Sax Appeal - The Selmer MarkVI


Posted in: Clocks, Scientific & Musical Instruments
Posted on: 03 May 2016
Sax Appeal - The Selmer MarkVI McTear’s were happy to offer a truly iconic instrument in this month’s Clocks, Scientific and Musical Instruments Auction. Lot 747 was a 1970 Selmer Mark VI tenor saxophone which hit all the right notes when it went under the hammer at £2,800.

The Selmer Mark VI was first produced in 1954 and was manufactured up until 1974 before the introduction of the Mark VII. All Mark VI Selmers were manufactured in France and then shipped, unassembled, all over the world. The respective markets would then assemble and engrave the instruments to their own taste. Interestingly, this means that it is often possible to identify the country of assembly by looking at the style of engraving on the bell.

Often described as “the Rolls Royce of saxes”, the Mark VI quickly became the instrument of choice for legendary saxophonists such as Benny Carter and Coleman Hawkins. Known for its unique tone and responsiveness, it was in the keywork that the Mark VI really made waves. Such was the quality in terms of craftsmanship and layout of the keys in the Mark VI that, with only minor tweaks, the system has been replicated in almost every saxophone built since. The Mark VI evolved during its twenty year life-span but the basics stayed the same and, though modern saxes may be arguably superior in individual features, the Selmer Mark VI is still regarded by many as the best all round sax ever made.  


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