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Author Topic: Penzel Mueller Serial Time line  (Read 19994 times)

Offline Silversorcerer

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Re: Penzel Mueller Serial Time line
« Reply #105 on: September 10, 2017, 10:07:31 AM »

I have acquired a clarinet and while researching I came across this website.  I am trying to find out info on the clarinet as well as give you the info to add to your timeline.

The Clarinet Info:

Serial#:  7688. (possibly)
LP
B

This is what I was able to make out.

I am a guitar player, so I do not know much about this.

Your help and feedback would be much appreciated.


If that is the correct serial, it fits with LP B models, and would have been made during the mid-late 1920s. Of course it could be an Albert or a Boehm system, might have some other features that are not standard that were being made at that time that would be interesting to see. I would also like to see some photos. You can cover all sides of the instrument with just 3 photos if you lay the joints side by side and rotate the joints as you take the photos. Just shoot them straight on, boring and documentary style, no dramatic angles. If you can get a sharp close up of the serial, sometimes numbers that are difficult to see with the eye are better revealed by a camera.

Right around that serial you have, there was a change in the key work from an offset front register port to a rear register port. I am still wondering if this was an abrupt change or if it was something that was done both ways for a while. The more examples we see from the mid to late 20's, the closer we can pin point when that detail was changed. Eventually all the makers switched to rear register ports (except the German system makers). I'm interested in knowing if Penzel Mueller was leading or trailing in that trend.
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Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Re: Penzel Mueller Serial Time line
« Reply #106 on: September 10, 2017, 03:25:27 PM »
Thanks for your comments about the shift from front register to rear register.
I think this is a good time to showcase one of my rarest clarinets, a Penzel Mueller full Boehm A.

The register key here is a little bit to the side, and is not directly in the front as was common in the early days. I wonder if this is a transitional design or something.
Serial number is a fairly low 6839.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2017, 03:27:09 PM by DaveLeBlanc »
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Offline noneyet

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Re: Penzel Mueller Serial Time line
« Reply #107 on: October 09, 2017, 09:09:34 PM »
Here is a magazine ad featured on an ebay auction, in case y'all didn't get to see it
Saving clarinets from becoming lamps, one instrument at a time. Only on The Clarinet Pages. :)

Offline woodwindfanatic

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Re: Penzel Mueller Serial Time line
« Reply #108 on: March 15, 2018, 11:19:31 AM »
I just recently acquired another Penzel-Mueller clarinet, this time in the Albert system (my go-to clarinet is a Brilliante, ser. no. M4047, in the Boehm system), that has the following interesting and unusual features:
     1)   The barrel and both keyed joints are marked with the eagle with the downturned wings, with an oval underneath.  At the upper part of the oval it is marked G.L. Penzel, at the lower part is is marked New York, and straight across in the center of the oval it is marked Mueller in a different script.  The three parts are also marked with a B, but there are no markings relating to pitch, such as HP or LP.  The bell is unmarked and I believe it was made by someone other than Penzel-Mueller;
     2)   There is no serial number anywhere on the instrument;
     3)   The key rollers are coral colored, as opposed to the black rollers typically seen on Penzel-Mueller Albert system clarinets;
     4)   The wood of the barrel and keyed joints appears to be rosewood- at any rate, it has a color, figure and grain that I have never seen with grenadilla.
I was told by the seller that her grandfather played this clarinet in a vaudeville band in the era before World War I.  Based on this information and the characteristics above, I am thinking this is a late 19th century instrument, possibly one of the very first Penzel-Muellers.  I would welcome anyone's thoughts on the matter.

Offline Windsong

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Re: Penzel Mueller Serial Time line
« Reply #109 on: March 15, 2018, 04:10:21 PM »
I am no P-M expert, but based upon what I'm hearing, and what I know of conventional "cautious" knowledge on Gustav Penzel and Edward Mueller (Iwan Müller's grandson), I do not believe your clarinet is quite as old as you have been led to believe.  Details are sketchy about the aforementioned men's affiliation with one another prior to 1920, but it is known that while both were German immigrants, they first joined forces whilst living in France.  It would seem that most historians on the matter decisively conclude that these gents did not begin making clarinets in New York until at least 1920.  The fact that yours is marked "New York" is testament to the notion that it was not their first collaborative effort, though it may have been one of their first on this side of the pond.  SilverSorcerer lists date stamp of June 1927 for S/N 9934--an Albert, so it seems yours might well be from 1920, or shortly thereafter.  We'd love to see photos so we can examine the keywork, when you are able.
In any event, your new clarinet sounds special, and probably quite valuable--both physically and intrinsically.
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Offline woodwindfanatic

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Re: Penzel Mueller Serial Time line
« Reply #110 on: March 15, 2018, 04:53:06 PM »
Thank you for your input Windsong!  As soon as I can figure out how to post some decent photos (I am new to this website, but an old guy in everything else), I will do so.

Offline Windsong

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Re: Penzel Mueller Serial Time line
« Reply #111 on: March 15, 2018, 08:46:45 PM »
After more research this evening, I can honestly say that seldom have I seen such conflicting information on one manufacturer from the pseudo-modern area on the interwebs, and I will not further complicate things by attempting to interpret and sift through unsubstantiated edicts.
Several websites (one, a German site--even) document Gustav Ludwig Penzel's lifespan as 1855/1856-1920.  If this is correct, unless his name was added to New York-made clarinets posthumously, Penzel and Mueller would have had to begin U.S.-based collaboration prior to 1920, and the 1899 date gains traction.   It appears you have your work cut out for you, regarding the determination of a legitimate date, and it may involve knowing or learning German, or getting cozy with translation websites.
Can't wait to see photos.  Perhaps we can begin to compare keywork on your clarinet, and develop a timeframe based upon that.
It has been said that the early P-M clarinets were more German in their keywork than conventionally Albert, and this may unveil some of the mystery surrounding the poorly documented early years.
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