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JACQUES ALBERT FILS CLARINET, WITH DUAL Bb/OVERBLOWING KEY, 1195

An exceptionally rare and unique Boehm system clarinet made by the last maker of the legendary Albert family: Jacques Fils. The clarinet is part of the collection of an American, who tells me that the instrument dates from 1925-1930. This instrument appears to be one of the earliest instruments to feature a dual function register key, which opens a dedicated Bb hole, and automatically defers to the register key, when the LH Thumb is depressed. The mechansim is ingeniuos and remarkably well thought out; typical Jacques Albert Fils. There are 3 adjusting screws, including one atop the register key to keep the mechansim in regulation. The whole design is much improved over the later Rosario Mazzeo design, equal in quality to Selmer's Omega design as seen on the Centered Tone.
The German Silver keywork is good, very solid, and with a light patina appropriate to its age. In addition to the overblowing mechanism, the clarinet has 7 rather than the usual 6 rings, giving a fork Eb/Bb. The upper joint has been pinned in the past, one crack runs down through the upper joint logo, from the top of the top joint into the "A" hole, the crack is held with 3 pins, see photo 4. The repair is old and stable. There is also another crack at 180 degrees to this, which runs from the top of the top joint down to the speaker tube, this has also been pinned with one pin. The pads throughout are fish skin, old, but all sealing. There is no joint wobble, the instrument is perfectly playable as is. the clarinet is stamped " Manufactured Jacques Albert Fils Bruxelles" The case appears to be original and is in good used condition.