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 This is probably the finest extant example of a Hawkes & Son Excelsior Sonorous Simple System Bb clarinet left in the world today. The condition is mint. All pieces are matching with the same serial number 9998 [which dates to the early 1920's], though the original barrel was shortened, and the seller is supplying a modern replacement. The original brochure states that the Class A Hawkes, "Excelsior Sonorous", clarinet features: "WOOD African Blackwood logs specially chosen for straight grain, containig no knots or cross graining.. Matured for years at our works-and thoroughly seasoned. KEYS Hand forged nickel silver, very strong in every way with all joints and fastenings silver soldered" and solid silver key barrels.
The result of this manufacturing quality is a superbly resonant Simple system clarinet [also known as an Albert system, after the leading Belgian firm Albert] with excellent intonation. The pads are all brand new Pisoni Premium Deluxe White Leather, and the wood and key work are immaculate. This clarinet would well suit a Jazz player looking to recreate the sounds associated with the great players from the 1920's and 1930's. It might also appeal to a collector. The instrument tunes well with any standard modern mouthpiece of Vandoren "M" type or similar. A mouthpiece can be supplied by the seller if required. The case is worn but fully functional.