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MARTEL a PARIS, Bb CLARINET, 995

This is the quintessential French clarinet; possibly the finest ever French makers were Martel Freres. Each instrument was completely hand made and undercut, this last process alone took 2-3 days, until a perfectly even scale was achieved. Hawkes and Co. came to the surviving Martel brother after WW1 to help them design their own legendary Hawkes' Martels, as played by Reginald Kell, Charles Draper etc These evolved into the Boosey and Hawkes pre-war 1010 from which the genealogy of fine English wide bore instruments can be traced to the present day. The playing characteristics are unique and exceptional: Perfect uninhibited open response, and excellent tuning make for a true "players clarinet" which is a physical delight to blow.
This example is stamped " Martel Freres a Paris" and is in excellent condition with matching stamps on all pieces. The barrel upper tenon has been relined in metal, see photo 3. There is a minor chip to the bottom of the bell, just where it meets the ring, photo 4. This aside, the wood is in superb condition for a vintage clarinet. All Maillechort key work and springs are in excellent order. The pads are tan leather throughout in very good condition. There is no joint wobble. This is without a doubt the finest condition Martel I have seen. The intonation is excellent, spot on A=440 with standard modern French bore m'pieces. It is supplied in an excellent modern BAM case.