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These are an exceptionally rare and fine pair of Louis of London English clarinets, which are a commission sale. The firm was strongly associated with possibly the finest ever French makers: Martel Freres. Each Louis instrument was completely hand made and undercut in their London premises, 2 Burnsall Street, Chelsea W3. The finishing alone took 2-3 days. Charles Draper personally endorsed these particular clarinets. The perfect uninhibited open response, and excellent tuning make for a true "players clarinet" which is a physical delight to blow, superior to much on the mass produced market today.
These instruments are in excellent condition, for clarinets made in the 1920's. The pads are tan leather throughout in perfect condition. There is a small crack to the top of the lower joint of the A, which runs from the tenon ring down to the first tone hole, however it does not go through to the tone hole, or the bore it runs only into the tenon. The crack therefore does not affect the bore in anyway and has no effect whatsoever on the response, see photo 8. This apart, the Grenadilla wood is in very good condition, with only scuffs and marks associated with careful professional use. There is no joint wobble. The hand burnished German Silver key work shows absolutely no wear or play to the mechanism. The instruments have been very carefully maintained and were last overhauled by John Coppen, all pads are in excellent condition, the majority in tan leather, some are in cork. All pieces are matching and original. The Bb has matching serial nos. 201, and the A has matching serial nos. 218 The supplied m'pieces is a new Pillinger F3 SD Dov 121, which actually is based on a Louis blank, the tuning is excellent. The case is the original, which despite the dust cover shows much wear, a good condition modern double case is also included in the sale, see photo 12.