Selmer "Louis Armstrong Special" Trumpet 1932 EXTREMELY RARE - Fully Restored $2700.00



  • A bit of background on this extremely rare and unique trumpet. Many have seen the other model balanced trumpet, based on the Grand Prix design, usually marketed as the Louis Armstrong or Harry James trumpet. Although both did play that model, Louis’ version featured a size 19 lead pipe, vs. the 24 that is normally seen for sale (and was Harry James standard lead pipe). That model started selling around 1933.
    This horn, however, came just before. For about 1 year before the switch to the Grand Prix version, in 1932, Selmer launched the “Louis Armstrong Special” which is this horn. This horn was the only version that had “Louis Armstrong Special” engraved on the side of the bell piping and was designed by Selmer and Louis together. It is a ‘pea shooter’ style horn (which the Grand Prix version is not) which makes it longer than others with a small lead pipe. All in all, this horn speaks with Louis’ bright, loud, piercing playing style. Ivan Hunter, my trumpet tech always commented that this horn is the opposite of his style (he is a classical player!). I have no idea why they only made this version of the horn for about a year or less before switching to the Grand Prix that stayed around for decades, but there are very few of these around. I have come across exactly 4 in all the time I have had searches up. This one, two on eBay over the years, and the gold-plated version that King George gave Louis as a gift and is now displayed at the Louis Armstrong House in Cornora, NY (I added a photo of that one here as well for reference).
    When I bought it, about 10 years ago or so, it was a hot mess, and so I decided to fully restore it. I had the valves re-plated by Anderson (two of the three valves are original and match the numbers on the casings btw, but not with Anderson’s work, it does not matter functionally). All dent/ding, etc work was done by Ivan Hunter at Jager Brass, and re-lacquering was done by Tuck in Hudson Falls, NY. I even had Sherry Huntley restore the engraving (was slightly worn) on the “Louis Armstrong Special” engraving.
    I am not a professional player, just a home hobbyist/collector. About two years after the restoration I stopped playing trumpet, and this horn has sat in its case ever since.
    This horn plays brassy & loud, as one would expect from a sound designed in concert with Louis. It is very well suited for that “New Orleans Sound” and an amazing collector piece that can be played as well. All that said, no horn this old is perfect, or new, even with all that work. Re-lacquering is not as perfect as an original job at the factory of course but was done well and preserves the horn for decades to come. There is some lacquer wear as seen in the photos. The horn itself is designed with a VERY thin bell, to get that piercing Louis sound, and so there are some very slight ripples in the bell that will always remain, as it is just too thin to chance trying to make it “perfect”. All valves seal perfectly and have little to no wear. All slides are fitted perfectly and remove easily. I have kept this horn oiled and clean. All that said, you will not find this model in better condition, unless you steal Louis’ gold-plated version (not recommended).
    I will include the Reunion Blues case (one of the few, if not the only aftermarket case that fits this pea-shooter style horn as it is longer than standard horns, or even the other Selmer Balanced Grand Prix model, free fully insured shipping to the CONUS. International shipping to be calculated on a true cost basis for the actual value of the horn. I have tried to take many photos to show condition of the horn, no returns will be accepted as I cannot ensure shipping back will not damage the horn if done incorrectly. Since I no longer play trumpet, I have sold off most all my collection, this one I held onto the longest, but decided it is time to get it in another person’s hands. Selling off eBay and Reverb first at a lower price, if no interest will go on eBay for a bit more to cover fees. Serious buyers only please.

    Here is a fun link of Paul McCartney playing Louis' gold plated verion of this horn RECENTLY!

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  • can anyone tell me what i did wrong uploading pictures? new here and not sure why they are not showing.



  • @motteatoj said in Selmer "Louis Armstrong Special" Trumpet 1932 EXTREMELY RARE - Fully Restored $2700.00:

    can anyone tell me what i did wrong uploading pictures? new here and not sure why they are not showing.

    With my iPad, I use the very far right icon with the arrow pointing up, go to my photo library and click the one I want to use. You do, however, need to make the file small enough. Larger files will not work. I have an app I use to change the size of the files very easily. It is called Resizer


  • Global Moderator

    That's strange. Try reposting the images, maybe 3 at a time. You can add replies with more photos.


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