Author Topic: Is it a Thibouville? Is it a Buffet?  (Read 73 times)

Offline modernicus

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 323
    • View Profile
Is it a Thibouville? Is it a Buffet?
« on: October 01, 2019, 10:19:44 AM »
Stop, you're both right!  :)
https://www.ebay.fr/itm/ANCIENNE-CLARINETTE-THIBOUVILLE-BUFFET-buffet-crampon-jtl/143392033113?pageci=d117bf8b-e8ae-4860-a6cc-7a0f70fe5be2#vi__app-cvip-panel
Just won the auction for this bad boy.  This is a clone of the one in the Shackelton Collection. https://collections.ed.ac.uk/mimed/record/17940?highlight=Thibouville+buffet
Good enough for Shack', good enough for me!  Now, which Thibouville and which Buffet?  That's the question!  I speculate the Buffet was Loius-Auguste Buffet, the son of Auguste Buffet jeune
(also named Loius-Auguste).  A.B. jeune died in 1864, the same year his son L.A.B. took over his workshop and coinciding with the year that Thib.-Buffet ceased operations, according to Hoeprich.  I would think that L.A.B. would have been the most likely Buffet to collaborate based on the fact that his father was known as the Boehm clarinet co-inventor with his own workshop, while his uncle was carrying on the family business with Buffet Crampon.  On thibouville.com, it is explained that around the exact time same time period, there was a Thibouville family feud, where Nicholas Eugene went rogue from father Martin and brother Martin Denis.  Martin Thibouville was already established in Paris and LaCouture with Nicholas Eugene apparently taking over the Paris workshop as part of the feud/lawsuit.  Martin and Martin Denis then opened a new location in Paris two doors down!  N. Eugene then left Paris for Ivry la Bataille in 1855 and then established a partnership with Noblet jeune by 1858.  With Thibouville-Buffet being established 1857 (again, according to Hoeprich), which Thibouville branch was the collaborator here?  Given the weak position, I would think Eugene, but him leaving Paris and partnering with a La Couture based Noblet, it makes me skeptical...was it an attempt to re-establish himself in Paris to some degree?  Or was a different line of Thibouvilles involved (recall, also, the successful Jerome Thibouville, of the same family)  What say you guys? 8)
« Last Edit: October 01, 2019, 10:31:00 AM by modernicus »
If you ain't got 'em, that's why you need 'em...

Offline Tinker73

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 118
    • View Profile
Re: Is it a Thibouville? Is it a Buffet?
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2019, 10:26:35 AM »
Very unique thumb rest design for the period, you might try matching that up to something else from the period.  Also the upper key guide appears to be unique with the almost perfect rounded top.  If you can narrow these features down to a certain maker of the time period it may shed some light on to which branches of each family you are looking at.

Looks like you got a pretty nice example from France, looks like a lot of the ones that I have gotten from France in that the wood is terribly dried out. 
All posts intended for members and visitors to The Clarinet Pages Forum.

Offline DaveLeBlanc

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2863
  • Clarinet-ing since 2012
    • View Profile
    • Watson Musical
Re: Is it a Thibouville? Is it a Buffet?
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2019, 12:03:32 PM »
Nice! Condition is a bit rough but it should buff out like a champ.

And yes, very odd thumbrest. I don't think I've seen another like it
David Watson of the original The Clarinet Pages

Offline modernicus

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 323
    • View Profile
Re: Is it a Thibouville? Is it a Buffet?
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2019, 12:54:09 PM »
Good observations guys.  I thought the thumbrest was more anachronistic than anything, since I know I've seen that style on some various boxwood 19th century clarinets, of I recall correctly.  However, I shall keep a closer eye open from this point for any clues... Contrastingly, some of the other features are quite advanced for the era, such as the square edged pad cups, which are the earliest I can find identified by any authority (falling in the 1857-1864 timeframe).  The rounded trill guide is indeed interesting too, seemingly prefiguring the shift in the industry by about 100 years... 8). I wish Buffet Crampon knew anything about their older instruments, considering they're still around.  This would help enormously with dating early Boehm clarinet characteristics, but alas, they don't seem to have a clue when I've contacted them.  They kept asking about serial numbers and I was like "You guys didn't even have serials until 1885, I'm talking 1850s, not 1950s!" ::). But I digress-indeed this clarinet looks very dry.  I don't know if France the geography has anything to do with it, but perhaps the just the age?  A couple I've gotten from there were terribly dry, some have been incredibly preserved, so hard to tell.  Maybe some in dry southern French attic for 100 years with no case, some in more temperate Northern France in a closet or trunk in their cases...
If you ain't got 'em, that's why you need 'em...

Offline Dibbs

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 76
    • View Profile
Re: Is it a Thibouville? Is it a Buffet?
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2019, 06:05:01 AM »
Look at the wild grain on the back of the lower joint.


Offline modernicus

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 323
    • View Profile
Re: Is it a Thibouville? Is it a Buffet?
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2019, 08:14:44 AM »
Yeah, they probably should have used a more select piece of wood...
If you ain't got 'em, that's why you need 'em...

Offline modernicus

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 323
    • View Profile
Re: Is it a Thibouville? Is it a Buffet?
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2019, 02:31:33 PM »
Oh, and I checked my very worn C that I can just barely find any trace of a logo that I believe is a Eugene Thibouville, and it has a rounded trill key guide very similar to this, however, it is probably from his later period of self labeled instruments between 1887-1893.  The thumbrest is different, but still unusual as it has an oval for the mounting plate instead of the "peanut" shape as favored by other makers of that era.  And another thing, now that I dug out my Hoeprich book and he lists Eugene Thibouville as active in Paris 1856-1862...so a bit different from the other source.  That would fit right about the correct timeframe.
If you ain't got 'em, that's why you need 'em...

Offline modernicus

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 323
    • View Profile
Re: Is it a Thibouville? Is it a Buffet?
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2019, 12:47:21 PM »
Just found a pic of an 1850s or so Eugene Thibouville and it has a very similar thumbrest that looks to be screwed into the body and instead of a "plate" with screws holding it to the body, so with the rounded trill key guide and thumbrest, I'd most strongly lean to the Thibouville in this duo to be Eugene.  Will try to post a pic.
If you ain't got 'em, that's why you need 'em...