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Eugene Albert Clarinet

TrueTone

College Student who likes wind instruments & music
Soo I mentioned in a post Thursday I was looking at a clarinet-I won this auction:
https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https://www.ebay.co.uk/ulk/itm/352472118134
Anyone have thoughts on an 1870s or so Eugene Albert clarinet?
While apparently he made a lot of HP instruments; this at least is interesting historically. I know Albert made nice clarinets-Henry Lazarus owned 8 of them!
@Steve or anyone have an opinion on these? I mainly bought it out of curiosity of what a late 19th century clarinet plays like.
...plus it was cheap =P

Also, does anyone know if the approved by Mr Lazarus marking was on all of Albert's clarinets, or if he actually approved them at the importer? If its the latter, that would be rather cool; but I can't find much on his clarinets, especially regarding that marking; I'm going to look in some books at the library to see what I can find.
 

TrueTone

College Student who likes wind instruments & music
Okay so it's arrived! here's my thoughts:
It's a clarinet. Shocking, I know.

***

Okay now my actual thoughts:
It's in slightly worse condition than I thought-there's a small crack on the upper end of the lower joint, inside the tenon, but it doesn't go through a tonehole or anything like that at least.
Also of note: it's a tad younger than I was expecting, to the point I think it's probably from the last few years of Albert's life. As I have a copy of Pamela Weston's More Clarinet Virtuosi of the Past checked out from the library here, here's what she (and the executor of Lazarus's estate auction in 1895) has to say on two of the clarinets Henry Lazarus owned:

16) A Clarionet in A, by Eugene Albert, of Brussels, cocus-wood, silver-keyed. Between 1866 and 1871. Serial no. 2470. Albert System, with extra keys as in no.13. Silver mounts, 16 keys, 2 rings, rollers on all cross and little finger keys. Body stamped "A. Chappell, 45 New Bond Street, London" Bell stamped "Approved by Mr. Lazarus" Length 61.7 cms. Bore 1.51 cms.
(etc etc talking about the mouthpiece too, which is 2 inches long and had a 16 mm lay.)

That one's to get a bit of an idea of the serial progression, in comparison to this:

18) A Clarionet in C. +These three Instruments were the favorite set of the late Mr. Lazarus. 1879. Cocus-wood. 14 nickel-silver keys, no rollers. stamping: upper joint in front "Sole agents S.A. Chappell 52 New Bond St. London", on back "1879 RAB 4109"; lower joint "Approved by Mr. Lazarus"; side of bell "RAB 1879)

Now that C Clarinet has the same markings as mine, with two exceptions:
First off, my (probably Bb from looking at it) clarinet has no mention of what I assume stands for Royal Army Band.
But secondly, it has a much later serial-644x; probably from the end of the 1880s, and near the end of Albert's life.

It looks like a nice clarinet, basically!
Like I said, it's probably HP-but it was used a LOT from the looks of it-the keys are fairly worn, so are the tonehole chimneys under the rings, somewhat.

***

Oh, and also it's very dirty, but that's to be expected.

(I thought I posted this yesterday but I apparently never hit post on it)
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
Here's an 1877 E Albert-made horn. Clarinet in C.

Here's your Mr. Lazarus.

Check out this E Albert mouthpiece with integral ligature.

Oh. Watch out on the thumbnails. It cycles between different horns.

Anyhow, I just looked them up because they looked interesting. I can't tell you much other than that. I did do some related reading and there are a bunch of different HP standards, so if it is HP, it might not be excessively HP. However, there did seem to be some damage near the upper/lower joint tenon, so that'd be of a bit more concern :D.

I don't know if these are especially valuable. I somewhat doubt it, unless you had something interesting, like the above mentioned mouthpiece. I wouldn't mind just having one just to say, "Y'know, an ALBERT system horn from the inventor. It's cool."
 
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TrueTone

College Student who likes wind instruments & music
Here's an 1877 E Albert-made horn. Clarinet in C.

Here's your Mr. Lazarus.

Check out this E Albert mouthpiece with integral ligature.

Oh. Watch out on the thumbnails. It cycles between different horns.

Anyhow, I just looked them up because they looked interesting. I can't tell you much other than that. I did do some related reading and there are a bunch of different HP standards, so if it is HP, it might not be excessively HP. However, there did seem to be some damage near the upper/lower joint tenon, so that'd be of a bit more concern :D.

I don't know if these are especially valuable. I somewhat doubt it, unless you had something interesting, like the above mentioned mouthpiece. I wouldn't mind just having one just to say, "Y'know, an ALBERT system horn from the inventor. It's cool."
Those links just show 1 image for me, Pete-the Albert Brevete engraving on the mpc, and some of the lower joint keys on the C.
However, I found that that C clarinet is in the Sir Nicholas Shackleton collection, and looking around in a catalog of that online helped me get a pretty good idea of its age: I searched for Albert and found one combination Bb/A using Carl Binda's 1884 patent, serial #5963! So mine is at least a while after that one. (coincidentally that patent is rather wierd-it's supposed to have worked by several cylinders expanding inwards or outwards to decrease bore volume)
The crack at least is very short-it only reaches the bottom of the tenon, not even to a tone hole.

Also I do have the original mouthpiece it came with, so it appears from the markings!
However it also has a giant chip out of it, so I can't really use it for much other than to show it with the clarinet. Not anything interesting like the one you linked though-just looks like a generic mouthpiece of the time, with the importer name on it.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
Just stumbled onto this looking for something else: a Buffet flyer from 1913. Hit page 7. More Henry Lazarus.

Edit: I went back to the Wikipedia article and added a lot of stuff from the above flyer and some other things, so when Wikipedia decides I'm not a 1337 h@xx0r, that should be added. I also did read that he was the consultant for Boosey when they started to make clarinets. I read that Lazarus did something for Boosey, but I didn't know what.
 
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TrueTone

College Student who likes wind instruments & music
Okay I sat down to read that: it looks interesting-especially the reference to Walter Harris of Sousa's band playing a Fischer Clarinet-buffet stencil probably? It also wouldn't surprise me if he went there at the same time as a Mr. Edson Weiss-they both started in Sousa's band in 1928, and had instruments sold by Fischer. I know that about Weiss as I saw his Loree Oboe for sale on ebay in December and am still kicking myself for not saving any photos of it-the only one I saved was a pair of photos of some writing on it to try to be able to read what it said. (it was in Japanese, and according to what my uncle could read of it, wasn't anything to do with what they said it said.) If you happened to download the photos from it, be my guest and share them. =P There's also an Oskar Oehler clarinet I need to save pictures of before the listing goes away-it was in A and Boehm System, very surprisingly, although not listed well and missing a barrel.

Also something I noticed that was interesting-Carl Fischer offered hard rubber buffets as special order. (and that the George Paul referred to appears to actually be named Ferdinand, according to a book by Paul Bierley that I currently have checked out from the library.)
Also certainly of note is Langenus knowing that Mozart knew about the basset clarinet-to my knowledge that was only relatively well known until about the 60s or 70s, roughly. (probably being rather influenced by Kroll-his book mentioned that, correct? It's been a while since I've read it but I'm pretty sure it did.)
And yay, I know my Berteling clarinet that used to be Holkko's was a model 8.
(also-catch the prices for repadding near the end? what's now 230 dollars for repadding a bass sax? That's very cheap, if it was a good overhaul.)
And additionally on that-I'd be interested to hear about what their catalog said about the low clarinets, contrabassoons, and sarrusophones! I've heard almost nothing on contrabass clarinets from this time period, even in advertising literature.

...okay that got us sufficiently off topic. To be more on topic, that Albert clarinet will hopefully be given to my repairman on the 20th or 21st! (and maybe with an alto sax if I've got the money for it-I've got too many things I need to overhaul, but my A Clarinet's at the top of the list, followed by this Albert or my Selmer RI, or the Martin or Buescher altos I have. Plus any other random horns I may end up being given or finding very cheap during the next month...)
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
the reference to Walter Harris of Sousa's band playing a Fischer Clarinet-buffet stencil probably?
Carl Fischer was just an importer. Most, say, 1930s and earlier, saxophones I've seen are Buffet, but not always. This horn, for instance, is a Conn New Wonder stencil. Speaking of, something I half remember, so YMMV:

In the 20s/30s, some instruments were stamped with the names of non-US manufacturers to get around some taxes. I've actually seen this both ways: Conns engraved with "Evette-Schaeffer" and Evette-Schaeffer horns engraved "Conn."

Anyhow, the point is that you really need to see the horn in question, especially when the make (e.g. "Carl Fischer") isn't an actual manufacturer.
If you happened to download the photos from it, be my guest and share them. =P
I downloaded all of them for you, just in case. Thumb attached. If you want the ad, it's still online, and you can glom the pictures. It generally takes ebay a couple months to kill the ad, unless the user is using a photo hosting service and overwrites the photos. I also recommend http://ebaydownload.com to download all the pics in an ad. However, I'd strongly recommend that you don't sign in to ebay before using ebaydownload.com.

I didn't see the clarinet, but I didn't look too hard, either :D.

(also-catch the prices for repadding near the end? what's now 230 dollars for repadding a bass sax? That's very cheap, if it was a good overhaul.)
I thought you were saying the repad was listed as $230 in the catalog, which is about $6000 US, in today's money. The catalog says $9. (Basses are listed for sale in the catalog at $108.30, cash, with $7.50 extra for the automatic octave key, and probably no case. That's a little shy of $3000, in today's money. Also nice to know that my little silver-plated curvy, which I sold a zillion years ago, was priced at $2200, although I don't remember how old it was.)


s-l1600.jpg
 

TrueTone

College Student who likes wind instruments & music
Last edited by a moderator:

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
I think I fixed your Oehler link. ebay decided, a few months back, that if the ad was over, they'd show you a "related item" with a link to the closed ad. The "related item" was a G Rudolf Uebel wooden clarinet, which is interesting in and of itself, but obviously not made by Oehler, nor was that an Oehler system horn. So much for "related item" :D.

The Oehler is an interesting looking clarinet. It has a wrap-around octave key and a donut key, similar to the one discussed here. I'm a fan of the rollers on the lower joint. However, I'm not enough of a "clarinet guy" to say much else.
 

Steve

Clarinet CE/Moderator
Staff member
CE/Moderator
Soo I mentioned in a post Thursday I was looking at a clarinet-I won this auction:
https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https://www.ebay.co.uk/ulk/itm/352472118134
Anyone have thoughts on an 1870s or so Eugene Albert clarinet?
While apparently he made a lot of HP instruments; this at least is interesting historically. I know Albert made nice clarinets-Henry Lazarus owned 8 of them!
@Steve or anyone have an opinion on these? I mainly bought it out of curiosity of what a late 19th century clarinet plays like.
...plus it was cheap =P

Also, does anyone know if the approved by Mr Lazarus marking was on all of Albert's clarinets, or if he actually approved them at the importer? If its the latter, that would be rather cool; but I can't find much on his clarinets, especially regarding that marking; I'm going to look in some books at the library to see what I can find.
They are an interesting find for the historical aspect of clarinets.
The wrap around register key was always a problem - leaks - as the arm was usually flexy. Thus they invented the teakettle part of it which is angled but with still a long flexy key.

I don't have any information on this era instrument though normally German clarinets have a cylindrical bore both upper and lower joint that flares quite quickly at the bell.
 

TrueTone

College Student who likes wind instruments & music
Okay so I tried my mouthpiece on it finally after being rather busy recently, despite knowing it would be leaking horribly, and found a bit of a problem:
my mouthpieces I just tried in my apartment won't fit. While I haven't tested my Kaspar on it yet, I'm pretty sure that won't fit either-the tenon size appears to be fairly small.
Well hopefully I have SOMETHING that fits, but we'll see...

Also of interest is this:
https://collections.ed.ac.uk/mimed/record/18035?highlight=*
Recording of one of Lazarus's personal horns!
 

TrueTone

College Student who likes wind instruments & music
Sooo-anyone know of any commercially produced mouthpieces with a very small tenon, of around 20-21 mm?
My Kaspar won't fit, so the only thing I have that fits is the broken mpc that came with it.
 

Steve

Clarinet CE/Moderator
Staff member
CE/Moderator
Sooo-anyone know of any commercially produced mouthpieces with a very small tenon, of around 20-21 mm?
My Kaspar won't fit, so the only thing I have that fits is the broken mpc that came with it.
You may want to contact Steve Fox about period correct clarinets. I'm sure he has something otherwise he could easily make something. For some reason I don't think just putting a mpc on a lathe and cutting it down to fit would be the only correction needed.
http://www.sfoxclarinets.com/Reproduction_Historical_Clarinets.html

There's other companies that make "period correct instruments" (search for that) too depending upon your location
https://www.schwenk-und-seggelke.de/englisch/klarinetten_historisch.php
 
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