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I've inherited my aunt's clarinet, I'm a brass player, so this is not my area...

It is metal (nickel plated?), the body and bell are one piece with the only movable joint being at the mouth piece. The emblem reads "Noblet France" inside a rounded square which is embossed on the bell. "1961" is stamped into the back side where the body and bell meet and the joint at the mouthpiece says, "MADE IN FRANCE."

I'd like to learn when the instrument was made. I can't seem to find "1961" in any serial numbers or years.

Any insight as to when it might have been made?
 

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TENOR, soprano, alto, baritone
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I think its a serial number. Noblet made premium woodwinds, so as metal clarinets go I would guess its a decent one. It was probably made before Ebonite clarinets began to be sold or at least not much later than that, possibly in the '40s or '50s. We could probably tell more from a picture showing the keys, because earlier clarinets used a different system than the more modern ones.
 

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Metal clarinets were being made in the 1920's/30's as were hard rubber and a sort of 'ebonite'.
I don't know if a serial number list exists for the metal Noblet specimens so it may be difficult to find and 'exact' year of manufacture.
Photos might be helpful in giving a ballpark estimate. Body material may be different, but the keywork will be similar to it's wood counterparts.
 

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I have a Noblet metal clarinet (18 is the model number, if you're curious) with a serial number in the 5300 range. I am pretty sure mine is from the 1950s - it's certainly from after WWII, at any rate.

I saved a post from the Clarinet Bulletin Board where a gentleman stated that Leblanc had given him an estimate of having reached serial number 1000 by the late 1940s. Seems a bit late since they started making them in the '30s and they had some popularity in that era - but it's so hard to tell with metal clarinets.

There's one on the local Craigslist with a decidedly '60s-style case, and I'm half tempted to buy it just for the help piecing together the history. But, even if it weren't slightly more than I feel like paying for it, I also don't need a seventh metal clarinet around here. (as hard as that may be to believe...)
 
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