Matched Pair of Louis Clarinets
These are an exceptionally rare and fine pair of Louis & Co. early English clarinets, which are a commission sale for Clarinets Direct. The last owner of this pair, a young professional, used them during her period of study at the Guildhall School of Music, as well as the Royal College of Music. The Louis firm 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. These instruments have been owned as a part of a large collection of pre-war English instruments, and they have been fastidiously well maintained and cared for. Charles Draper personally endorsed these makers, and both instruments are stamped such. 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.
These instruments are in very good condition, for clarinets made in the 1920's. The pads throughout are used tan leather. There could be a tight surface crack to the receiver tenon of the A clarinet, see photo 8, or it could be pronounced wood grain. This apart, the Grenadilla wood is in very good condition, with only scuffs and marks associated with careful use. There is no joint wobble. The Silver plated key work shows little wear, it is in good order throughout. The Bb has matching S/N 201. The A clarinet has matching S/N 218. The case is the original Louis, and shows much wear to the exterior and interior lining, 2 dustcovers are included, an original, and a modern Buffet back pack style, which enables the continued use of the original case. The supplied m'pieces is a Pillinger F3, which tunes the pair admirably.