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Author Topic: Mystery Clarinet. Debeney La Monte.  (Read 85 times)

Offline clemualb

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Mystery Clarinet. Debeney La Monte.
« on: January 11, 2022, 10:17:51 AM »
Found a $10 clarinet at a thrift store. It looked interesting so I just grabbed it. Got it home and couldn’t find anything about it on Google. So I’m posting here to see if anyone has any info.

It is a Debeney. Serial number 160. It has a script “La Monte” at an angle on the upper joint.

Take a look at the pictures for details.

Thanks for looking.

Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Re: Mystery Clarinet. Debeney La Monte.
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2022, 10:31:43 AM »
Pretty cool. Can't say I've heard of this one, could be one of a rather unlimited number of different brand names stenciled on French clarinets.

I'm not as good with my key ID as I used to be, but Thibouville and Malerne were two of the biggest stencil makers.
David Watson of the original The Clarinet Pages
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Offline clemualb

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Re: Mystery Clarinet. Debeney La Monte.
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2022, 09:26:29 PM »
Thanks for the response. I was not aware that stencils existed but it makes perfect sense. I mainly collect watches and vintage speakers and that was done for both. I read some of the posts on stencils and tomorrow I will take a much closer look at the keys to see if I can find any markings.

Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Re: Mystery Clarinet. Debeney La Monte.
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2022, 11:40:44 PM »
In the 30s-50s, there were literally hundreds of random stencils. They would range from the music shop that sold them, to a random guy who paid for it, to a subsidiary of a big company that pawned off their clarinets that failed QC as different names. It was kind of the wild west of clarinets.

If you really want to get deep into it, check out the metal clarinets of that era. There were so many stencils that it's often very difficult to find two of the same name.
David Watson of the original The Clarinet Pages
Irvine, California, United States

Offline Windsong

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Re: Mystery Clarinet. Debeney La Monte.
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2022, 10:14:12 PM »
Fascinating.
I suspect that this was an underfunded stencil (do not read "poor quality") where they used what they had, to build what they could.   It has the pre-war thumbrest, but the 1938-on twin posts on the lower joint, which were not yet universal until the 1940s.  I also see the post locks, "swallowtail" crow's foot, and the newer style bridge key.  And then I see the two piece bell flange ring.  Assuming that those pieces all belong together, and are similarly stamped and serialized, this is a bit of an odd Duck.  Cumulatively, I must deduce that it could not have been manufactured prior to 1948. 
The keywork is reminiscent of Elkhart.
If you consider that Europe was in utter turmoil, and that the rest of the world was entrenched in chaos, it becomes evident why we see such a proliferation of  stencils.  As the large companies had to work for the war effort, and could not officially pull resources for non-essentials, stencils and basement brands were given the torch to run with.
This was not the beginning of stencils by a long shot, but as David mentions, the circumstances certainly created the need. 
 
Anyway, that's a nice looking grenadilla clarinet.
If it has salvageable joints and keywork, you found a tremendous deal.
If the above checks out, I think I would freshen her up, and return her voice to her.  80 years of seasoning is usually a good thing, if it's been cared for.
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