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 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. 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. The last owner was an extremely successful top London professional, who had one of the largest collections of clarinets & saxophones in the business.
These instruments are in excellent condition, for clarinets made in the 1920's. There is a crack to the bell of the A clarinet, see photo 4. 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 absolutely no wear or play to the mechanism. The Bb has matching S/N 136 and this is matching on both main pieces and bell. Like the A the original thumb rests have been removed and replaced with more modern examples, the resulting holes have been filled. The A clarinet has matching S/N 137, both clarinets have good condition fish skin pads throughout. There are 3 original barrels of 67, 65, and 62mm. There is also an original Louis m'piece, but, sadly, this has been relayed somewhat crudely.