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Topics - modernicus

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All about Clarinets / New package arrived from France....
« on: May 11, 2021, 04:28:10 PM »
Oh boy, exciting times- got a shipment of packages consolidated from France, which includes another integrated barrel/brass keyed Buffet Crampon & Cie Bb (slightly different yet than the other two?!), an integrated barrel Couesnon C, and an integrated barrel Bonnel a Rennes A (Bonnel was a French instrument dealer), maybe by Gautrot (later Couesnon -they sourced wind instruments from them, apparently).  Also, a Buffet Crampon & Cie wood mouthpiece in stunning, very little used condition in its own antique little mouthpiece case also containing a tiny blackwood or ebony (cork grease?) container with screw-on lid in what looks like virtually unused condition.  Pictures to come!

Here's some pics of the latest incoming to the collection, a pre-serial number and a 1918 Buffet Crampon.  Note the Brevetes S.G.D.G on the pre-1885/no serial.  Overall fair condition with no cracks or missing keys, several bent key/screw issues to be sorted.  Barrel non-original.  Also, a 1918 Buffet Crampon in really nice condition for it's age, purchased from the family of the original owner.  It came with a period correct adjustable hard rubber barrel and an early "Meliphone" Charles Chedeville/Eugene Bercioux associated Steel Ebonite mouthpiece  It has the interlocking C.Chedeville C's monogram and the patent info relating to Bercioux's mouthpiece facing machine.  It's in fair shape, with some scratches from a ligature or cap on the side, and the functional surfaces have the most minor of marks (exaggerated in the photo), which do not seem to affect the playability at all.  These apparently can be very desirable mouthpieces on their own, but maybe more so as the starting basis for a master mouthpiece craftsman.  I only tried it a little bit after cleaning, but so far it's quite nice. Mine is a B6 facing-I'm assuming the B is for Bercioux?!  Anyway, somehow this was all associated with The Woodwind Co., hence the steel ebonite and facing nomenclature continuing under that more well known company name.  Explanation from mouthpiece craftsman Ramon Wodkowski: https://www.google.com/amp/s/ramonwodkowski.blog/2014/06/13/meliphone-and-early-20th-century-mouthpiece-production/amp/

All about Clarinets / Kohlert C, C#G# tone hole repair
« on: February 08, 2021, 10:36:33 AM »
Hey guys, here's my conundrum- on the bottom of the pic is my  Kohlert Boehm C, the top is the LaVesta HP Bb Boehm clarinetpages group effort buy from years ago, which I believe is a Kohlert stencil.  The keywork is extremely similar.  Obviously the previous knuckleheaded owners plugged up the hole on the LaVesta because the key is missing (part of the broken key was in the case).  You can see it is non-countersunk, not unusual on old clarinets.  Now on the C, the problem is that the flat spring won't stay in the channel, and slips over and blocks the pad from sealing and chews up the tone hole.  Did somebody cut this countersink later, that's why the spring channel is so rounded and shallow there?  It's so close to the hole itself, I have a hard time imagining this was original. It's even closer than than the LaVesta non-countersunk hole. I'm almost tempted to fill in the countersink with black epoxy.  Or should I just try to rebuild the edge of the channel so the spring stays in place?  I've also considered trying to file the groove a little deeper, but I'm a little skeptical of that as well.

Make and Model lists and research / "Made in Saxony"
« on: February 02, 2021, 08:56:32 AM »
Saw a clarinet for sale with difficult to make out logo, but labeled "Made in Saxony" B LP.  First of all, of course we know that there were many instrument manufacturers in operation over hundreds of years in Vogtland Saxony, in present day Germany- but why Saxony the state called out instead of any form of Germany?  I know that modern idea of Germany was formed in 1871 with the "German Empire" and included Saxony, but was the concept of low pitch/high pitch as represented by LP/HP in use by that time?  It seems like it was made for consumption in the US or other countries with origin labels mandated, with the "Made in XXX" stamp as well as the LP marking.  It's Boehm system as well- not sure if Vogtland/Saxony manufacturers were making them in 1870 or earlier, though maybe?  As I understand, Boehm system was prevelant in France around that time and starting to take off in other places and maybe they were just starting to get in on that business.  I'll have to look at Saxony's history to understand more of how or when it was considered more of it's own state vs. part of a more modern nation-state like we think of them today, since that is a fairly new idea, actually.  Oh, the clarinet looks very old on it's own, and if I had to date when I thought it was from, independent of where it was made, I would say 1880s to early 1900s just based on the aging alone.  I'd buy it, but at 1/10th the asking price- maybe.  One of those listings where the clarinet is absolutely hammered and half the pics are of the deteriorated case.

OK, now that I have Buffet Crampon & Cie clarinets from 1859, to the late 1940s, I noticed early instruments, from at least 1859 to the 1870s have "BREVETÉS S.G.D.G." (in this case, Brevetés Sans Garantie Du Gouvernement; patents without government guarantee) where I have an 1886 and a 1906 that don't have it.  I don't think it had anything to do with where it was sold, as these have come from all over the world.  Seemingly this ended around 1885, when they started with serial numbers?  I have another one on the way with the patent mark, so I want to assume this is also from the early 1860s to 1884 sometime.

All about Clarinets / 1860s-1884 Buffet Crampon, deux
« on: January 23, 2021, 09:49:33 AM »
Well, the spree has brought forth fruit- here's pics of the latest  Buffet Crampon & Cie clarinet from sometime between around 1860 and 1884 (the last year before serial numbers).  Let's say circa 1870.  Unplated brass keywork and fittings, integrated barrel.  Non-original, but very early Evette & Schaeffer bell.  Lower joint socket ring, ring key stack, and one post have been replaced with nickel silver pieces adapted to fit (soldering loose on one ring). Some hairline cracks in lower joint but nothing terrible.  A few pad cups have some dropping damage, a few keys bent a bit. Unmarked wood mouthpiece has a broken tip, of course.

Make and Model lists and research / Alexandre, Paris
« on: January 22, 2021, 02:28:54 PM »
Seemingly originally a keyboard instrument manufacturer, apparently later an instrument distributor, not sure how long their keyboard instruments persisted- nothing to do with Alexandre Selmer:


Other entries for brand marks related to this company:





Although, the woodwinds with the name are almost a combination of the logos, all caps for the Alexandre, though slightly gothicized, then the gothic/calligraphic script for the Paris is very, very similar.  I could be wrong, though, what say you guys?

All about Clarinets / Camille Thibouville clarinet
« on: January 20, 2021, 05:06:22 PM »
For those not familiar with the other thread, Camille Thibouville was a son of Eugene Thibouville (himself a son Martin Thibouville).  He was father of Eugene II and George, the Freres of Thibouville Freres.  After Eugene II was killed in WWI, George carried on and eventually collaborated with Maurice Masson in the mid 20th century.
Camille's other registered brand was apparently Thibouville in an oval Cartouche with stars above and below, this one is with his first name and seems to be much rarer, from what I've seen.  Note how fat the thumb ring is in proportion to the thumb tube.  All parts original, barrel is cracked and stuck, but everything else is in OK shape.

Found this, very cool- shows when the marks/brands were registered as well:



All about Clarinets / Well, I'm on a clarinet spree again...
« on: January 03, 2021, 12:45:52 PM »
Now that the weather is cold and the virus still rages, I have more time on my hands and luckily, have my health and livelihood intact for the moment- so I why not concentrate on playing, repairing and collecting clarinets again for a bit? I have several clarinets on the way- one is a 1860s/1870s Buffet Bb Boehm via Germany. I think it's identical to the one I have already, except it has all unplated brass keywork and fittings (I think somebody had the brass keys and posts nickel plated later on the other.) I paid too much, since it looked really dry, dirty and cracked in the pics, but hey...I'd been watching it for a long time and they finally were dropping their price.  The other is a Thibouville Freres probably from before the mid '30s (single post for LH pinkies, shared A/G# posts). I don't see these earlier Thibouville Freres very often, plus it's complete with matching branded mouthpiece
and was at a low opening bid with no competition.  Looks to be in nice, untouched condition, just dry.  From what I can find, Thibouville Freres was doing business from 1909 or 1911 to around the 40s or 50s?, after that was the collaboration with Masson and the last living Thibouville heir from that line.  Oh, BTW, I picked up a vibratory tumbler and some rouge infused walnut shells as Windy had been using, because polishing all these keys individually ain't happening...

All about Clarinets / Whoa, check out this mouthpiece!!!
« on: December 19, 2020, 08:18:11 AM »

Kaval flute mouthpiece for clarinet!  The Kaval is an end blown folk flute from the Balkans/Anatolia region. How cool is that?

All about Clarinets / Tobacco residue, ugh, almost done me in on restos...
« on: December 15, 2020, 08:10:35 PM »
Just venting here, the two clarinets I'm working on are were absolutely encrusted with tobacco residue.  Just absolutely terrible, and it's just discouraging to work on these back-to-back.  I stopped work after a horrific time with one, only to realize the other was almost as bad... Anyway, post any tips you have for cleaning something like this.  I know it's probably a bad idea, but I broke out the denatured alcohol again for these, especially to clean the tone holes and beds with  Q tips.  Probably used about 30, or maybe more on the second.  The first one, well, was a horror of which we will not speak. :-X. Let's just say the size of the tone holes was visibly and significantly changed.  Strangely enough, after cleaning, the body and keys look practically brand new, even though it's from probably the 30s or 40s.  Layer of crud was protecting it, I guess?  How did they gunk this up so badly when it looks practically unplayed?  Virtually no signs of wear whatsoever.

All about Clarinets / Serial number for antique Buffet Crampon - anamolies?
« on: December 11, 2020, 11:01:27 AM »
Hey guys, I've run across this several times now IIRC, where the serial number character order is seemingly reversed or scrambled from what they show on the lists 1885+ I can find.  Such as a Buffet Crampon clarinet showing "13J1" as the serial number in a photo, with the lists I can find showing 1J - 999J as 1896 and 1J1 - 1J999 as 1914.  Those are the only "J's" that appear in the lists.  Is this an error stamping, and it should be "1J13", and made in 1914?  Or is it 13J, where some circumstance lead to a one being added, like it it was a remake joint due to problems or defects during manufacturing, and made in 1896?  Putting a 1 for 1st revision on a lot number, production number, etc... is something I've encountered in mfg.  I have Buffet Crampon clarinets from before that which date from around 1850s through 1870s and they don't have any serial numbers at all- I had the impression that serial numbers indeed started in 1885.

All about Clarinets / Boehm Eb that comes apart in the middle?
« on: August 08, 2020, 09:38:20 PM »
Anybody out here in clarinet land seen one before?  I saw a pic of one with measurements to verify, and it had me thinking I may not have seen that before...maybe other key systems, but not Boehm.  My memory may be failing me.  No makers mark on this one, unfortunately- very old of course!  What say you?

All about Clarinets / Just picked up this late '40s Buffet...
« on: October 08, 2019, 03:30:10 PM »
...for $69 smackeroos.  It has some poorly glued cracks that extend from the lower joint socket, but these look really fixable. Only one goes up to a tone hole, but not through.  I thought it was a decent deal, but maybe I am a little  :o.  Anyway, serial is 365xx, which nearest I could figure was 1947/48 or so?  I'm keeping my fingers crossed this one could be a great player, I know some think these just-pre-R13s can be pretty nice.

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