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This is an ultra rare and extremely desirable Selmer, Paris, Simple System clarinet specifically designed for the early 20th Century Jazz clarinettist. The tone, tuning and response of these models was far in advance of standard Simple System clarinets of the period, and they are now highly sought after by Jazz players keen to recapture an authentic Barney Bigard sound. The last owner of this clarinet is a professional player from the UK, who specialised in collecting unusual clarinets.
This Bb has German Silver keys in very good condition. And for a simple System the key work is unique: It features a LH and RH "pinky" key arrangment as found on standard Boehm system clarinets. This clarinet may well have been a special commission from Selmer. The index finger hole at the top of the upper joint is very large which has the advantage of making the F natural cross fingering in the chalumeau a usable note with decent intonation. The clarinet has fish skin pads, which are old but sealing, it has had pads replaced as necessary in our workshop. The wood is in overall good condition, for an instrument which is probably around 90 years old. There are surface marks and scratches commensurate with use. There is an old crack repair to the bottom tenon of the lower joint, see picture 4, which will be "tidied up" in our workshop. NB The photo shows the original repair, it is likely that this joint was dropped and the segment of wood has been glued back into place. The Bb has matching serial nos. K6974. The instrument most likely dates to 1930 due to the fact that the new logo is stamped, as well as "Sterling" London, who were the UK agents for Selmer at that time. The case is the original in poor condition, it still latches, but there is no handle. We can supply a replacement case for an additional 25.00. The mouthpiece is a fine sounding Selmer E in ebonite which tunes this instrument very well.