This is a very rare and possibly one of a kind instrument: Selmer Paris Balanced Action alto saxophone in perma-gold finsih, serial number 24795. It is fresh out of our shop with a brand overhaul featuring new pads and key materials.
Perma-gold involved plating the sax in zinc, and then applying the dichromate finish. It looks like gold plate, but as you can see in the photos, it ended up being much more fragile than true gold plating, and easily comes off over time. SML used this finish a lot, and I've heard of very early vintage Selmer horns having it as an option too (like in the Super Series/Cigar Cutter era). I've never seen nor heard of a Balanced Action with it, so I'm torn on if this is original or not. It certainly looks original, because the engraving is absolutely perfect, and everything looks right. If it's not original, it's the best after-factory job I've ever seen. Unfortunately there isn't much of the perma-gold finish left, and most of the horn shows the zinc plating throughout, with wear in the usual spots (octave key, thumbrest, and a couple touch points).
Outside of the cosmetic wear to the finish the alto is in tremendous condition. There was previously some small dings removed along the lower bow but nothing too serious. There is two solder repairs. One of the guard foots to the low C key guard as well as the neck strap ring. The ring was “turned around” after it started to wear through. Unfortunately the horn does not have its original neck, which was lost at some point. It has been matched with an original lacquer, same-era Balanced Action neck, which is in excellent shape, and has never been pulled down.
This alto was very recently professionally overhauled in the Saxquest shop. It is now in perfect playing condition with a new set of leather Valentino pads, brown plastic resonators as well as new corks, felts and springs. This alto was previously owned by a good serious player, who added some bonuses. There are some Oleg risers on the palm keys and side E, as well as a heavy mass neck screw. The risers in particular make this vintage horn feel much more comfortable if you are more used to modern ergonomics. The Balanced Action feels comfortable under the fingers with ultra fluid key work. It plays with a fast and free blowing response to air flow. Definitely a fun and very colorful horn to play. It is not something to go after if you are looking for the same control that you will find in a modern Selmer but is perfect if you are looking for a classic feel and sound.