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Selmer 'Davis' Paris

Sorry - I'm a fraud! I don't play Clarinet - but I joined the Forum because I am looking for information and help.
My Uncle was a player and played Clarinet and Saxophone in various bands all his life. When he died my father inherited the Clarinet that he bought somewhere around the war years on a visit to Paris (I believe).
It is a Selmer and has 'Davis' Paris engraved on the bell. I understand that this ties it to a particular period and model, the model being named after a longstanding chappie at Selmer called 'Davis'. Is that right so far?
My son wanted to learn to play so I had the instrument completely refurbished by Kathy Parnham of Hadleigh, Suffolk. His interest unfortunately was a five minute wonder.
So we now have a reconditioned instrument with no-one to play it! Kathy says that a new mouthpiece would be good.
My father is keen that the instrument is played and would like to sell it. So my questions really are:
1/ Are these older instruments widely played these days given that some of the mechanics have altered over the years?
2/ How do I go about locating such players?
3/ Is there a good place to advertise? Are auctions a good idea?
4/ How do I go about establishing it's value (I've got a rough idea)
 
Thanks - thats helpful. I'll get onto it later
I've been following the info about how to value a horn. Can you give me a hint how to find the 'Closed ads' on ebay please? I got so desperate I even asked a teenager who knows everything - but she couldn't help on this one!
 

Carl H.

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
Log in, do a search for your item.

On the left side of the page will be a column of options for refining your search.

Go down this column till you see a box labeled completed auctions. This is what you want.

You must be logged in to get these options.
 
Many thanks - I've found it now and done various searches. Unfortunately searching for a 'Davis' Selmer produces a consistent '0' results! And Google can only find references to them in history of Selmer type documents. It can't be the only 'Davis' model in the world!!
The person who did the refurb suggested a value - perhaps I should go with that, unless anyone has any thoughts I could add in to try to get an average.
I did post some photos last night which apparently have to be seen by the moderator first......so hopefully they will come up soon.
 

jbtsax

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
I checked my research service and there have been no Selmer Clarinets matching that description on Ebay listed for the past 6 months. Perhaps if you could list the serial number, it would help to zero in on the year it was made in order to see what model we are talking about. Pictures will help as well.
 

saxhound

Moderator
Staff member
CE/Moderator
If you find something that looks like a serial number, you can rub chalk dust into it to bring out the numbers.
 
I can find no numbers anywhere. But on the lower section of the clarinet, just to the left of the first finger hole there is a tiny pattern that is too precise to be an accidental mark. I am sure it is a pattern rather than numbers. If it were numbers there might be two of them. It could be a 'g' and an 's' at a push but I think it more likely to be one fancy letter - maybe a 'T'? The cross bar is like a sideways 8. The down stroke has a flamboyant tail circling to the left and then crossing the down stroke and circling back down towards the base of the downstroke.
Does that sound familiar to anyone?
How long does it take for the photos to be posted?
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
I think I can give you some information about this. I think you have a Ben Davis Clarinet from Selmer London. Here's an article from Steve Sklar's website. It was a little difficult to find. I just happened upon this pic, which looks like a newer version of your horn.

I'm not 100% sure that the Ben Davis clarinets were actually made by Selmer Paris -- i.e. the company you think of when you hear "Selmer." There is a fair possibility that the Ben Davis models were actually made by a completely different company and Ben Davis just sold them. This is a process called "stenciling" and was very common for Selmer brands other than Selmer Paris, like with the Selmer London Console clarinets, which seem to have been made by Malerne. It's also possible that Ben Davis took standard clarinets from Selmer Paris and customized them a bit: the hole through the tenon in the upper joint is similar to that of the Selmer Centered Tone, but that roller key isn't.

If you're planning on selling it, like you say, you might want to wait a bit for Steve to make an appearance and offer his .02.
 

SOTSDO

Old King Log
Staff member
CE/Moderator
The instrument has an articulated C#/G# key, putting it a little off of the normal clarinet tracks. Some people love that option (I am one), others don't want anything but a basic 17/6 horn.
 
I think I can give you some information about this. I think you have a Ben Davis Clarinet from Selmer London. Here's an article from Steve Sklar's website. It was a little difficult to find. I just happened upon this pic, which looks like a newer version of your horn.

I'm not 100% sure that the Ben Davis clarinets were actually made by Selmer Paris -- i.e. the company you think of when you hear "Selmer." There is a fair possibility that the Ben Davis models were actually made by a completely different company and Ben Davis just sold them. This is a process called "stenciling" and was very common for Selmer brands other than Selmer Paris, like with the Selmer London Console clarinets, which seem to have been made by Malerne. It's also possible that Ben Davis took standard clarinets from Selmer Paris and customized them a bit: the hole through the tenon in the upper joint is similar to that of the Selmer Centered Tone, but that roller key isn't.

If you're planning on selling it, like you say, you might want to wait a bit for Steve to make an appearance and offer his .02.
Many thanks for this info - it's really interesting. Perhaps this explains why I can't find a serial number?
Steve? Is this the same Steve as Steve Sklar?
 
I'd been told by the restorer that it is different from the current standard and so not likely to be of use to students. Any idea why it was changed? Clearly some people like yourself are still happy with the old system - obviously my Uncle was one of them.
 
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