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This is a unique Selmer Basset Horn in Grenadilla wood, to low C. This instrument was originally owned by Edward [Ted] Planas, for many years a Selmer agent in the UK. But Ted was, of course, so much more than that. He was the UK's leading clarinet acoustician and specialist maker, responsible for so many designs, including the Selmer Basset clarinet extension, and custom work for most of the top UK players. His own Basset horn features a brilliant re-thinking of the lower note key work touchpieces: There are alternative fingerings for all the lowest pitches from, Eb-C, excepting Db, which is fingered by the RH little finger only. Low D has 3 alternatives, low Eb & C have 2. In addition, Ted has added a useful articulated mechanism for C#/G#.
After Ted's death the instrument was bought by Julia Rayson, who used it both orchestrally, and, as a soloist, in the Mendelssohn Concert Pieces. She felt that the brilliance of Ted's design, was that in the standard repertoire, fingering alternatives existed for all fast low passage work, so that all sections could be played with confidence. The Selmer design of Basset Horn differs radically from that of Buffet and Leblanc in that it is basically an extended Bb instrument. Thus it can be played with your usual Bb clarinet m'piece. Buffet and Leblanc Basset Horn designs are essentially modified Alto clarinets.
This instrument is in very good condition. The Nickel Silver plated keywork is excellent and shows only slight wear, mainly to the custom keys which have been added. There are two crooks, both in excellent condition, one for use at A=440 the other A=442. The bell shows no damage, only light surface scratches through assembly. The Bassset Horn has leather pads throughout in very good condition, [ a couple are cork] the key work is also well regulated, with no play or slackness in the mechanism: This instrument will play perfectly out of the box. The wood is in overall excellent condition with no cracks or repairs. Selmer is generally held to be the finest manufacturer in the world of harmony clarinets, and this instrument would retail today new for 9700. The matching Selmer serial nos. are X1959 which dates to 1972. The m'piece is a Selmer E in excellent condition.