Martel Freres B Flat Clarinet
This is the quintessential French clarinet; possibly the finest ever French makers were Martel Freres. Each instrument was completely hand made and undercut, this last process alone took 2-3 days, until a perfectly even scale was achieved. Hawkes and Co. came to the surviving Martel brother after WW1 to help them design their own legendary Hawkes' Martels, as played by Reginald Kell, Charles Draper etc These evolved into the Boosey and Hawkes pre-war 1010 from which the genealogy of fine English wide bore instruments can be traced to the present day.
This example is stamped " Martel Freres a Paris" and is in fair condition with matching stamps on all main pieces. As Martel clarinets are such a delight to play and own surviving examples have often led very busy lives such is the case here: The clarinet has come to us as a commission sale from a collector. All pieces have repaired cracks, apart from the barrel. The barrel is a poor fit on the upper joint, possibly because the upper joint has cracked several times and been repaired with 5 pins. The lower joint has cracks to the tenon area and the bell also has a filled and glued crack. The Maillechort key work shows much use, and tuning work has been undertaken by previous owners, with many holes filled in with shellac. The clarinet has super pads throughout the lower joint, with a mixture of pads on the upper joint all are sealing well. The supplied m'piece tunes the clarinet well at A=440. The bell appears to be serial numbered, it is hard to make out but could be 445. The case is old but fully functional.