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Is it a Real Selmer Or Not?!

I was recently gifted a saxophone in need of some repair. I've done some online research, which led me to this forum, but I'm still at a loss to figure out more info on this instrument. Hoping someone can perhaps help? There's significant engraving throughout the piece, and toward the base of the body, it indicates:
Made in France
Brev. SGDG No. 383098
Eng. L. Pat. No. 11824
US Patent No. 2090011
M53xxx

However, most of the Selmer's I've seen have additional info engraved in the Bell, including the Selmer name and other text. This instrument I have does not have that marking, but rather has what looks like a small engraved tall sailing ship with a tiny moon. This has led me to question whether it's a Selmer or not.

It appears to be brass, to my naked eye, but again, I'm working with limited info.

I've included three photos, and will be curious to see if anyone has any input.

Thanks for helping me out!
Hope you're all staying safe and healthy out there!
~ Karen
 

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kymarto

Content Expert/Moderator
Staff member
CE/Moderator
Looks very real to me. A five digit horn, very desirable. Strange that it doesn't have a Selmer stamp on the bell. Maybe some of the real Selmer experts can weigh in?
 

saxhound

Moderator
Staff member
CE/Moderator
If the serial # is correct, it is a Super Action (also known as a Super Balanced Action) from 1953 - the last year before the Mark VI was introduced. Not sure about the engraving. IIRC, some Selmers were shipped to the US without engraving, where it was added, either by Selmer USA, or by a third party. The missing stamp on the bell is odd, though.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
You've got something engraved above the Bb tone hole. Looks like a sailing ship or something. Please post a better picture of it. Not really for identification sake. Just because I'd like to see it :D.

I think it's possible that the bell is a replacement, assuming the replacement bells probably didn't have any engraving, and the whole horn was de-lacquered to match. I don't think the "floral" engraving looks quite as good as on other Selmers, so that's possibly supporting the replacement bell theory, assuming that the horn was repaired and engraved by either Selmer, themselves, or by a third party. There's the obvious damage to the G key, so there may have been more extensive damage at some other point, again supporting the replacement bell theory.

I have no problems calling this a "real" Selmer. The patent and serial number stamp looks identical to the other SBAs in Helen's and my gallery. In my experience, most counterfeiters mess up this part because they use laser engraving.
 
Thanks to all of you for your input! It's now being checked out by a local pro to see if it can be brought back to life and if he can find anything about it! And Pete's question about the engraving above the Bb tone hole - it is what looks like a tall ship, with trees, mountains and a tiny crescent moon. But obviously in a place that usually doesn't get that type of engraving, so who knows?! The floral engraving on the bell seems rough to me, but I am not familiar with the feel of a legit Selmer-engraved bell, so again, it might be normal. We'll see what my guy says about it after he does his evaluation, and I'll post what we learn!
 
Somewhere back in the depths of pre-history I remember reading that the engraving on Selmer saxes was added at extra cost. Mostly dealers wanted it as it established the authenticity of the instrument but in some cases where instruments were ordered for schools, bands and the like the engraving was omitted to keep the cost down.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
I'd definitely call that plausible, Tony. I've seen lots of Selmers with just their logo stamp.
 
Thanks to all of you for your replies. My local pro who took a look at it reported the following - it is most certainly a Selmer Super Balanced Pro. At some point, it looks whoever had it decided to strip and buff it, before 're-engraving' it. (Ugh. People.) In addition, he said it was in 'pretty bad shape', with many of the mechanisms rusted frozen and springs rusting pretty badly, and all would need to be replaced. He expects it would take a major restoration to get it back to good playing condition. And, of course, it's still missing a neck, so there would be that additional expense. I do not play the sax, and had hoped to learn on this, but I expect that's not gonna happen anytime soon. However, I've become quite attached to this lovely horn, (her name is Izzy), and really wanted to give her back her voice. So, I'm torn. He indicated repair estimates in the thousands, but didn't specify just how many thousands that would be. LOL Would love to hear your thoughts on this. Thank you for following this saga!
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
https://worldwidesax.com/services/sax-rebuilds - $1000. Figure probably half that again for new springs, etc. I just picked WWS because I knew they had posted rates.
https://www.gloger-handkraft.com/saxneck.htm - $630. Just picked the name of one place that builds custom necks. It's possible that you can find new, old stock (NOS) necks or a neck from a new Selmer S80/Reference horn fits and plays in tune.
http://www.andersonsilverplating.com/band_instrument.html - $500. Might be higher. Good idea for overly buffed saxophones.
 
https://worldwidesax.com/services/sax-rebuilds - $1000. Figure probably half that again for new springs, etc. I just picked WWS because I knew they had posted rates.
https://www.gloger-handkraft.com/saxneck.htm - $630. Just picked the name of one place that builds custom necks. It's possible that you can find new, old stock (NOS) necks or a neck from a new Selmer S80/Reference horn fits and plays in tune.
http://www.andersonsilverplating.com/band_instrument.html - $500. Might be higher. Good idea for overly buffed saxophones.
Thanks, Pete, for this excellent info! Appreciate it so much!
 
Just wanted to give you some updates. She's going in this week to a shop with experience in vintage restorations, so we'll see what he has to say! But, as promised, I wanted to pass along a few more photos that folks asked about. The photo of the band seems to show an engraved number on it, and feels like there is an engraving when I run my finger over it, though I can't tell what the number / engraving is. Also, as promised, the weird boat etching photo - looks pretty sloppy/elementary, so who knows the story behind that. And it's the best I can do with photos, because dirty + bad angle = awful photo. Keeping my fingers crossed that we can bring some music back into this poor horn's life!
 

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The engraving of a ship intrigues me. A school near here engraves all their metal instruments with a bird from the school crest. Could this be something similar?
 
Tony, it's funny you should ask that. I've been doing some research online, and may have some answers after I confirm a few things!
 
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