Louis, B Flat Clarinet
This an exceptionally rare and fine Louis early English clarinet. The firm, Louis & Co. Chelsea, London, was strongly associated with possibly the finest ever French makers: Martel Freres. Each Louis instrument was completely hand made and undercut in their London premises, 2 Burnsall Street, Chelsea W3. The finishing alone took 2-3 days. Charles Draper was also closely associated with the firm. The perfect uninhibited open response, and excellent tuning make for a true "players clarinet" which is a physical delight to blow, superior to much on the mass produced market today.
The instrument is a commission sale for Clarinets Direct and is in very fine condition, for a clarinet made in the 1920's. It has just entirely been re-padded it in Pisoni Premium Deluxe fish skin pads. The wood is in excellent condition, with no cracks or damage. There is no joint wobble. The Silver plated key work shows very little wear, with only the LH index finger ring showing some roughness and pitting. All pieces are matching and original including the m'piece. The instrument was originally supplied in a Hawkes case of the period, which is in again excellent condition for a case which is approximately 100 years old. In addition a modern new case is supplied, and also a used B&H 926 No. 3 m'piece, which plays well: It does not tune the instrument quite as well as the original m'piece, but this original will need to be either copied or relayed for a new lease of life.