Selmer Pennsylvania Special Baritone (1937)

The Story

This is Geoff Sansome’s story and a tribute to sax player Beechey…

‘I bought the sax, case and stand in an Oxfam shop yesterday. There was a notice in the door advertising it. Turns out it is a “Pennsylvania Special, made in Czechoslovakia, serial number 255352. When I got it home I found a repair ticket from 1988 for it with the owner’s name and address, Mr Beechey (Albert). Not only did I know him, but played in a jazz band with him and this sax 20 years ago!

We started messing about as a Dixieland band in 1992 and we asked Albert to come along. He was about 80 then and I was 30. He had a range of saxes and had done a lot of dance band work in the second world war in and around Worcestershire and Droitwich. He occasionally got his baritone out and thundered away (We called it the scud missile). Albert didn’t improvise (he needed “the dots”) so as we developed we got a different reed player. Albert died in about 2000 and I have no idea where this sax has been since then until it surfaced in the Oxfam shop. It in its original case, with a heavy duty homemade stand and numerous mouthpieces and a very old Selmer pad repair kit.’

The Instrument

This is the fifth Pennsylvania Special we’ve looked at. Its clear now that ‘Made in Czechoslovakia’ on the bell indicates Kohlert as the maker, as with the other Pennsylvania specials on this site. Geoff says about this instrument ‘It in its original case, with a heavy duty homemade stand and numerous mouthpieces and a very old Selmer pad repair kit’.

The Player

Geoff adds ‘I can blow it but need someone who plays it to have a real go sometime. I will probably sell it on if anyone is interested and would welcome any advice on the value.’ He can be contacted at sansomes@btinternet.com.

Saxifications

  • Make – Selmer (Kohlert)
  • Model – Pennsylvania Special
  • Serial Number – 255,XXX
  • Date of Manufacture – 1937
  • Place of Manufacture – Czech Republic
  • Finish – Silver plated
  • Weight – 12lb 2oz
  • Sound – Full, round
  • Ease of Blowing – Easy
  • Ease of Fingering – Good balanced keywork

Please contact us if you also have a Pennsylvania Special – especially if it’s a soprano or bass. It would be great to get a complete set reviewed here.

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