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The Normandy Bb clarinet was a range of student clarinets made by Leblanc, and this example is a commission sale. This clarinet was based on the Noblet professional model, it has a bore of 14.85mm, it is an extremely rare plateau clarinet, i.e. all touchpieces are covered hole.
The Nickel Silver key work shows only slight wear, mainly to the middle, and index finger touchpieces of the RH. Though the pads are not new, all are sealing well at the moment, a few will need replacing in the next months, but the majority will be good for some time to come. There are no cracks or damage to the body; which is in good condition. The instrument is made of resonite, with the body parts being molded. The serial nos. are very close but not the same; the lower joint is stamped, 20372, and the upper 20193. The joints are an extremely good match, and fit together perfectly. The last owner was a younger player who struggled to cover the open holes on a normal clarinet. Consequently an additional hook has been added, rather like a smaller thumb rest, on the back of the lower joint, and to this support, a sling was attached.
This clarinet would suit a doubler on sax or flute, or even the arthritic player who may have difficulty covering the standard open tone-hole ring keys. The case is the original in good condition, and the m'piece is a very fine custom made Ed Pillinger, parabolic bore model, with a PM15 facing. With this excellent m'piece the instrument responds very well for a plateau; with none of the usual "stuffiness" in the RH lower register & the intonation is excellent.