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Author Topic: "Henri Martel Paris" Metal Clarinet. Cannot find info!  (Read 3761 times)

Offline tk007

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"Henri Martel Paris" Metal Clarinet. Cannot find info!
« on: January 08, 2017, 10:36:54 AM »
Hi, all! Brand new here. Just purchased this beauty, but I cannot find any info on the company! Has anyone else encountered this brand or have any information? Thanks!

Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Re: "Henri Martel Paris" Metal Clarinet. Cannot find info!
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2017, 11:13:21 AM »
With metal clarinets you'll find that there are literally thousands of different hallmarks.  Many were made by the same company, but with no indication of that manufacturer.  Unless someone knows off the top of their head here, it would take some sleuthing of key size and type and unique feature comparison to determine the maker.
David Watson of the original The Clarinet Pages
Irvine, California, United States

Offline tk007

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Re: "Henri Martel Paris" Metal Clarinet. Cannot find info!
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2017, 12:37:01 PM »
Thanks so much. This may be a dumb question, but is there at least a chance of knowing what time period it may be from? I read that most metal clarinets stopped being made after 1940 but I'm not sure if that's accurate.

Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Re: "Henri Martel Paris" Metal Clarinet. Cannot find info!
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2017, 01:41:46 PM »
That is entirely correct.  Metal clarinets were not made in Europe or the US after about 1940.  However, in the past 10 years Chinese manufacturers have made metal clarinets as well. 
David Watson of the original The Clarinet Pages
Irvine, California, United States

Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Re: "Henri Martel Paris" Metal Clarinet. Cannot find info!
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2017, 01:42:35 PM »
Thanks so much. This may be a dumb question, but is there at least a chance of knowing what time period it may be from? I read that most metal clarinets stopped being made after 1940 but I'm not sure if that's accurate.
A good ballpark estimate is between 1920 and 1940, for the most part.  If your clarinet has two posts for the left hand pinky keys, then it is newer than 1920; if it has one post then it is around 1920 or a bit earlier.
David Watson of the original The Clarinet Pages
Irvine, California, United States

Offline bbrandha

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Re: "Henri Martel Paris" Metal Clarinet. Cannot find info!
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2017, 01:52:52 PM »
Noblet continued metal clarinets into the early 1970's, according to the Silver Clarinet site and others. I believe my 2 are from the 1950's, probably.

Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Re: "Henri Martel Paris" Metal Clarinet. Cannot find info!
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2017, 03:13:08 PM »
Noblet continued metal clarinets into the early 1970's, according to the Silver Clarinet site and others. I believe my 2 are from the 1950's, probably.
I didn't know that.  Thanks!
David Watson of the original The Clarinet Pages
Irvine, California, United States

Offline tk007

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Re: "Henri Martel Paris" Metal Clarinet. Cannot find info!
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2017, 05:01:28 PM »
One post for the left pinky! This is super cool for me so thank you so much!

Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Re: "Henri Martel Paris" Metal Clarinet. Cannot find info!
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2017, 05:17:40 PM »
One post for the left pinky! This is super cool for me so thank you so much!
In that case it definitely lives on the older end of the spectrum :)
David Watson of the original The Clarinet Pages
Irvine, California, United States

Offline tk007

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Re: "Henri Martel Paris" Metal Clarinet. Cannot find info!
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2017, 05:19:22 PM »
Awesome :D

Offline modernicus

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Re: "Henri Martel Paris" Metal Clarinet. Cannot find info!
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2017, 06:06:08 PM »
I think that the single LH pinky post was phased out more like circa 1930.  Martel Freres has a good reputation, any other Martel...maybe not.  The proof is in the playing, though!  I've heard even some no-name or obscure metals might be good still.
If you ain't got 'em, that's why you need 'em...

Offline Silversorcerer

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Re: "Henri Martel Paris" Metal Clarinet. Cannot find info!
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2017, 11:38:17 PM »
I have an interesting Italian made Robert Martel. Maybe a cousin? It has wooden joints and bakelite barrel and bell, all marked the same way as if original. And it has these lipstick red leather pads. :o I'm thinking perhaps a Rampone stencil, but that's mostly because I don't know many Italian makers. Truly, made in Italy, as small as Italy's clarinet industry is, is always puzzling. And Italian clarinets for some reason have very short bells. I'm not sure what's up with that. It's one of those bizarre quirks like the Germans with that coat-hook thumb rest and the Czechs with their pointy key work. Anyway, I digress. Sure some of the French made some of the metal clarinets. I am not sure why though. It was the U.S. that was cut off from French imported grenadilla when the wars happened. Which leads me to speculate....

Does the Henri Martel have any country of origin marks? Harry Bettoney was notorious for stamping French sounding names on metal clarinets forged in Boston, Mass. Henri Dubois, Henry La Vella, Jean Lambert, L. Lebret, Leon Aubert, and no telling how many others are French names that were stamped on Bettoney metal clarinets Made In USA. One shocker in the pile is L. Lebret, who was a well known French maker himself. Secure is his supply of grenadilla from the African colonies, he apparently he jobbed out the metal work to Boston. And most of les Bettoneys have that stamped on them as well, the "Made In USA", which is almost a ghost signature Bettoney used, almost always appearing with the same font and capitalization. All of them have the Bettoney patented C#/Eb mechanism that will close the Eb hole when the C# side key is depressed. If it does that, it is a Bettoney and they made metal clarinets as early as the 1920s at least. If you have just one good photo of the bell engraving, I can most likely determine whether or not this Martel is la Bettoney. Without seeing it, I'd still bet in the Bettoney direction.
- Silversorcerer (David Powell) exclusively for Phil's original “The Clarinet Pages" forum