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Author Topic: A long time away from Clarinet Pages!  (Read 315 times)

Offline Tinker73

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A long time away from Clarinet Pages!
« on: December 19, 2018, 11:32:18 PM »
It has been a very long time since I have last been active on the Clarinet Pages forum (over a year now), mostly due to outside forces with work and life in general taking almost all of my free time.  As some of you may remember I had assembled a fairly extensive collection of Henry Gunckel clarinets dating from roughly c.1850 until the 1930's.  What most of you may not have known is I also managed to assemble original "maker" or other "stencil" clarinets by the same maker along with the Henry Gunckel examples to prove conclusively who the real makers of the Henry Gunckel "stencil" clarinets were.  Why did the Henry Gunckel clarinets hold interest for me you may ask?  I'm still not really sure, may have been because of the name, but more likely because they were probably the first successfully marketed line of clarinets that never bore the "makers" name and have baffled collectors for over 150 years as to who the true maker was.  So in essence it was a mystery that was begging to be solved!

Due to the lack of time that I can spend with this research now, and other interests occupying my time, I am going to be parting with my entire collection of Henry Gunckel clarinets at some point in the near future.  I would love for someone that has a true love of clarinets to continue the research that I started and fill in a couple of the gaps in my research that I have been unable to conclusively prove, and would be more than willing to entertain offers for my complete collection so it might remain intact and go to someone willing to complete this research.

My research can conclusively dispel a couple of myths about the Henry Gunckel "maker"/"makers" -
#1 Buffet Crampon NEVER at any point in time appears to have made a Henry Gunckel "stencil" clarinet.
#2 Thibouville, Thibouville Freres, or any Thibouville affiliate ever appears to have made a Henry Gunckel clarinet.
#3 Couesnon also never appears to have made a Henry Gunckel clarinet.
#4 FOUR very distinct and proven "makers" did make the Henry Gunckel clarinets from 1850 until the early 1930's.

  This research also produced conclusive information as to who the mysterious French "maker" was that stamped literally thousands of "stencil" clarinets with "France" from 1900 until 1927, leaving the "France" stamp as this makers unique signature on dozens of brands of "stencil" clarinets throughout the first 1/4 of the 20th century.  It is also very rare to find a clarinet with this makers own name on one of his clarinets, especially during the first 25 years he was making clarinets, but they do exist and they were and are still of extremely high quality.  I also found clarinets with his logo on them definately command a premium price in the market place, making them that much harder to get a hold of.  Also, a majority of the clarinets that bore his name were produce for distribution in France and were not exported to America, but nearly all of his "stencils" were exported to America.  Interestingly the clarinets that bore his logo that were exported to America also are stamped with "France".  He even went as far as buying one of the most well known names in flute making during the 19th century in order to use it on his instruments, so technically clarinets bearing this name may or may not be considered "stencils" since he is noted as the successor to their line of instruments, and these could be also considered then as a succession/continuation of that line of instruments.  If nothing else this man was a master marketer and knew the value of name recognition as it applied to sales even at the turn of the 20th century!

  Henry Gunckel clarinets appear to have been the longest continuously produced "stencil" clarinet in history spanning nearly 100 years from start to finish with Henry Gunckel always being a "stencil" name from the first clarinet produced until the last.

Hopefully someone will want to continue this research and finally put to rest the mystery of Henry Gunckel.

Steve



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Offline Airflyte

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Re: A long time away from Clarinet Pages!
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2018, 08:35:18 AM »
Wait, I may have at least 3 copies Gunckle manufactured clarinets with "France" stamped on them  ???
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Offline BLMonopole

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Re: A long time away from Clarinet Pages!
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2018, 09:04:55 AM »
Interesting...well, of the remaining French makers that did extensive stencilling, that really only leave Malerne, right?  If so, Malerne used a very distinctive keywork for most of its run, so these should be easily identified. 

And Malerne stencilled for nearly EVERYONE. 
« Last Edit: December 31, 2018, 12:00:10 PM by BLMonopole »

Offline Tinker73

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Re: A long time away from Clarinet Pages!
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2018, 07:36:08 PM »
Sorry, not Malerne either.

The mystery maker was one most have never heard of, at least I had not until I acidentally ran across one of his self marked clarinets.  Then researched mostly French documents and music history to find that one of his closest friends and I believe possibly the man he apprenticed with was none other than Drausin Laube, quite possibly one of the finest musical instrument makers from the 1870's up to 1900.  I say one of the finest, because I still feel the Martel Brothers quite possibly may have turned out some of the highest quality sounding clarinets of any time period (each one was hand undercut by one of the brothers before leaving the factory to achieve a near perfect sound before leaving the factory).  They too were a maker that was more concerned with quality over quantity, thus their clarinets when they do turn up for sale command high prices evn though they are over 100 years old.
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Offline philpedler

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Re: A long time away from Clarinet Pages!
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2019, 05:01:59 PM »
Fascinating! When will you post the whole story?

Offline modernicus

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Re: A long time away from Clarinet Pages!
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2020, 08:01:41 AM »
I've seen Henry Gunckels made in Germany and Czechoslovakia.  I agree, nothing to do with Buffet, I think this is just a mistake in old reference material.
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Offline Airflyte

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Re: A long time away from Clarinet Pages!
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2020, 01:29:39 PM »
I've seen Henry Gunckels made in Germany and Czechoslovakia.  I agree, nothing to do with Buffet, I think this is just a mistake in old reference material.

I agree as well. I would be shocked if a maker such as Buffet would stamp something other than their own label on a clarinet. There's no mystery with the "Carl Fischer" Buffets.
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Offline Windsong

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Re: A long time away from Clarinet Pages!
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2021, 07:06:18 PM »
Tinker,
I never focussed much of my attention on Henry Gunckel, but I recall your immense passion for the brand.

I was surprised to see you state that Thibouville had nothing to do with Gunckel, and I think had always suspected them to be on the primary list of suspects.

I found these this evening (a bit high for unrestored ones, but the fact that they are presumably a matched set makes them worth considerably more, of course.)

I do see keywork reminiscent of JTL, so I assume the French artisans of the late 19th C. had some standardised and resolute philosophies on proper keywork designs.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/ANTIQUE-PARIS-FRANCE-HENRY-GUNCKEL-WOOD-CLARINETS-GRENADILLA-A-and-B-FLAT/142997349667?_trkparms=aid%3D1110006%26algo%3DHOMESPLICE.SIM%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20190917065201%26meid%3D73d3f7f7fb42460da0e70fc4e6ee7413%26pid%3D100935%26rk%3D2%26rkt%3D12%26mehot%3Dpf%26sd%3D142872874607%26itm%3D142997349667%26pmt%3D1%26noa%3D0%26pg%3D2332490%26algv%3DSimplAMLv5PairwiseWebWithDarwoV3BBEV2b&_trksid=p2332490.c100935.m2460
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