Music to our ears: Saxophone donated to charity shop valued at £1,000

Kevin Grimes, a driver for Age UK Norfolk, with the Conn-Selmer saxophone

Dereham charity shop Age UK Norfolk was donated a saxophone worth in the region of £1,000. Pictured is Kevin Grimes, who collected the instrument - Credit: Brittany Woodman

A Dereham charity shop is playing all right notes after discovering a donated saxophone could be worth a four-figure sum. 

Staff at the Age UK Norfolk store off Yaxham Road, Dereham, were left stunned after being told they might have a valuable item on their hands. 

The Conn-Selmer saxophone donated to Age UK Norfolk's Dereham charity shop

The Conn-Selmer saxophone donated to Age UK Norfolk's Dereham charity shop - Credit: Brittany Woodman

The sax was collected among a host of other instruments from a house in Norwich earlier this week. 

And, after posting some images of the woodwind acquisition on social media, Age UK Norfolk's commercial manager, Michaela De'Ath, was informed they had struck gold. 

 "One of our drivers went out to a property in Norwich and there was a saxophone, guitar and electronic drum kit," said Miss De'Ath. 

"Obviously when we got the sax back to the shop we did a bit of research on it, because we weren't 100pc sure what we had. None of us really had a clue!"

Amanda Bell and Kevin Grimes, from Age UK Norfolk's Dereham store, with the donated saxophone

Amanda Bell and Kevin Grimes, from Age UK Norfolk's Dereham store, with the donated saxophone - Credit: Brittany Woodman

Amanda Bell, shop manager in Dereham, added: "Occasionally we do get something a bit different - what we call niche items. 

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"But it happens very, very rarely."

On Wednesday (October 20), a pair of instrument specialists examined the impressive brassware and revealed the saxophone was a pre-1970s Conn-Selmer.

Staff were told it was in "very good condition" and had likely not been played since the 1990s. 

Amanda Bell, shop manager at Age UK Norfolk's Dereham store, with the donated saxophone

Amanda Bell, shop manager at Age UK Norfolk's Dereham store, with the donated saxophone - Credit: Brittany Woodman

The experts concluded that the Conn-Selmer had originally been bought from a music shop in London, demonstrated by an engraving, and could fetch in the region of £1,000 after being serviced - music to the charity's ears. 

How or why the sax was donated remains a mystery, but a decision will be taken on whether to sell it at auction or on Age UK Norfolk's eBay page.

"As donations go, it's absolutely crazy for just one thing," said Mrs De'Ath.

"We are so grateful and thankful for everything that comes through the door. All it takes is one item and it can benefit the charity so much.

Age UK Norfolk's charity shop on Yaxham Road in Dereham

Age UK Norfolk's charity shop on Yaxham Road in Dereham - Credit: Brittany Woodman

"We obviously expect donations, but to get something like this - which is so niche and so valuable - is a whole different kettle of fish. 

"Every penny we raise goes towards helping older people and beating loneliness in Norfolk, which we know is massive after Covid."

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