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PAIR OF HAWKES EXCELSIOR SONOROUS CLARINETS, 1395

These are a very rare and fine pair of Hawkes & Co. Excelsior Sonorous Martels. This is the type of clarinet most closely asociated with Reginald Kell who reputedly recorded the Brahms Quintet with the Busch String Quartet at Abbey Road, on a borrowed instrument of the 4000 S/N series. I have been lucky enough recently to play test the pair Reg used and I can confirm that this pair are of comparable quality. The m'piece which tunes this pair well, has no makers stamp but plays very easily with Vandoren 3 or 3.5 reeds. In addition there is an original G. Howarth m'piece supplied but there is damage to the tip rail.
The Bb S/N 4691, has several repaired cracks to the bell, and a sealed crack to the upper joint which does not run through to the bore. All pads are tan leather and sealing well. The plating on the Bb, is I believe, original, i.e. these are the original German Silver keys. This clarinet carries the famous Draper X1 above the rear thumb rest, it probably dates to around 1913.
The A, S/N 1196, has a replacement bell, S/N 2063, but is actually in better overall condition than the Bb. There are no cracks or damage, but the key work has been replated in chrome at some point in the past. All tan leather pads are good, there is no joint wobble. This instrument is early, possibly 1907, and may well predate Draper's involvement with Hawkes.