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Author Topic: Need help identifying  (Read 164 times)

Offline kilphrey

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Need help identifying
« on: February 03, 2021, 02:50:14 PM »
Greetings all, I'm wishing to sell a clarinet that found its way to me almost by accident. I used to play in the 90s, and quit as a moody teenager in 1999. My late husband loved that I used to play, because his father also used to play. His father passed away before I could meet him, and my husband thought it would be lovely for me to have his fathers old clarinet. This thing hadn't been touched in thirty or forty years, gathering dust in his mothers attic. My husband passed away two years ago, and I'm now going through a lot of his things, trying to sell what I can, as I need to move house/downsize.

I have no idea how old this instrument is, and I'm not having much luck identifying it. The mouthpiece has a Paris SML stamp on it, but the main piece has J.Hammershmidt & Sohne, which my research tells me is Austrian (?). My husband and his family were from the Netherlands, so this makes a small amount of sense.

Is there anyone who can help me out a little? And if not, I hope i've sounded dumb and ignorant enough to give some of you a little giggle

Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Re: Need help identifying
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2021, 03:22:40 PM »
Hm, I haven’t heard of Hammerschmidt. Can you post a picture?
David Watson of the original The Clarinet Pages
Irvine, California, United States

Offline modernicus

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Re: Need help identifying
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2021, 05:24:30 PM »
Karl Hammerschmidt is a well known clarinet manufacturer in Germany, not sure if J. Hammerschmidt is related or how.  It looks like a few are around, not much about them at first glance.  Nothing silly about this inquiry, it may be a fine instrument.  Are you in the USA?   I agree a picture could identify the approximate time period and key system.  Using a SML mouthpiece suggests it is a fairly standard Boehm system in the French mold, otherwise I would think a Reform-Boehm (popular in the Netherlands) or German system would use something else?
« Last Edit: February 03, 2021, 05:30:18 PM by modernicus »
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Offline modernicus

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Re: Need help identifying
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2021, 05:48:03 PM »
OK, according to "The Clarinet" by Erich Hoeprich, there was a Josef Hammerschmidt was in operation from 1921 to 1925 in Plesna, apparently a town located in the modern day Czech Republic from a quick search.

The instruments I could find look newer, though, like 1930+

Here are a couple of closed auctions for J. Hammerschmidts between €75-129:

https://auctionet.com/en/1429963-clarinett-j-hammerschmidt-sohne-1900s

https://www.catawiki.com/l/34736805-j-hammerschmidt-sohne-bes-berry-clarinet-unknown-country

Here's a set of A/Bb, probably a little on the high side (besides being customized and owned by known players)

http://www.clarinetsdirect.biz/Hammerschmidts-McCaw.html

Definitely a picture will help try to figure what you have exactly!
« Last Edit: February 03, 2021, 06:40:50 PM by modernicus »
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Offline modernicus

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Re: Need help identifying
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2021, 06:57:14 PM »
Currently, there are also Frank and Otmar Hammerschmidt, with Otmar apparently the one operating in Austria.  This isn't unusual to have these instrument making families in Europe hard to figure out or keep straight.  It's like the Thibouvilles, Chedevilles, Buffets,etc..in France and the Wurlitzers and Uebels in the German influence area.  Not even sure if all the Hammerschmidts in question are related.
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Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Re: Need help identifying
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2021, 11:18:52 PM »
Very interesting thumbrest on the first link you posted.

Great research, this is the first time in all my years I've heard of Hammerschmidt!
David Watson of the original The Clarinet Pages
Irvine, California, United States

Offline modernicus

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Re: Need help identifying
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2021, 06:53:47 AM »
Very interesting thumbrest on the first link you posted.

Great research, this is the first time in all my years I've heard of Hammerschmidt!

I think I've seen a thumbrest like that used on some some old Josef Lidl (Brno) clarinets or maybe some other old Czech clarinets.

Edit:. Found a pic, and the Lidl clarinets have a little more triangular of a screw plate, but the design is very similar with the "2 up" design, surface mounting.  Perhaps Josef Hammerschmidt continued operations past 1925 in some form, given the very "Czech" thumbrest seems to hint at this.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2021, 08:16:42 AM by modernicus »
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Offline Windsong

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Re: Need help identifying
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2021, 04:18:07 PM »
Mod, 
On those links you posted, I see sophisticated rod key locks, and 2 posts on the lower joint, so probably no earlier than 1940s, but perhaps they were pioneers?  The rod key locks are on par with the best French manufacturers' offerings of the late 1940s.
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Offline modernicus

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Re: Need help identifying
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2021, 06:03:29 PM »
Mod, 
On those links you posted, I see sophisticated rod key locks, and 2 posts on the lower joint, so probably no earlier than 1940s, but perhaps they were pioneers?  The rod key locks are on par with the best French manufacturers' offerings of the late 1940s.

Yes, you are quite right.  The locking posts are definitely even later, like late '40s.  At least most French made Boehm system clarinets seemed to have followed each other when making keywork updates, or perhaps one manufacturer like Buffet Crampon, as they have always been an important manufacturer of the system. Do you have a good date for when the LH pinky keys went from 1 to 2 posts?  I was thinking in the period of somewhere around 1930-34.  Then around 1955 for the A/G# keys to lose their shared post, around when Buffet started production of the polycylindrical bore R13.
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Offline Windsong

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Re: Need help identifying
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2021, 10:27:43 PM »
I absolutely agree with your timeline.  The presence of 2 lower joint posts appears, almost universally by 1938, as does 4 top joint posts by the mid 50s, on all but the cheapest of student models.  LeBlanc used primitive early key locks (a crude screw pinning the post bases), but they had bugun their consistent use by the Pre-War40s--even among the Noblet 45 line.  For the record, no true Harry Pedler ever had any of the aforementioned, but MBIC quickly picked up the pace in 1931.
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Offline modernicus

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Re: Need help identifying
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2021, 08:24:28 AM »
Good info- as an update, my late 40s Buffet (maybe 1948 +/- 1yr) has two locking posts, as where I saw a 1944 Buffet with just the lowest post locking (or whatever you want to call it).  So, it seems this was likely phased in during the 1940s.  But, yes, I believe manufacturers were maybe using screws to lock the posts earlier- it's hard to tell because repairers may have done them later.  In a repair manual I have, it describes adding a locking screw as a procedure for securing loose posts, the two lowest being prime for this to happen as everyone is aware.

Edit:  Wait a minute, I just looked closer at this Buffet of mine, the upper lower post has something that is basically a little claw shaped piece of metal that's screwed into the surface and then is holding the post by friction, it looks like.  The lower one is the peanut shaped double/locking post that we see on modern instruments.  I wonder if this little claw plate was added by a repairer later?  Pretty nice job if so- perhaps it was just like the '44 as manufactured.  We know later that BOTH lower posts at least have been deployed by many manufacturers with the double/locking type.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2021, 08:31:43 AM by modernicus »
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