Selmer C-Melody Tenor Saxophone

The Henri Selmer Company of Paris, France manufactured this Radio Improved Selmer Super Sax, around 1935. This C-melody tenor saxophone was sold by C.G. Conn, of Elkhart, Indiana, the exclusive distributor of Selmer’s Paris products in the United States. James E. Frew played this saxophone during the early 20th century. His family donated it to the museum in 1979 as an example of a saxophone widely available in early 20th century America. According to Selmer, the Super Sax was designed to improve studio recording and live radio performances. It was tuned to the key of C, enabling the amateur player to play standard sheet music, without having to transpose in the keys of B-flat or E-flat, like most saxophones.

The saxophone is decorated with engraved floral scrollwork and is inscribed “Radio Improved Henri Selmer Paris [Signature](H. Selmer) 4 Place Dancourt Pari. No. 19513 Sole Agents US & CAN [Logo](C.G. Conn, Ltd. Elkhart, IN) REG US Pat. Off. Made in France. SSS.”
Currently not on view
Conn, Ltd., C.G.
C. G. Conn Ltd.
place made
United States: Indiana, Elkhart
saxophone: 22 in x 8 3/4 in x 5 1/8 in; 55.88 cm x 22.225 cm x 13.0175 cm
neck: 9 in x 3 1/4 in x 1 7/16 in; 22.86 cm x 8.255 cm x 3.65125 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of James E. Frew family
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Musical Instruments
America on the Move
Music & Musical Instruments
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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