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Author Topic: 19th century Clarinet in C  (Read 376 times)

Offline Windsong

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19th century Clarinet in C
« on: March 29, 2024, 12:59:20 PM »
What have I just purchased here?
Clearly, it is a boxwood (or pearwood) 13 key in C,  20 11/32" long, sans mouthpiece, which hosts an integrated barrel.  Outside of that, the keywork speaks to pre-1845 and is solid brass with no plating, and it looks very much like an honest Iwan Müller, comparing photos on-line.  That's all I have.

There is a seriously righteous socket sleeve that is a very good fit,  and two handsome mouthpiece covers, two useless but historically significant wooden mouthpieces, and a repaired crack in the bell.  It is solid, but was repaired with dark filler, so I will file it out and patch it with some pearwood I have at some point.

I would love to hear your thoughts as to what you think this could be. There are no maker's marks of any kind, nor are there any batch marks on the keys that I have yet found.
Presently, I am feeling it must be German.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2024, 01:02:29 PM by Windsong »
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Offline Windsong

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Re: 19th century Clarinet in C
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2024, 01:33:38 PM »
Covers:
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Offline philpedler

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Re: 19th century Clarinet in C
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2024, 03:12:29 PM »
Hi Windsong,

That is so cool! I would love to try playing it, but I am sure it is not something I would want to own. Nevertheless, I would be interested in how you come up with such treasures. Did you buy it at an online auction? If so, I would love to know, in general, what such instruments are going for in today's market. And I would like to know if you ordered it from Europe, or if it was already in North America.

Happy playing with that fun project.

Offline Windsong

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Re: 19th century Clarinet in C
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2024, 05:08:15 PM »
I did indeed get it online.

These instruments vary wildly in price, and typically salt spoon boxwoods fetch top dollar among the collectables, easily exceeding $500.00 for one of this age, in a little better condition.  They are surpassed in terms of collectability only by flat key system clarinets of the late 18th-early 19th century.  I would like one of those, too. 
That said, my budget is a bit more modest, and this one was a deal.  Just 8 years ago, the price of these was quite a bit lower--much like classic cars.  The pandemic radically changed priorities and notion of inherant value, and even high pitch clarinets are now appropriately prized.

Where I would walk away from a clarinet with condition issues such as this if it had been made in the 20th century, these same issues have little impact on the value of a horn like this due to their relative scarcity.

This clarinet was not up long, and had the "buy it now" option, so I could not resist.

You may have taken note that it is missing two of its keys--which I will surely never find.  Since I do not plan to play it (though I will try, even if I have to plug the closed position note) the missing keywork was less important than the honor of owning a true arifact.
Should I be able to identify the maker at some point, perhaps 3D printed keys can be fashioned from a complete one someday.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2024, 08:18:22 AM by Windsong »
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Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Re: 19th century Clarinet in C
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2024, 08:24:50 AM »
wow. SUPER cool! Earliest clarinet I have is am Eb missing bell and barrel, but maybe from the 1820s.

Your is beautiful. Too bad about the missing keys. It wouldn't be worth it trying to get new ones forged, though that would look cool.

I'm in love with those hand-carved wood mouthpiece covers. They certainly did things different back then
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Offline Windsong

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Re: 19th century Clarinet in C
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2024, 03:36:06 PM »
Yes--when they are this old, it is difficult finding parts.  There is a fellow online who hails from Texas, and I get a lot of my needed keywork through him, but he does not handle these.  I'd love to see that Eb sometime.
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