” We found a Selmer Clarinet in our barn”

     We found a Selmer Clarinet in our barn.  I looked up the number on the Selmer website and it states it was made 1941.  The number is 30128.  Our question is how do we know what type it is (center tone, alto, etc.).  I’d like to mention one mouthpiece with the Selmer mark also has an HS with two *’s after it, the other mouthpiece has a “T” over “Goldentone” with a “3” under it.  It is also marked “Signet Special, made by Selmer, Elkhart, Indiana”.  Also, how would we go about cleaning it without causing damage or loss of value? 
    I’d appreciate any help you can provide in the matter.  Thanks!  L.


Hello L:

If the Selmer Website tells you that the instrument was made in 1941, the first idea that I would mention is that this is the year that the US entered the Second World War, marked by the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th. It is first of all, possible that 1941 was not the year of manufacture. In addition , the clarinet is a model made in the USA. If not, it will  state,” made in France”, something to look for immediately. 
The serial numbers of the early US made Selmers are extremely vague, mostly based on the information reported by owners, 1941 being very early in production of the US made clarinets marked Selmer. Personally I have never seen a US Selmer  of that vintage. In addition, I would ask you for a photo of the instrument which, if you can provide, will give me much more information, which I will foward to you.
As to type, there were none of any specific quality from that time.Do you know if it is made of wood? Again a photo will provide me with much more information. The worth of the Selmer trademark is associated mostly with those made in France. Centered Tone, Series 9, 9*, Series 10, the 10G, etc, are all instruments made in Paris and have retained considerable worth. Some US Selmers, specifically the US Omega have interesn, however the few Omegas made in France were better instruments and are categorized by as being similar to the Centered Tone model. All of these of course, depend upon the condition of the instrument.
I was a clinician for the Selmer Comany for many years, but this was before my time. Again a photograph will help in the identification of the instrument. The mouthpieces that are with the instrument may or may not have come with the instrument initially and have no specific value presently. The HS** means that the mouthpiece was made in Paris, made of ebonite and can be cleaned with soap and  warm water, however the facing is what is crucial, which the cleaning will not harm, but surely do not use any abrasive cleaner on any mouthpiece.
So finally, finding your Selmer in a barn may have some clue as to its value, however without a photograph it would be difficult to provide you with more information.
Good luck, Sherman     


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