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Saxophone/How do i value my father's instrument

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Question
I have my father's Selmer saxophone sitting in my closet. How do I identify the serial number and how do I get an idea of what it is worth if I decide to sell it?

Answer
Hi Luana - here is the best process I can recommend if you'd like to research this on your own.

1. The serial number for your horn is generally located at the back-bottom just below the thumb rest. Selmer also put model and serial info on the bells of their better horn, along with flowery engraving/etching.  

2. You must determine the make, model, and year of the horn in order to accurately determine value. But remember that the condition of your horn (particularly the finish even more so than the playing condition) will go a long way in determining value. Does it have all original parts?  Is the lacquer in tact (or is it chipped, scratched, dented, or oxidized? etc.) And finally, does everything work properly? is it in "playing condition" or will it need repair?

3. Once you've determined all of the above you can simply search for your make and model on e-bay and find comparable horns to help give you a ball park idea of value.

The BEST thing to do however is to go to a local, trustworthy, instrument shop where they can give your horn a hands on inspection and appraisal.  The next bets thing is to take a few pictures (bell, neck piece, serial numbers) and send them along to get that process started.  I should be able to guide you more clearly with the info you need.

Good luck!  

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Eugene Cantera

Expertise

I have been a music educator for over 25 years and have taught on many levels from young children and school agers on through to college level, professional players and senior citizens. My main areas of expertise are saxophone(s) though I have taught many instruments including, guitar, bass, piano, oboe and drums to name a few. I have also done research on horns both vintage and new.

Experience

I have been in music education for 25 years and I have written and published in the subject of professional music education.

Publications
The Dallas Morning News, Dallas Business Journal, Marketing and Higher Education Newsletter.

Education/Credentials
Bachelor of Music Education, Hartt School of Music - The University of Hartford.

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