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These are an ultra rare pair of Selmer Paris, Marchi System clarinets, which are a commission sale for Clarinets Direct. Selmer have made instruments with extremely short production runs: Clarinets Direct recently sold a plateau Selmer C clarinet, which was one of only three ever made. The Marchi system is comparable, as it is probably one of the rarest production line clarinets ever manufactured: Some sources state that only 83 Marchi system instruments were made. These instruments were a special order from Selmer. Indeed the Bb, which is unstamped, but with serial number, was either a prototype, or according to the seller, kept in the Selmer showroom for prospective clients to play test. For those unfamiliar with the Marchi, a fingering chart, with instructions in French, is included. The second register key [using Marchi fingerings] makes it easy to play up to high G#, the fingering chart runs out almost an octave higher at super G, three and a half octaves above middle C! The Marchi system starts as a Full Boehm with all the extras, and then adds vents, and new touch keys to facilitate extreme high register playing. The main feature of the system allows for a second register vent, linked by double correspondence to the barrel. This actually activates two different pads from one hole, one for the initial part of the third register, [which on the Marchi system runs from G# above the stave through to C] the second smaller vent is triggered from the G/D hole and helps sound the notes from top C# on upwards.
The Bb is an earlier instrument than the A, the serial nos. are Y2622. As mentioned previously the instrument is unstamped, apart from the bell. The instrument is in mint condition. The pair were bought new from Selmer direct and never used. All pads and plating are pristine. There are two supplied barrels, of 64.3mm and 64.7mm. The original case is "as new".
The A is of later manufacture, the serial nos. are C1179. This dates to around 1984. The instrument is stamped "Marchi Series 10". The Silver plating is in pristine condition. All the pads and corks are as if it had just left the factory. There is one barrel of 66.2mm. The case, with combination locks, is brand new. Taken together these instruments represent a rare opportunity for the serious player or collector. I have only ever seen one other Marchi pair, which belonged to Edward "Ted" Planas who was for many years a main UK Selmer agent.