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An exceptionally rare pair of Boosey & Hawkes 926 clarinets. These instruments were a special project for Professor John Playfair. John was well known amongst professional players in London who often sought his help because of his expert knowledge of acoustics and also his services as a mouthpiece craftsman. These instruments have been customised by John, the A especially, which has a special key designed to correct an excessively wide 12th on E/B. An additional pad opens when the 1st line E is fingered, which is closed when the register key is pressed for B, the 12th above, see photos 6 & 10.
The Bb has matching serial nos. 36578, which dates to 1944/45. The wood is in overall excellent condition, though there are some slight surface indentations to the top of the upper joint, see photo 5. This Bb is of unique and remarkable manufacture in that the upper joint has been lengthened to allow the correct positioning of the C#/G# hole. The C/G hole now runs through both joints, with the upper tenon of the lower joint being metal sleeved, see photo 2. The bell has had a tuning hole drilled, to improve the pitch of both bottom E, and B the 12th above, in the German/Austrian manner, see photo 9. The pads are all tan leather in good condition, as is the German Silver key work.
The A has matching S/N 36821, which also dates to 1944/45. Like the Bb the bore is 15mm. Again like the Bb a tuning hole was drilled in the bell, though it has subsequently been filled. Unlike the Bb the A has standard upper and lower joints, though as mentioned above Prof. Playfair has corrected the poor tuning of the E/B 12th, with his own customised key design. The wood throughout is in excellent condition, as are the pads, which are mainly tan leather with some cork. The supplied m'piece is a B&H 593 in very good condition, as is the case.