I recently had a problem with a flugel horn case that went mouldy and in my search for a replacement i came across an instrument repairer who had a number of vintage instruments for sale. This included a 19A and 23A Selmers in the balanced configuration. These had been traded in at some point in the past, but he had hung onto them because they were so unusual. The 23A was in poorer condition and in need of a valve job, but the 19A was in its original case and had been well played, but well looked after. There are a few tiny dents (the usual music stand dings) but barely noticeable. The serial number dates it to 1952, but valve compression is practically as it was when new. I know who owned the instrument originally and it may have been purchased new in the USA.
The CaseThis is a zip up case with a badge that says Selmer USA on it. A totally faded lable inside turns out to say "Chesterfield patent" on it when I took a photo and adjusted the brightness and contrast on it.
It is clearly the original case, or at least made for a balanced trumpet as all the cut outs are in the correct place and there is no sign of modification.
The TrumpetThe instrument has some decorative engraving on the bell, measures to 0.450" bore size (small bore) and has 19A stamped on the receiver. There are no other markings other than the serial number and usual Selmer stamps on the bell. It has the original stop rod for changing it to the key of A. The bell is small by modern standards with a very slender profile and a reinforcing ring/garland next to the rim. The ring on the third valve slide is below the slide.
The instrument has about 75% if the lacquer remaining on the bits that are supposed to be lacquered. I am tempted to have this redone by a good restorer - as much to preserve the metal as to make it look better, but as it stands it has a lot of character.
|Selmer 19A Balanced Trumpet|
|Selmer Paris 19A|
|Stop rod for A and underslung adjustment ring.|
|Characteristic Selmer Paris pinky ring.|
|19A stamped on the receiver indicating a .450" bore, which is what it measures to.|
|Decorative engraving on the bell.|
PlayabilityIt plays more openly than I expected for such a narrow bore model and compared to 1930's pea shooter style trumpets. It has that characteristic carrying sound with not many overtones. It is not a loud instrument and won't take a huge amount of air.
The receiver is old style French which means a modern mouthpiece will not fit exactly. I may need to get a mouthpiece sleeved to fit it better as this should help with resistance and intonation.