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Long story….

In 1947, Selmer’s total production of French saxophones totaled only 2099 instruments.  Assuming two-thirds were  altos and a few were sopranos and baritones, that means tenor production for the year would have been fewer than 700 instruments. 

Our tenor came to us two years ago, from a workshop in France that had closed.  The fellow who owned the small shop finally retired.  We bought several saxes from him, including a rather nice 10M, plus a couple of BA Selmer altos.  All of that bunch have long since been sold.  Except for this beauty.

Silver-plate was, in the forties and fifties, the most-popular finish in France for saxes.  For the retail market, the finish was usually bright silver. Our sax has satin-finish to the body and bright silver to the keywork. We’re not certain, but it could have been made for the French military.

In any event, the fellow who owned the shop had something of a reputation for quality sax restoration and as such, made the decision to remove the original silver finish.

Not a good idea, in our opinion. 

But… he had sense enough to NOT buff the dickens out of the body.   Which means he used a commercial silver-strip that removed most (not all) of the silver but did not take off any of the brass.

So we acquired the sax, as noted, some time back and then had to decide who to do to make it into a proper musical instrument.

We’ve been thinking about it for a long time.

First step, take it apart and hand-burnish the body so that any nicks or dings disappear.  No machine buffing was done and that means there are today no thin spots, the sax still as heavy as it was when it left the factory.

Keywork was lightly machine-buffed, hinge-tubes swedged tight again (didn’t need much), then sent, together with the body to Anderson Plating Company.  They do all the silver work for Conn-Selmer-USA and we have the highest regard for their work.

Six weeks or so went by and now that the start-to-school rush is over, we’ve attacked the tenor.  No more procrastination:  it’s time to find a new home for it.

No, it’s not a “re-lacquer” and it doesn’t have “original lacquer”, ‘cause it’s never been lacquered…ever.  We’ve done what’s best, in our opinion, to put it back to “as original as possible”.

All new pads (with fifties-era resonators), all new key-silencer corks.

No neck pull-down, ever.   Sold without mouthpiece, but with sixties-era French Selmer case.

Sept 22....
Jess finished the padding work last night, did a bit of final touch-up this morning. I spent about 20 minutes this morning, comparing the Selmer with my 1945 Conn 10M.  

I concluded that it's sort of like having two wives at the same time:  both the instruments are superb, no funny notes, both speak easily in the lower register.   I used a Gregory "Hollywood"  for a few minutes, then switched to  Meyer 5M.   The Selmer works better with the Meyer;  the Conn works better with the Gregory.  In my opinion, I mean.
Had another close look at the keywork, noted that there's no wear to the pearl-cups, minimal wear to the pearls themselves.  No worn areas around the strap-hook or the thumb rest.
Intonation is, for me at least, better on the Selmer than on a Mark 6.  Low B and Bb not quite as sharp.    Please do understand that I learned to play on a 1936 Conn Lady Face and I've never "unlearned"  how to play one.
Bottom line:  Both saxes are superb.  I'm pretty sure that 99% of the players out in Saxophone-Land would prefer the Selmer, though.  That means I have no hesitation in recommending it.


1947 Selmer-Paris "Super Balanced Action" Tenor Saxophone, Silver Plated

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