a few measurements whilst it's here, as you suggested previously, to compare with a MkVI low A bari. Just happen to know someone who has one of those. I'll start a new thread if he's game. ;)
 

DavidUK

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Now posted brief "Found" threads on SOTW under "Selmer" and also "Stolen."
 

Jeanette

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This could be interesting to follow, like what you are doing and how you are tackling it. For the record I can confirm David has been in touch with Pete as he said above.

Jx
 

Jeanette

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Bit of a long shot but I wonder if contacting a few sax shops that buy secondhand might help. If I had a sax stolen I might contact a few to ask them to look out for it being sold to them?

Jx
 

DavidUK

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Isn't there a TV show where they locate lost saxophones, have them totally overhauled, trace the owner, then entice them to some event or other and surprise them by being reunited with their long lost friend?
 

Colin the Bear

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I would assume it was insured at some point. Perhaps a loss adjuster could help.
 

DavidUK

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The Police Sergeant has responded with:

"I have checked our policy, as long as you are not a public servant, or found it in a hackney carriage you are able to keep it and do not need to notify us of it. As you don’t have evidence it is stolen at this time, you need to retain it for at least 28 days whilst you carry out enquiries to trace an owner. If no owner is found/comes forward then ownership transfers to you and you can retain/dispose of at will."

This is in line with combined Police policy. A good explanation can be found here, P.10 4.3: https://www.suffolk.police.uk/sites/suffolk/files/lost_and_found_property.pdf

It reads:

"If, having made reasonable enquiries, the finder has not been able to trace the owner, they may treat the item as their own after 28 days (see exceptions below) and keep or dispose of it as they wish."

However, it continues: "However, the original owner never loses entitlement to the property so that, if this person does come forward at any time in the future, then the property (or its value) must be returned to them. The original owner may have a claim in civil law in the event of any dispute."

I've gone back to him suggesting an eBay contact. The Police can do this, I can't. Whether they will is to be seen.
I've emailed Allianz with the info too, and spoken to/emailed Sax.co.uk who say they'll forward to the Music Industries Association (MIA.org.uk)
Nothing back from Selmer; The MU; or from SOTW threads.

Investigations continue...
 

Hankenstine

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You could try contacting other saxophone shops round the UK? If it was purchased in Bradford then maybe try Stuart Mcdonald who used to own/run Woodwind Exchange in Bradford also Dave Walker at All Brass & Woodwind in Leeds.
If you are on Facebook there are a couple of UK groups for saxophone related stuff where you could make enquiries - Saxophonists UK & All Things Saxophone U.K.
 

DavidUK

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Police have come back to me on the eBay contact...
Can't request information from eBay unless a crime is alleged to have taken place and the allegation has a crime reference number. In the absence of a crime, or a victim, they treat it as lost property, found.
 

7201

 
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It would be fantastic if a local school or music college could benefit from such a great (unaffordable) instrument in the time it takes to hopefully track down the rightful owner.
 

DavidUK

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It would be fantastic if a local school or music college could benefit from such a great (unaffordable) instrument in the time it takes to hopefully track down the rightful owner.
I've been thinking about what to do with it if I were left as its custodian. To overhaul it would take me to perhaps £1,000 in the red, and then I'm "stuck" with it. Who knows, I may take to it. But there's always that thought the owner could show up at any time and claim it and bang goes my investment.

I guess I could ask a school if they'd like it, either outright or on loan. Outright. they'd have to stump up the cash to overhaul it. On loan, it's going to come back battered even more! How about crowdfunding (never used it) to raise the £1,000 and then gift it to a school. I seem to recall Andrew Lloyd Webber runs an academy but can't recall if they teach sax? Mind you, he may be able to afford ten Selmer Baris.
You're probably thinking of another worthwhile cause Pete (no disrespect to ALW - I thought his was a great idea). But how do you find out who's worthy AND needs a bari?
 

7201

 
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I've been thinking about what to do with it if I were left as its custodian. To overhaul it would take me to perhaps £1,000 in the red, and then I'm "stuck" with it. Who knows, I may take to it. But there's always that thought the owner could show up at any time and claim it and bang goes my investment.

I guess I could ask a school if they'd like it, either outright or on loan. Outright. they'd have to stump up the cash to overhaul it. On loan, it's going to come back battered even more! How about crowdfunding (never used it) to raise the £1,000 and then gift it to a school. I seem to recall Andrew Lloyd Webber runs an academy but can't recall if they teach sax? Mind you, he may be able to afford ten Selmer Baris.
You're probably thinking of another worthwhile cause Pete (no disrespect to ALW - I thought his was a great idea). But how do you find out who's worthy AND needs a bari?
Not too sure on the last part, but you’re almost certainly not wrong about the condition it would end up in if loaned to a school.
At Leeds College of Music (in the mid ‘80’s!) we had an “instrument room”. It had things that could be signed out for the day or for a bit longer on the recommendation of your instrumental prof or one of the ensemble directors. They were things like bass clarinets, alto clarinets and baritone saxes, cor anglais, alto flute - things that were expensive and a bit niche.
I have no idea if LCM still have such a collection - they’re not even in the same building or location as when I went there. I’d be surprised if the conservatoires were not interested though.
 

DavidUK

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Let's not get too carried away folks... don't forget, charity begins at home. ;)

If you were me and it wasn't claimed and returned to its owner (if stolen), which of you would prefer to:
a) Give/lend to some worthy organisation.
b) Keep it, fix it, play it, enjoy it.

If you answered (a), and you have/had your own saxophone/s, have you followed this same route?
If so, do you feel better and more philanthropic because of your kind act?
If not, why not?

Hey... isn't there a Philanthropic Orchestra? Maybe they'd like it? Or am I getting confused with something else... o_O
 

DavidUK

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Still trying to trace it... :confused:

Look... I found another MkVII Bari 3 digits away 319066 to my 319063:

 

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