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Discussion Starter #1
Im going to check out a 89*** mark 6 alto later today and the seller has sent me pics but I can't tell whether its a relaq or a closet horn. the case is right and looks minty and has the soloist mouthpiece with it. seller was given this with a bunch of items from a friend who passed and knows nothing about it other then he was told its worth a lot of money . Im not planning on ripping anybody off but I have to discern if it needs work and if its original . color doesn't look right to me . but i need the experts to weigh in to help me come up with a value if its original and if its a relaq
 

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It is hard to be sure from those pictures. The engraving looks good, the pearls look barely used.

It would be great to get a close up of the engraving in three places. Right on the writing on the bell. Straight on to the front of the sax. Straight on to the front of the neck. Sometimes the little cross hatch on the front of the neck gets buffed away. It may just be a coincidence that this isn’t shown!!!!

Have a look at the two brackets which hold the bottom bow in place. One has engraving. The other appears not to. That would seem unusual ( although I’m used to European engraved Selmers ).
But that may indicate some kind of repair work.
Edit re this point. It was just the light. I see in another picture it does look engraved.

The other alternative is that it has been refinished and re engraved.

Not certain either way though. I think you may need to provide better pictures here to get a firm answer.

But, the colour looks a bit light.
 

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Just remembered something else. It would be strange in such a mint looking sax, for the blue paint on the neck to be totally gone !!

Going by the look of the cork, and the pads, this has very recently been overhauled. Or at least very little played since last overhaul. Ask the question re this.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
yea seller doesn't know anything about saxes at all. I asked lots of questions and he just claimed he found this among other possessions. said as far as he knew his friend wasn't even a musician?? did all the selmers of this period have blue paint on the neck? I thought Ive seen some that did and some that didn't. but Im not an expert on these matters . I appreciate your input . I guess when I see it ill have to make a judgement...
 

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It appears to have hardly been played. Nice cherry case to match a cherry horn. Might be original pads (look for the lacquer spray around the edges). The color could be off due to photographic issues. Definitely a horn worth checking out, though I'm not an expert on the Selmer blue necks.
 

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USA distribution sometimes did not have the blue background on the logo because the horns were sent to Elkhart unfinished, and the blue frequently simply did not get done. This is a heavily-buffed/relacquered horn and has had at least one overhaul. Red bumper felts always tell a tale. The 'chain' patterns are on the front band but have been buffed almost away.
 

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“Appears to be barely played,” and seller “knows the horn is worth a lot of money,” don’t match up too well. (As a person ages, they tend to get rid of things that they don’t use. It is unlikely, but not impossible, that someone died owning this horn). A slight glimpse of the pads on the bell in photo 4 demontrated that the keys are quite off center - potential indicator of significant usage. I think there is a significant risk that this thing has been spit shined.

I own a relacquered Mark 7 and an original lacquer SBA. Based on looks, I would guess relacquer. The color is quite light compared to what I have seen in Selmers of that era (though I am not an expert by any stretch). I don’t think that the photography of the engraving is good enough to make an assessment......however, if I did rely on the photos, I would assess that it is a great relacquer job.

In originally lacquered horns, shouldn’t the engraving photograph as darker than the general patina of the horn, because the darker base metal is exposed? However for this horn, the engraving images brighter. That would lead me to believe that lacquer exists in the engraving sites.....therefore.....I assess relacquer.....albeit excellent relaquer.

On my relaquered Mark 7, the engraving is not of consistent depth as clearly some of the metal was burnished off. This one is much better.

Good luck.
 

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Well, if you determine it's not a closet horn and has been relaquered, but you like the way it plays, I wouldn't go above two grand in a private sale, cash deal. That's just me. If it somehow turns out to be original, then all bets are off... and you're in crazy town money.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well I went to the bank and got the money but after reading 1saxmans post I canceled so you guys either saved me a lot of money or cost me a lot of money lol the seller was firm and when I told him we suspect it was a relaq he texts me back 20 minutes later asking how much he should charge for a relaq.... I know I would have bought it and been scared to play it because it was so nice so I probably would have tried to flip it only to have the experts point out problems that I never noticed so with that said no harm no foul seller told me he still might offer it to me for a better price so we’ll see thank you guys for saving me money maybe ....lol
 

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My gut feeling is that is original, but better photos would have been useful. There is something odd about the light and focus which (I think) flatters it. Obviously better focus would reveal more, the lighting causes a sort of nice looking more matt finish that possibly irons out defects while still giving the impression of sharpness.

Having said that the lack of blue paint is something to consider.

However it's an alto so the money is not so big. As a good relater it still has better value than a crap relacqer, but I wouldn't pay much more than 3000 based on those pics and knowing what MKVI altos go for around here.
 

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Well I went to the bank and got the money but after reading 1saxmans post I canceled so you guys either saved me a lot of money or cost me a lot of money lol the seller was firm and when I told him we suspect it was a relaq he texts me back 20 minutes later asking how much he should charge for a relaq.... I know I would have bought it and been scared to play it because it was so nice so I probably would have tried to flip it only to have the experts point out problems that I never noticed so with that said no harm no foul seller told me he still might offer it to me for a better price so we’ll see thank you guys for saving me money maybe ....lol
If he is willing to do a deal, consider taking a drive and trying to play it. You really can’t tell much about playability from photos. I am very happy with my relaquered Selmer tenor...WOW....so if you are in the market for a new Alto, I wouldn’t stay away.....just don’t pay too much.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
He called me again to look at it I’ll go tomorrow. I’ve got mixed opinions some think original some think relq. The case tells me it maybe original . I’ve showed the pics to others that think it’s original so I don’t know . If I buy it it will be an investment because I all ready have lots of great Selmer altos and other brands this one looks like a collector horn to me. Yes relaquered horns can play great I agree but I’m only buying if I think it’s original
 

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looks like original to me,but one sometimes even find it hard to know even when in the hand.
go check it out,cause its a perfect vintage and looks like its super clean!
good luck.
 

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Hello,
for me it looks like re-lacquer, expc. when I compare it with photos like this
https://www.legendary-saxophones.com/saxophones/mark-vi-232xxx-hoch-f/
On the picture you can see the difference on the engraving which is much darker

The missing blue filling on the neck seems ok to me because I have seen other bows without the filling before.

BR
Juergen
this mark6 is a completely different era,so lacquers and engravings would be different completely.
and yes,i have seen original necks with and without the blue.
 

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I have to say that 'seller doesn't know anything about saxes at all. I asked lots of questions and he just claimed he found this among other possessions' sounds suspicious to me, but he could be honest. However, to me it looks as though it's not original. In fact, apart from the actual brass I strongly suspect that there isn't anything original about it. I think it's been completely refinished. It has, at least, got a brand new neck cork, felts and pads, and for a horn to have been played enough to need that kind of overhaul but still not have lost any lacquer whatsoever, or show any signs of wear at all is just about impossible. Having said that, the photos are so poor that it's really hard to tell for sure. I'd ask for some better photos (it would be hard to take worse ones, frankly) before you drive to see it. If the seller is genuine they won't mind. Good luck!

PS I don't think that you can draw any conclusions from the lack of blue paint in the 'S' because, as others have said, some had it and some didn't.
 

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Well, if you determine it's not a closet horn and has been relaquered, but you like the way it plays, I wouldn't go above two grand in a private sale, cash deal. That's just me. If it somehow turns out to be original, then all bets are off... and you're in crazy town money.
My gut feeling is that is original, but better photos would have been useful. There is something odd about the light and focus which (I think) flatters it. Obviously better focus would reveal more, the lighting causes a sort of nice looking more matt finish that possibly irons out defects while still giving the impression of sharpness.

Having said that the lack of blue paint is something to consider.

However it's an alto so the money is not so big. As a good relater it still has better value than a crap relacqer, but I wouldn't pay much more than 3000 based on those pics and knowing what MKVI altos go for around here.
Where are you guys finding 5-digit Mark VI's for $2,000 - $3,000 (relacquer notwithstanding)? On eBay a horn like this would go for no less than $4,000 - $4,200, probably substantially more due to its condition. If this was an original lacquer it would go for at least $6,000.

I just recently sold my presumed relacquered late 5-digit VI for $4,800 on eBay (the same horn that was the subject of this thread: https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showt...quot-famous-quot-player&p=3783850#post3783850). I had turned down over a dozen offers ranging from $4,000 to $4,600. Even the crappy later serial numbered ones sell for upwards of $3,500.

Cases in point: this one sold for $4,150. If the link takes you to an alternative listing (since the original listing ended some time ago), just click on the link on the landing page that takes you to the original listing.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Selmer-Mar...=true&nordt=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557

This one is a 6-digit one and the description clearly states that it's a relacquered horn that will need repadding in the near future (in addition to a few other flaws), and yet it sold for $3,800 on open auction:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-19...=true&nordt=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557

I must be doing something very wrong if I'm missing out on all these deals for Mark VI's at half to 2/3 of the market prices.
 
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