Dear Mr. Friedland:
A Selmer Signet clarinet (USA – wooden) was donated to my school district by a woman who began her teaching career in 1949. The serial number is 8912,and I can’t find on any website about Signet’s with serial numbers that low.The serial number list on the Selmer site appears to be for saxophones. Do the numbers for Saxes and Clarinets reflect the same years of manufacturing? If so, then this clarinet would have been made in the late 20’s, and Signets were not manufactured until the 40’s, according to several different internet sites about the history of Selmer USA.Can you help me identify the year this clarinet was made?Thanks for your help!
Clarinets and saxophones have different numbers.(All Selmer Signets were made from wood).I was asked recently to trace another Signet with an earlier number and found that it was made in approximately 1941. That was the year that the US entered into the second World War and I thought that production wold have been curtailed during that time within the US and certainly in France. Your clarinet was made in approximately 1946 or 47. Having said that, I must suggest to you that clarinets of that particular make and place of manufacture garner no further value with age. They do not appreciate as in the case of string instruments, (of only certain makes)and the only clarinets that retain any worth(and that is minimal despite todays high cost for new instruments,) are those made in France, that it to say in your case, the Selmer Paris instruments. I would say that the value would be mostly intrinsic.I know that you didn’t ask that specifically, however many do, and I thought it may be of interest to you, if not other readers. As far as playability is concerned, it depends upon the condition of both the original instrument and/or its restored playability.