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Author Topic: can anyone tell me about this clarinet?  (Read 2294 times)

Offline zigzigy7

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can anyone tell me about this clarinet?
« on: October 19, 2017, 07:12:27 PM »
The other day I recieved a (presumably) very old clarinet. It measures 22.37", making it a high pitched instrument. It uses a German system with 5 rings and a side register key. there are no screws on the clarinet, it instead uses rods/pegs. it appears to have nickel plating that has worn in some places. There is no serial number and the only identifying mark is the bell, which is labelled "L.PROKOP CHRUDIM". Any information about this instrument would be greatly appreciated, namely it's age and quality should I get it refurbished.

Offline Windsong

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Re: can anyone tell me about this clarinet?
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2017, 10:53:43 PM »
Prokop is not listed in the New Langwill Index, but from the interwebs, this clarinet was made by Ladislav Prokop in Chrudim, Czechoslovakia.  My eye tells me it's a variation on a Full Albert system clarinet.  It's not an Öhler (German system) clarinet, but the lines are blurred a little as some of the keywork is Öhleresque.

Prokop was reportedly born in 1909, so I would venture to guess this was made no earlier than 1930s, and improbably built once the German regime took root, so the window of manufacture seems rather small.

The length you mention would certainly make it high pitched, which is unusual if the builder's birth year is to be believed.   The pins that hold the keys in place would not seem unusual for this clarinet, (in fact, they are nearly a Czech trademark) were it not for it's presumed age.  The wrap-around side speaker key would also have fallen out of favor, having been replaced by the peerless, less error-prone single plane mechanism we all currently enjoy.

Quality?  It looks tough.  It promotes itself as a horn that it's been tossed around and buried in mud, surviving critically unscathed.  Value?  Whatever you paid for it, as long as you feel you got what you paid for.  Worthy of restoration?  Absolutely.  I'm not sure I'd go to the trouble of replating the keys, but if you have the coin and plan to keep this clarinet, go for it.

Thanks for sharing.  This is certainly an unusual clarinet for a variety of reasons.
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Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Re: can anyone tell me about this clarinet?
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2017, 11:59:52 PM »
This certainly reminds me of much older clarinets, like 1890s. In terms of style.
The metal lined thumb hole is super unusual and I haven't seen many with that feature.

What's the key underneath the register key? It appears to link somewhere.

Finally, the key plating certainly looks pretty poor. But plated keys would mean it's probably later than 1890. Kind of anachronistic interestingly enough.
David Watson of the original The Clarinet Pages
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Offline Dibbs

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Re: can anyone tell me about this clarinet?
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2017, 02:24:56 AM »
Those dates didn't seem right to me so I did a little searching myself.

I found this Ladislav Prokop in Chrudim born in 1843.

https://translate.google.co.uk/translate?hl=en&sl=cs&u=http://www.knihovna-cr.cz/osobnosti-chrudimska/prokop-ladislav-frantisek&prev=search

And your 1909 Ladislav Prokop was

"The son of Ladislav P. (1874-1936), a violinist and a musical instrument dealer."

https://translate.google.co.uk/translate?hl=en&sl=cs&u=http://www.knihovna-cr.cz/osobnosti-chrudimska/prokop-ladislav-frantisek&prev=search

They seem to be mostly a violinists, possibly violin makers and musical instrument dealers so maybe this is a stencil.

Offline Windsong

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Re: can anyone tell me about this clarinet?
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2017, 05:11:31 AM »
That birthdate is much more reasonable, Dibbs.  Good sleuthing.
Expert bubblegum welder, and Pedler Pedler.

Offline zigzigy7

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Re: can anyone tell me about this clarinet?
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2017, 05:17:41 AM »
This certainly reminds me of much older clarinets, like 1890s. In terms of style.
The metal lined thumb hole is super unusual and I haven't seen many with that feature.

What's the key underneath the register key? It appears to link somewhere.

Finally, the key plating certainly looks pretty poor. But plated keys would mean it's probably later than 1890. Kind of anachronistic interestingly enough.
the register key links to the LH1 ring. the first image shows that there's a pad attached to the top of the ring partially covered by the A key.

Offline Dibbs

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Re: can anyone tell me about this clarinet?
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2017, 06:58:17 AM »
This certainly reminds me of much older clarinets, like 1890s. In terms of style.
The metal lined thumb hole is super unusual and I haven't seen many with that feature.

What's the key underneath the register key? It appears to link somewhere.

Finally, the key plating certainly looks pretty poor. But plated keys would mean it's probably later than 1890. Kind of anachronistic interestingly enough.

I wonder if the keys were originally unplated and someone's had a cheap job done on them.

Despite the extra information, I still can't figure out what that register key linkage is about.  You'd expect it to be a mechanism to improve the throat Bb but it seems to be something different.

Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Re: can anyone tell me about this clarinet?
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2017, 08:34:30 AM »
If it connects to LH1, is it like the thumb ring on a Boehm?
David Watson of the original The Clarinet Pages
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Offline zigzigy7

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Re: can anyone tell me about this clarinet?
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2017, 04:50:02 PM »
if your are likening the speaker key to the thumb ring of a boehm then yes they are similar in that pressing it down also presses the LH1 ring and it's connected pad. also the pad attached to the LH1 ring as well as the LH2 ring which also has a joined pad albeit less visible, has a groove in the wood along the inside (Right in the image) side of it. it appears as a gray patch just above the ring in the first image. Im certain it serves to allow air to move more freely from the hole when open but i think it's peculiar as I also have an amati full boehm clarinet which utilizes similar rings with smaller attached pads but those lack such grooves which leads me to question if such practices are of a certain time. but that might just be a difference in the systems i am unaware of