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Saxophones Selmer Mk V1 -

MBGT

New Member
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Greetings from a Cafe Saxophone newbie....

Firstly, I'd like to admit I'm a new non-playing member! (so please be gentle!). I am merely the custodian of my dad's old instruments (he passed away 4 years ago) and am trying to get a little more information as to age/condition/and I suppose ultimately value.... The time has come for me and my sister to think about selling these on, and I need to establish a little more concrete information....

This is the main one:

*************************

Hoping for valuation and/or more info for a Selmer Mk VI Tenor (65487)...

He's had since new - and was adamant it was bought in 1955, although strangely most of the lists suggest '56,57 (see later).

4 to 5 years ago my sister and I had it properly serviced for him (just before he died it turned out), by a highly recommended local repairers. They were very complementary of it's provenance at the time "the best Mk V1 we've seen for a long time, with it's original lacquer 'with that lovely deep rich colour that everyone hankers for', one owner...etc" They also concluded that it could well of been a 55/56 - after consulting the old previously issued old Selmer SN lists which ties in with what my dad had told me -there are 'always some discrepancies' apparently.

When we decided to start making inquiries with the view to selling 6 months ago they had completely changed their tune - apparently (after a cursory 3 minute examination) it had now become 're-lacquered'! (with a corresponding unrealistic offer). Which do I believe? (I can't imagine in a million years that my dad would of had it re-lacquered if I'm honest). Needless to say I walked away...

We even have the original Selmer Guarantee card (though interestingly it's not dated) and the mouthpiece is a Tonolin Brilhart 5??. Cheap strap, original Selmer case, reed cutters, reeds etc...

Even though this has lots of sentimental value, time has come to sell this on - it should be being played, not in it's case shoved under the bed. We'd really like it to go to a good home (ie a player rather than a collector if poss), but get a realistic price indicative of it's value.

A little in the dark at the moment though, so was just after some input from people in the know. Can anyone help at all??

Lots more pictures already taken which I can post - happy to answer any any detail questions...

Is this the original lacquer??

PS. At the the time of the service, they mentioned something about 'the lower keys being from an earlier model that was discontinued in '54?' (suggesting earlier rather than later?) and some bracket present that suggested '54/55??'. Doesn't mean much to me but happy to photograph the relevant bits...

PPS. I have posted similar on another (stateside) sax forum and received more information that supports what I believe to be true. Was hoping for more info closer to home, with possible suggestions/leads for an accurate hands on valuation.

Anything welcome......

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aldevis

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It definitely qualifies as hornographic material.
What does the engraving on the bell say?
And does it say MkVI anywere?

This is serious stuff indeed, if it plays like it looks.
 

Justin Chune

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What you have there is a 5 digit Selmer MkV1 and those are sought after. You will get an idea of value by checking them out on eBay. Check out the closed sales as that will tell you what they fetch. It doesn't look like a re-lacquered sax to me. Good luck with the sale.

Jim.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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Relacquering involves buffing the sax to remove all the scratches and imperfections, badly done it removes the engraving and thins out the metal. Properly done it has little/no effect.

But the bad side has really tainted all relacquers even if well done. There's also a fashion for scruffy horns. Personally I like them bright and shiney.

Unless the sax is unplayed/lightly used, you'd expect to see lacquer wear around the thumb hook, where it rubs against the body, on the C/Eb keys (two keys with rollers, bottom right) and a few other places.

If it's been relacquered, rounded/worn off engraving may give it away, although it's possible to tempt the engraving.

The mouthpiece looks interesting. Does it have a round bite plate and the word Personaline on it? These have a lovely sweet tone and are getting hard to find.
 

aldevis

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It does not look relacquered to me either (from the serial numbers picture)

The mouthpiece looks interesting. Does it have a round bite plate and the word Personaline on it? These have a lovely sweet tone and are getting hard to find.

It could be a good idea to split the sales of sax and mouthpiece.
 

milandro

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It looks completely original , not relacquered, and, by the way, several Mark VI didn’t have the Mark VI designation engraved at the base of the bell. There is nothing wrong or altered with any keys.

No high F# (which is good, collectors and players prefer it that way) and the engraving appears to be the French one ( there are American versions which for no real good reasons are more popular among Japanese collectors who, wrongly, believe that the American assembled one were better!)

The mouthpiece only adds to the value but it is not that valuable that there would be any substantial gain into sell it separately and you might just use it as a perk to nudge a better price from the buyer, on the other hand this horn is so valuable in itself that with or without mouthpiece the price will stay more or less the same.

Anyway, my advise is don’t sell this saxophone now.

This has to be one of the worst moments in the last 25 years to sell any saxophone and you could do a lot better with hanging on to it for a few years more.

If you must sell now, sell this on a better platform than ebay or any local classified ads. There are auction houses specialized (they charge a hefty commission and often charge you for placing your instrument for salethough you can set a reserve price).

However, if you would offer this through a reputable international auction house chances are that you won’t make as much as a shop is likely to charge for one of these.

As for that, see this

http://www.robertoswinds.com/mark_six.php?subcat_id=0

These are among the highest prices in the business. You as a private seller stand no chance to make that kind of money. They would buy your horn and place it in their shop and wait for the right person to walk in.

Same thing with Ishimori in Tokyo.

You could offer you horn to them but they will offer you at least 30% to 40% (if not more) less than they would be asking for it.
 
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jazzdoh

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That certainly looks a nice horn,from the pictures it doesn't look like a re-lacquer.
Value is difficult but if it plays well it should be towards the top end.
Look on Ebay at the different range of prices for tenor mark VI's
The main problem with Selmer Mark VI's is that there were/are great playing ones and not so great playing ones,this was due to them being mostly handmade,so there is a big difference in between models.
Good luck with selling it.
 

jazzdoh

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I can concur with Milando above,its not the best time to sell a horn like this,if you can hang on to it then it will rise in value.
 

MBGT

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21
Wow..... so much to answer! Thanks guys! Think I need to grab myself a coffee and get filling in those gaps... (glad I've got a light teaching day today.... this could take some time).

Some questions I can answer straight off - others I need to check.... I'll post a few more pics too. I'll try and answer in order...

Back in a bit
 

majordennis

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While you are waiting for the the market to bounce back a bit how about learning to play it, if it does turn out to be a good one you may never have to go through a GAS attack, (Gear Acquisition Syndrome).

Take as much advice as you can and good luck whatever you decide to do.

PS Is there anything on the guarantee card that Selmer may be able to identify?
 

MBGT

New Member
Messages
21
It definitely qualifies as hornographic material.
What does the engraving on the bell say?
And does it say MkVI anywere?

This is serious stuff indeed, if it plays like it looks.

"Brevete France & Estranger
SELMER Paris,
Fabrique en France
par H Selmer & C
Place Bancourt Paris
Selmer
NEW-YORK, ELKHART
London
Made in France"

***
No 'Mk VI' that I can see
***
My lad's 16 year old girlfriend had a little blow last night! (she's a Grade V classical student player, though mainly alto really). It certainly put a smile on her face!! Was lovely to hear it again, be it just a few notes (I found it quite moving if I'm honest! - brought memories flooding back!). A lovely fat warm rounded sexy sound!....... "So easy to play" was her comment...

******
Thanks Jim ... will do
******
Unless the sax is unplayed/lightly used, you'd expect to see lacquer wear around the thumb hook, where it rubs against the body, on the C/Eb keys (two keys with rollers, bottom right) and a few other places.

.

Has a fair amount of light wear in all the places you mention - all what I'd imagine you'd expect with moderate semi-pro regular use over 55 years (if it has ever been re-lacquered it must of been many years ago!!). I still can't believe they tried to pull that one!

They told me first time round the mouthpiece was worth £500!

Tonalin
Bilhart
5
SN 35898

DSCF8202RS.jpg
DSCF8214rs.jpg
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aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
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Definitely European model (as Milandro mentioned.
I would drop the relac idea for good.

Splitting the mouthpiece sale could make one more person happy. There is a Danish guy specialized in dating Brilharts. I'll post a link.
 

MBGT

New Member
Messages
21
It looks completely original , not relacquered, and, by the way, several Mark VI didn’t have the Mark VI designation engraved at the base of the bell. There is nothing wrong or altered with any keys.

No high F# (which is good, collectors and players prefer it that way) and the engraving appears to be the French one ( there are American versions which for no real good reasons are more popular among Japanese collectors who, wrongly, believe that the American assembled one were better!)

The mouthpiece only adds to the value but it is not that valuable that there would be any substantial gain into sell it separately and you might just use it as a perk to nudge a better price from the buyer, on the other hand this horn is so valuable in itself that with or without mouthpiece the price will stay more or less the same.

Anyway, my advise is don’t sell this saxophone now.

This has to be one of the worst moments in the last 25 years to sell any saxophone and you could do a lot better with hanging on to it for a few years more.

If you must sell now, sell this on a better platform than ebay or any local classified ads. There are auction houses specialized (they charge a hefty commission and often charge you for placing your instrument for salethough you can set a reserve price).

However, if you would offer this through a reputable international auction house chances are that you won’t make as much as a shop is likely to charge for one of these.

As for that, see this

http://www.robertoswinds.com/mark_six.php?subcat_id=0

These are among the highest prices in the business. You as a private seller stand no chance to make that kind of money. They would buy your horn and place it in their shop and wait for the right person to walk in.

Same thing with Ishimori in Tokyo.

You could offer you horn to them but they will offer you at least 30% to 40% (if not more) less than they would be asking for it.

Milandro - thank you for the excellent reply!! Very informative!!..... and food for thought! Some of those prices are indeed scarey!!!!!!! Do any of those horns actually get played when they're sold?? - or do they just reside in glass cabinets in private collections?! Who spends that kind of money?! (We have the same in the guitar world - the most desirable 57 (?) Les Paul is nudging the million dollar mark last time I heard!).

Instruments are meant to be played... that whole collector thing pushes quality instruments out of the reach of those that should be looking after them!

Is the market still on the decline, or is it on the climb yet? Unfortunately some degree of financial necessity may well speed a sale along a little quicker than may be ideal under the circumstances...

********
Thanks Jazzdoh (I did clock the midlands connection... )


The main problem with Selmer Mark VI's is that there were/are great playing ones and not so great playing ones,this was due to them being mostly handmade,so there is a big difference in between models.

And yes, good ones and bad ones..... I have a (cheap!) Epiphone Les Paul with a lovely warm sound - 6 or 7 of my pupils have bought the same guitar, all harsh and brash in comparison! (it actually sounded better in the shop than the equivalent Gibson at 4 times the price!!)

My gut feel is that this is a probably a good one - just from what I've heard, and knowing my dad (he was a bit of a perfectionist, and generally followed "the best you can afford" route .... especially re instruments. He wouldn't of chosen lightly.)

*******
 
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milandro

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I can concur with Milando above,its not the best time to sell a horn like this,if you can hang on to it then it will rise in value.

CAVEAT

Its value might rise!

There are no guarantees about that, and value of anything is not set in stone.

This is one of my favorite themes when it comes to assessing the value of any antique or collectables.

Despite the fact that anything might be rare, its price depends on many factors the most important of which is the readiness of the prospective buyers to separate themselves from (hopefully) high sums of money to prevent another buyer, from acquiring what they so eagerly want.

The price of these horns has been constantly rising from the ’80 onwards but it has lately come to an halt.

This is a pattern that has invested many collectables and we have seen it happening for things like vintage cars, wrist watches “ et similia”.

The reasons were multiple and it would be way above the scope of this thread to philosophize about this.

Suffice to say that the vintage horns mania is linked to the cult of those who originally played these horns.

Vintage horns were only old saxophones until the late ’70. Then when people like Michael Brecker and others started using old and old looking saxophones (re-lacquering a saxophone was never a tabu until then!) they started also to be valuable,

The generation of people who have practiced this cult has some new and young entries but I am afraid that most of us are getting older and that the generation born after 1980 doesn’t have the same relationship with the saxophone or the vintage saxophone, as in the instruments played from our heroes, that we had.

In other words, the people who have sizable amounts of disposable income to spend on these saxophones and that are coveting them is actually getting smaller rather than bigger.

The typical collector is a person in his ’50 or older. Most collectors, when they reach the age of ’70 start downsizing rather than acquiring new things.

True, some new rich , like the Chinese, have entered the world of collecting but it is also true that the saxophone as an instrument is not as popular among the Chinese as it was (and still is) among the Japanese.

So I would be careful about expecting a certain price increase in future.

As for the Tonalin.

They are not rare and I suggest you to look up their price.

Collectors want perfect ones, with original box AND original and sought after special ligatures!
 

milandro

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Milandro - thank you for the excellent reply!! Very informative!!..... and food for thought! Some of those prices are indeed scarey!!!!!!! Do any of those horns actually get played when they're sold?? - or do they just reside in glass cabinets in private collections?! Who spends that kind of money?! **

Some of those instruments are indeed played by good players but the majority are owned by collectors or not so good but rich players.

This is true of any vintage saxophone.

There are 150.000 Mark VI made throughout their run, more than half of them were alto and tenors, there are less than 75.000 players in the world who actually own one and do justice to them.

Given the financial situation of the majority of the players in the world I doubt that players can afford the most expensive of the Mark VI and SBA around.

Anyway, however expensive the saxophones might look, their price is much lower than any other professional hand made instrument.

See Bassons, Oboes, Flutes, not to mention the obvious guitars and violins.
 

MBGT

New Member
Messages
21
While you are waiting for the the market to bounce back a bit how about learning to play it, if it does turn out to be a good one you may never have to go through a GAS attack, (Gear Acquisition Syndrome).

Take as much advice as you can and good luck whatever you decide to do.

PS Is there anything on the guarantee card that Selmer may be able to identify?

Thanks Major Dennis. Unfortunately us guitarists get attacks of GAS too - just trying to do a spot of thinning out there, but finding it very hard! Each has its own sentimental value, even if no longer used much, or indeed worth much....

**************

The guarantee card has a serial number and tester's signature

DSCF8223.jpg
 

Nick Wyver

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Pictures of sax and guarantee card shortly to be seen on Ebays across the world.
 

Jonesy

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Very best advice (as usual) from Milandro.
A similar Brilhart Tonalin 5* is currently on ebay at £265.

And those pictures have me drooling with GAS.
 

Nick Wyver

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No high F# (which is good, collectors and players prefer it that way)

This player doesn't. That may have something to do with the sort of stuff I'm playing at the moment. Favourite key of the band is probably concert E.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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Agree with the others about the mouthpiece, and the don't sell it too soon camp. Also agree it doesn't look like a relacquer. It does look to be in excellent condition. Your Dad clearly took good care of it.

The midlands firm that would likely be suggested is Connolly MRI. Hope I've got the name right.
 

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