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Messages - Kentuckienne

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I have an older Couesnon clarinet with a PM barrel which is really too small for it. It fits on the first section with difficulty and I would like to have the correct barrel for my clarinet. You can see pictures of my "married" Couesnon here:,1526.0.html#msg11374

The Brilliant barrel I have seems to be in good condition, dark wood with a small triangle of lighter wood (sapwood?).

I already don't want to part with my clarinet, but I believe it's best for both of us. I am short enough of time that I know I won't be playing it any more. At some point I have to accept that I can't live all possible lives. My goal is to learn as much about it as I can so that I can describe it properly, and then let it go.

I searched for a replacement Couesnon barrel, but couldn't find one. The PM Brilliant barrel that I have is a very tight fit for the clarinet so I don't want to put it on again. I'll post in this forum to see if there is one for sale or trade, but are there any other places I could look?

I looked at the 1912 catalog link, and the clarinet on the right in the drawing of four - the 27C, Model BO - is very similar to mine, except that one does not seem to have the metal band on the bell. In the first part of the catalog is a section for Monopole instruments.There is a clarinet on page 43 that looks identical to mine including the metal band on the bell, and Monopole seems to have also been a Model 27 clarinet. But mine doesn't say Monopole on it anywhere.

Does anyone know about historical marks used by Couesnon? Mine has an oval, with what seems to be an anchor inside with a C to either side of the anchor. It has the ribbon "Exposition 1900" mark also, and the oval with "Couesnon & Cie A Paris" inside. I could probably date it better using the marks, if I had more information about when they began and stopped using the various ones.

Windsong, you know so much about clarinets! I'm very grateful to you for taking time to look at my little lost clarinet. I'm off now to do more Couesnon research. I see the company is still in business, so I will write to them and see if I can get any more information about the historical production. In the meantime, I did get an interesting nugget from their web page. You know how the stamp on the clarinet says "Member of the Jury"? Here's why!

"1900: At the Paris World Fair. Couesnon World Leader can not participate as a competitor, the latter having won all the titles at previous universal exhibitions.It is classified standout.Il will be jury and will nevertheless benefit from the event to propose new models ever more innovative and to support its reputation and its position as world leader."

Last pics:

Additional photos of the keys.

As for the lower joint's LH pinky keys... the upper keys n(E and F#?) pivot on a single post, and the lower key (F?) has a longer rod between two posts.

The RH index trill keys you mean the pinky keys on the lower section? G# and F share three posts, F# and E each have two posts. I completely forget what the keys are, so I had to look up a chart! If I got something wrong, I hope the photos will show the answer. I haven't played the instrument since 1982. I'll never get that first chair back now.

Interesting! Thanks for taking the time to respond. I'm happy to hear old faithful has some value, as I really do want it to go someplace where it will be appreciated  and played. Here are some photos - some overexposed in Photoshop to show shadow details. I looked for serial numbers without much luck. I found what looks like B flat (don't have a flat key on this keyboard) near the top edge of both sections, with something underneath that I can't make out. It's either a larger "ZZ" or a small "97" over a small "12" ... the lower section's stamp looks more like a large "12" or "13" under the B flat sign. I found the letter N stamped under the top post of the lower section, and the word "FRANCE" on the underside of the both sections at the very top.

So it might be rosewood? It's very black, totally black, fine grained wood. The barrel I believe is probably rosewood as it has a lighter brown streak near the base.

Photos of bridge keys (not sure what you need to see) attached. I can only attach four photos per post so will put up a second post with more pics.

Greetings all ... I finally realized I'm not going to be playing my old clarinet any more. I bought it in 1980 in Boston, and at the time I thought had a wonderful sweet tone and I enjoyed playing it very much. It was the first decent clarinet I owned, so I was no expert (and still am no expert) so my opinion means .. not much. I decided I'd put it up for sale because it deserves to be played, but I'm not sure how I should describe it. I don't want to misrepresent it.

It's in a Leblanc case. The bell is ebonite/hard rubber, marked "Couesnon & Cie A Paris" and "Exposition Universelle de Paris 1900, Hors membre con cours"? Sorry, it's hard to read. The barrel is marked "Brilliante Model, Penzel-Mueller Long Island City NY" and the mouthpiece is unmarked and seems plastic. The other sections are both marked Couesnon & Cie A Paris. The barrel has a lighter color streak in the dark wood, the other sections are deep black wood. Is that ebony, or "grenadilla" wood? The keys have a bright plating that polishes up nice - I shined it just a little bit and oiled the wood. One of the ferrules looks like brass with the silver plating worn off.

I bought it from the owner of a musical instrument store, and he said it was his own personal clarinet, so maybe he put the various bits together himself. What would be the best way to find a new owner? Is it valuable enough to sell on an auction site? If not, is it still a decent enough clarinet to donate to a student?

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