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This is the quintessential French clarinet; possibly the finest ever French makers were Martel Freres. Each instrument was completely hand made and undercut, this 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 early example is stamped " Martel Freres a Mantes" and is in excellent condition with matching serial nos. 1305 on all main pieces. The French polish is 65% or more, exceptional for a pre WW1 vintage clarinet. There is one tight hairline crack, which does not enter the bore or tenon to the top of the upper joint, see photo 11. This aside, the wood is in superb condition for a vintage clarinet. All Maillechort key work and springs are in excellent order. The clarinet has been recently fully overhauled, and we are happy to extend our full 1 year Clarinets Direct warranty to this instrument. The supplied Vandoren m'piece tunes perfectly at A=440. The original case still latches and protects this rare & desirable instrument.