Hello everyone,

I was once gifted an old clarinet but now I am really interested in finding out how old it is. Though the person who gave it to me said it was from the 40's, I am not so sure now. (take note however, that I don't actually play clarinet, nor do I know anything about it)

It is a B clarinet of 64 cm.

The barrel joint has inscripted: 'e.j. albert'

the upper joint: Adler & co, Mark neukirchen , below it: Louis de leeuw, zwolle

The lower joint: Kohlert & co, winnenden, Wurtemberg, B

I did google all this but I don't really understand it all. I hope that you might be able to help me :)


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Each of the 3 parts you mention is from a different manufacturer, so each is gonna be a bit different in age:
The barrel is from a manufacturer active between 1890 to probably about 1930 or so. (I've got a clarinet from his dad, actually.)
The upper joint is from Oskar Adler, which still exists in Germany! I found a reference to one Henri Louis de Leeuw born in Zwolle, it might be that he owned a music store that imported your clarinet's upper joint; he died in 1932.
The lower joint is from a company called Kohlert, which moved to Winnenden in 1948, so it's from after that. Is just it the lower joint or also the bell marked as that?
Here are some pictures of the inscriptions. Sadly some aren't very visible on photo's


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How much would be reasonable to sell it for? Although I think it a fascinating object, I was thinking of selling it. I don't want to make a huge profit but I do want to sell it for a reasonable price. i dont know what I should ask for it
Unlike, say, violins, clarinets don't get better with age and unless it is something really special the value tends to go down from day one. While this might be seen as an interesting collection of mismatched parts its value as a functional, playable instrument is very low. Three things are relevant. Firstly, it's an Albert system instrument, which are rarely played now having been supplanted by the Boehm system. Secondly, considering the age of the parts there's a possibility that it is in high pitch, which means that it cannot tune to an ensemble of modern instruments. Thirdl, it's just an assembly of parts of mixed origin. It might have some interest as a curio, but as a functional instrument its has no great value.
In addition to Tony's comments, it's very possible that the mouthpiece you have on the horn is worth significantly more than the horn, itself. (Mind you, this might be saying that your horn's worth $10 and the mouthpiece is worth $20.) I'm not a mouthpiece "guy," so I can't give you much info, but if you want to post some pics over here, someone will probably be able to give you some info.

Oh. Forgot to mention. The section of your horn with "Kohlert - Winnenden - B" is telling you it's for a Bb clarinet, not a B clarinet. In German, B = Bb and H = B. A good example is Bach's Messe in H Moll, which is a Mass in B Minor. I'm fairly sure that nobody's ever made a B clarinet. Maybe in the 1700s.
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