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Author Topic: Henri Dubois - Paris  (Read 6122 times)

Offline mechanic

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Henri Dubois - Paris
« on: May 06, 2017, 08:13:26 PM »
Here's the Henri Dubois - Paris.  Wood body, hard rubber barrel and bell.  Made in France (nearly obliterated) is stamped on the front top, of the top joint.  Serial number on the bottom back, of both. It's had a rough life.  A pinned crack on the top joint, and 2 more trying to take hold.  I'm pretty certain there is not a single pad that seals, and it's missing a couple of springs.  They're not broken, they've been removed.
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Offline mechanic

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Re: Henri Dubois - Paris
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2017, 08:15:20 PM »
A few more.
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Offline mechanic

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Re: Henri Dubois - Paris
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2017, 08:18:40 PM »
Still more.
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Offline mechanic

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Re: Henri Dubois - Paris
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2017, 08:23:28 PM »
And finally.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2017, 08:39:07 PM by mechanic »
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Offline Silversorcerer

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Re: Henri Dubois - Paris
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2017, 08:38:49 PM »
99% confidence that was marked and serialized in the D. Noblet workshop, post LeBlanc succession, pre WW2. See the MADE IN FRANCE marks on the D. Noblet / G. LeBlanc / La Couture HP Bb Albert type joints I recently picked up. (photo below). Also check the similarities of the serial locations of the Raymond Paris stencil and the D. Noblet side by side on this earlier thread:
http://clarinetpages.info/smf/index.php?topic=895.msg4251#msg4251

Fix that Henri Dubois and you might have a very nice playing clarinet. You might even call it a D. Noblet early "Artiste" stencil model.  ;)
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Offline Silversorcerer

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Re: Henri Dubois - Paris
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2017, 09:57:24 PM »
A few observations, and thank-you for the photos, nice and sharp details. That's always good for a few extra points.  :)

1) It is becoming a pattern that the D. Noblet stencils have a letter suffix in the serials that the D. Noblet marked serials do not have. Otherwise, the numbers are too similar in style and placement to come from a different shop. It also appears that the numbers in the serials of the stencils fit into the D. Noblet serial sequence with no different sequence for stencils.

2) The machine that embossed MADE IN FRANCE mark is curiously skewed, even during the years D. Noblet and G. LeBlanc shared the trademark. It is consistently skewed on every D. Noblet I've seen. What are the odds that two different machines would make the same mark with a similar skew? There's side to side play in that machine. Shame they never got that part straight, but it's like a fingerprint of that machine. Maybe the export embossing machine got passed around from shop to shop? -Not too plausible. One machine stamping the export mark on every clarinet made for export from that shop for a couple of decades seems more plausible.

3) Looking at the Raymond Paris, the marked D. Noblet house brand, and the Dubois, it is clear that the keys are about 99% interchangeable. It's also clear that rubber bell and barrel with wood joints was not an odd configuration. That is original. The Raymond Paris has a twin sibling.

4) It's tooooo nice to leave on the shelf. It's very pretty. Keys are all nickel silver and no plating will ever flake off because there isn't any plating.

5) Oil the bore before those cracks open wide on the UJ. Some makers will void the warranty if the clarinet is not oiled regularly. You don't want to risk losing warranty coverage. At the hairline stage, you can seal those cracks with collagen glue that is hot water soluble. No mess and you will not glue your fingers to the clarinet. Those do not look like fatal cracks. Those will close easily. I see it needs a couple of screws for the thumb rest. I also see that the wire spring on the LJ ring key needs to be put on the other side of the little doo-hickey there, but do that when you replace the pads. Some of the pads don't look too bad.

5) Which springs are missing? It's better for these to be missing than broken. Removing broken wire springs is no fun. Installing new ones is pretty straight forward. Flat springs can be obtained pretty easy. If the screws are missing, you can silver solder the springs in place. Some makers solder the springs to the keys instead of using screws. It works.

Here's to Henri Dubois, D. Noblet's unsung "Artiste". Break out the Champagne.  ;)
« Last Edit: May 06, 2017, 10:01:56 PM by Silversorcerer »
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Offline Airflyte

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Re: Henri Dubois - Paris
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2017, 07:39:23 AM »
2) The machine that embossed MADE IN FRANCE mark is curiously skewed, even during the years D. Noblet and G. LeBlanc shared the trademark. It is consistently skewed on every D. Noblet I've seen. What are the odds that two different machines would make the same mark with a similar skew? There's side to side play in that machine. Shame they never got that part straight, but it's like a fingerprint of that machine. Maybe the export embossing machine got passed around from shop to shop? -Not too plausible. One machine stamping the export mark on every clarinet made for export from that shop for a couple of decades seems more plausible.

Interesting observation. A mechanical "fingerprint" indeed.
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Offline mechanic

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Re: Henri Dubois - Paris
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2017, 09:35:07 PM »
Thank you, Silversorcerer, for the confirmation of the Henri being a Noblet stencil.  The bore has already received 2 light oilings and it will be saved from becoming a lamp or getting tossed in the parts pile.  Neither the pinned crack nor the 2 that are starting to appear make it through to the bore, so they shouldn't pose a problem.  The pads on it are in decent shape, but ill fitting.  When I get the chance to work on this one, I'll probably just start from scratch with new pads.  Until then,  it will receive the care it deserves.

I may have an interesting addition to your Penzel Mueller thread.  I suspect it's a Penzel Mueller, but the logo is mostly worn off.  I'll get pictures of it this weekend and let you decide.
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Offline Silversorcerer

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Re: Henri Dubois - Paris
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2017, 12:41:00 AM »
I'm always glad to see something familiar, sometimes happier to find something less familiar.  :)
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Offline Silversorcerer

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Re: Henri Dubois - Paris
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2017, 09:24:00 AM »
OK, now here's something less familiar. It's another Henri Dubois, and this one is definitely NOT a D. Noblet stencil. Grandpa still had a nice clarinet, I think. Someone will maybe give it the second life it deserves. It does have a serial  with 5 digits and one of the digits is superimposed. There are more like this, but I wouldn't expect all of them to be marked Henri Dubois. The seller doesn't show a country of origin mark, so it is plausibly not even French. What this clearly illustrates is that we can rarely be certain of finding a single maker for a trademark brand (stencil). At some point D. Noblet was involved making this brand in wood, but when it is on a metal clarinet, the brand was made by Bettoney in the USA.

Now we have at least a third maker that was making the Henri Dubois brand. The bell on this one looks Italian to my eye, but please don't quote me on that observation. I could easily be wrong. The period of manufacture is within a decade of the D. Noblet Henri Dubois I would think, just looking at the LJ shared LH5 lever post. Who ever ended up owning the brand name had several sources or else this one is a counterfeit?

I bring this up over and over because it is what I see over and over with various trademark names;- the long lesson on stencils is that you can identify the one you are currently looking at perhaps with some difficulty but when that task is done the next one may present an entirely new mystery.

Currently lurking on listings is a Pierre Dumont (see the French one reviewed by Phil) that is Czech made, and finally we can attribute that particular Czech configuration to Kohlert. I finally found a Kohlert marked duplicate. In the case of Pierre Dumont, at least when the brand was made by the Czechs, they left off "Paris" in the brand mark. The Henri Dubois still is marked Paris, but I think it is more like Paris, Italy, but don't quote me on that. I could easily be wrong. ;)

So what do we really know about Henri Dubois and Pierre Dumont and what do these persons have in common that makes them a good name to put on a French (even a French Italian or a French Czech) clarinet?

As I pointed out earlier Henri Dubois was a French painter of note during the 19th C. What about Pierre Dumont? It's becoming the more than twice told tale. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre_Dumont_(painter). This should not be surprising at this point.

And then we have a good number of not-painters. Among these would be Jean Marbeau brand, also made by different French makers at different times, named for a famous French philanthropist, and Henry Gunckel brand, after a trade commisioner who might have engineered the entire French name brand strategy, and that brand was also made by a good handful of makers, including metal ones made by Bettoney (recall the Henri Dubois Bettoney earlier mentioned).

Accurately tracking stencil trademarks is going to require the investigative work of a kind of internet-based clarinet Interpol. It is not impossible to untangle this bizarre web. After all, it is a finite problem. But it is not a solution to assume that once the provenance of a brand is known in any specific instance, that this will apply in all other instances.

I have no doubt that these brands originated in France, along with most of the other French cultural icon trademarks, which is becoming an increasingly long list, particularly the number of 19th C. painters. But after these brands become private property of business concerns, they can be easily transferred and used by anyone making or selling musical instruments anywhere in the world where business is done (UCC jurisdiction).

If we really want to understand stencils, we should start with 19th C. French art history and popular culture. And then we need to get access to the records of trademark transference. The rules are not the same in every country;- my suspicion is that after WW1, international trademark transfers became easier. And this could be why we see these originally French brand names popping up from factories outside of France. A maker would not have to even buy these trademarks, they could license them for a limited production run. Once that trademark is "property", it can be rented, sold, or even pillaged as the spoils of warfare.

I think what fascinates me most about the stencil names is the origins of these names and the REAL people they represent. The original idea was that we were not supposed to forget these real people. Ironically, some of them are now best known as clarinet brands. We found Henry Gunckel, who was Guy Humphrey?  ???  And for the present, I will just leave that one alone.

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Offline Silversorcerer

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Re: Henri Dubois - Paris
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2017, 09:35:22 AM »
As an addendum, I should credit the seller with the photos of the Henri Dubois shown above, which are presented for educational purposes here. I should also mention that you can find the clarinet referenced in the usual search window, and that it is one that appears to be all original and a good restoration candidate. It does have a hard rubber barrel with otherwise wooden construction, but looking at the socket rings, these match and indicate that the hard rubber barrel is most plausibly original to the instrument. It was a common practice to mix materials this way at the time.
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Offline Windsong

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Re: Henri Dubois - Paris
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2024, 09:17:43 PM »
Whether it be a Noblet or a Bettony, it is very nice.  I almost feel guilty that I got such a nice clarinet for .99, but nobody bid, and I needed a new lamp, so here we are.  The bell and Barrel are seemingly resin (it seems too glossy to be hard rubber), but the horn is clearly 1930s or older.  Perhaps it got an "upgrade" at some point, as all sections are stamped identically, or perhaps--as Silversorcerer speculates--they are original to the horn.

We have all seen the "FRANCE" (in quotes) stamped on at least three makers clarinets:  Henry Gunkel, Couesnon, and Harry Pedler.   We know that HG and Couesnon were French (or mostly so), and Harry Pedler was not.  If in quotes, does that mean it's an embellishment(?), as the French spell the name of their country the same as English speakers do, and it wouldn't be to appeal to our linguistic standards.  🤔
Interestingly, this one has no suspicious claims as to its true nation of manufacture, and while it looks VERY similar to Conns of the 1920s (and by proxy--Harry Pedlers), most of their clarinets at the time were Hard Rubber,  and this is a fine, medium grained, crack-free grenadilla body.  The serial is 1566 with a superimposed "LB" which I take to mean Bb and Low pitch.  Keys are identical to the others posted, and unplated nickel silver.  They are balanced like a LeBlanc, but key rings are a less bevelled.

These stencils are piling up, and I am realizing that IDing them now is very important.  Depending upon good (or mis)fortune and how a horn is stored, as well as dumb luck on blank selection, the stencils are often far better than the real things, and keywork often interchangeable.  Stencils will be the next collectable frontier, as the old originals get scarcer and more expensive to procure.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2024, 09:38:33 PM by Windsong »
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Offline el gitano

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Re: Henri Dubois - Paris
« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2024, 07:11:50 AM »
sorry, but I think it is not a Noblet. If it is a Noblet, it must be a realy realy early one. But the serialnumber-stil ist like Noblet, thats true.
All mi Noblet has the c# key in the 90º construction, like in the foto.
Only two Noblet aine (1900), barrelless, has the classical c# keys.

Claus


Offline Windsong

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Re: Henri Dubois - Paris
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2024, 07:24:25 PM »
Claus,
Thank you for your contribution.  Yes, indeed.  I see many similarities.  Yours has an A adjustment screw, whereas mine does not.  I wonder if the stencils were a bit more primitive, or whether that points to mine being made very early.  The trill guides and key cup arm orientation are the same, as well.
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Offline el gitano

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Re: Henri Dubois - Paris
« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2024, 11:35:17 PM »
Hi Windsong,
I posted this foto to showw the c# key of the Noblet / Leblanc instruments. This one is an newer instrument, it has also the two posts for the left pinky keys. But al Noblet has this c# key.
I will have a look for an older one.
The last foto shows a "Noblet aine" barrelless clarinet. This instruments still have the "standart" construction for the c# key.

Claus