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These superb Boehm system clarinets were made by the last maker of the legendary Albert family: Jacques Fils. They have a truly remarkable provenance: These were the last pair of clarinets to be used professionally by Jon Steward. Jon is recognised as the foremost repairman and clarinet designer in the UK. He recently retired from T W Howarth and Co. Whilst at Howarths, Jon established an impeccable repuation and was also responsible for the design of the Howarth professional clarinet range, S1, S2, and S3. It is important to mention that Jon had nothing to do with the earlier student, Marigaux sourced, wooden "Howarth", which was a much inferior product.
Subsequently these instruments were sold to Nick Bucknall, the UK's foremost session clarinettist. Jon supplied a custom made mouthpiece for Nick, which tunes the pair superbly. Jon also made a new barrel, and generally tuned and perfected the pair. Nick used these instruments on many film sessions, perhaps most memorably for the soundtrack of the film "The Talented Mr Ripley".
The German Silver keywork is good, very solid, and with a light patina appropriate to its age. The wood is in excellent condition for its age, with no cracks or repairs. The pads throughout are tan leather in good condition. There is no joint wobble, the instruments are perfectly playable as is. From the look and style of key work these clarinets were probably made in the late 1920's or early 1930's. Both clarinets are stamped " Approved Haydn Draper". Albert clarinets are well known for their unique warmth and depth of tone. To some extent they exhibit a rare synthesis of the best of German and French schools of clarinet making. The makers stamp is clearly visible on all sections. The case is in good used condition, and is supplied with keys.