News & Insights

Two Rare, Outstanding Saxophones for Auction

16th January 2024.

Two outstanding 1950s saxophones are to be included in the Scientific and Musical Instruments Sale on 31st January, with each being sold with an estimate of £3,000-4,000 plus buyer’s premium.


The saxophones are part of a small collection of musical instruments in the sale, which belonged to the late Alan W. W. Fenny, a successful businessman from the North East who was once the largest employer in Stockton-on-Tees. Music was of great importance to Mr Fenny throughout his life, from playing in a band whilst serving as a pilot in the RAF, to playing with the Haverton Hill Silver Band and the Cleveland Pipes and Drums. The saxophones were purchased at Boosey & Hawkes Ltd in London, shortly after his marriage.

The Alto and the Tenor Saxophones are prime examples of the Selmer Mark VI, long considered to be the gold standard of saxophones which were played by the likes of John Coltrane, Kenny G, Stan Getz, and Sonny Rollins. Selmer, a French musical instrument maker, was established in the late 19th century and remains a thriving business today. They began making saxophones in 1922, and by 1950 they had mastered the art. At a high point for Jazz and the saxophone, they released their legendary Mark VI, which was in production from 1954 to 1974 and was renowned as the most ergonomically designed in terms of hand and key positioning. It set the benchmark for the instrument and was copied by numerous other instrument makers.

The two present examples date from 1955, a golden era of handmade instruments, and are sold with accompanying original invoices and documentation. In excellent condition, these desirable early models were made shortly after the production of the Mark VI began, and they exhibit the rich honey coloured original lacquer, rather than the clear lacquer found on later models.


View Sale Details

< Back to News