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Unidentified Clarinet

Hi Everyone,

I appreciate any information you can give regarding the pictured clarinet.
I am an employee of a local music store and I was given this clarinet because I repair donated instruments and give them to kids in need. This clarinet was found in a church basement and I am afraid it is beyond it's useful playing life beside the fact that it is a "high pitch" instrument. If it is not worth getting into playing condition I would want to know what price it might fetch that I could use to invest in other instruments to donate.

I don't have the experience to identify it given the visible markings. Any thoughts?




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Hi Evan

I am afraid the only positive here is that the L.P. marking means that it is a low pitch instrument. Beyond that, these simple system clarinets hold little or no value to anyone other than collectors or a few people who prefer to play them. Someone might pick it up for $20, but you may get very little more if it was in full working order.

Others may chip in if I am being too pessimistic

I would agree. These type of clarinets have a niche usage and not a whole lot of value (except for maybe vintage Buffets or Selmers). I once picked up one for $5 bucks at a garage sale. If you are looking for an interesting conversation piece for your shop, this would do nicely.


Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Mmmmmaybe a bit on the pessimistic side :p.

The biggest problem is that I don't recognize the maker stamp that's in the 4th photo. I can't read it. It's "[three letters]et" then "et Cie" -- in other words, "***et and Company." I think that's "Gonet," based on some Googling. They're also listed in the New Langwill Index as "WWI," which probably means that's the age of the only instrument found. I'd actually say that this horn's a bit newer than that.

Let's see ... I'm assuming that this is the horn sold for $26 on Goodwill. The only other clarinets I saw listed online were an A & Bb high pitch pair someone tried to sell for $520 (i.e. someone was on crack). I also saw some assorted brasswinds in the low $100ish range. As mentioned by Chris, the horn is LP, that means "low pitch" or modern intonation. That's good. Albert system horns are common and are still in use, although I wouldn't necessarily want one. You could probably make the argument that the clarinet was made by a different company for Gonet, who then resold it -- a process called called "stenciling" -- but I'm not versed enough in clarinets this old to help you out on that front. You could always put it up on eBay and see what happens. Hey, the cheapest that an Albert system clarinet -- that wasn't missing parts -- sold for was $36. The highest was $565 (for a nice, completely overhauled, one).

It's always possible that the mouthpiece is worth more than the clarinet. I'm not a mouthpiece "guy," but if you can find a maker's mark on it and take some pictures of it, we might be able to help you a bit more.
I suspected that the only positive might be that beautiful purple lining inside the case :)

Thank you everyone for making the effort to comment on this post. Maybe I will fetch more if I make it into a lamp?


College Student who likes wind instruments & music
I suspected that the only positive might be that beautiful purple lining inside the case :)

Thank you everyone for making the effort to comment on this post. Maybe I will fetch nothing if I make it into a lamp?
I fixed your value. =P


Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
One problem is that if the clarinet you have smells moldy/musty, it will still smell moldy/musty as a lamp and make the room it's in smell moldy/musty. The plated keywork will also start to oxidize, too. (Source: personal experience.) You'd want to remove all the pads, corks (except on the connecting parts), and felts. Clean it inside and out and then use a couple coats of varnish or something that'll seal it up completely. Then you'd have to buy something to use as a base, the electrical parts, and the lamp shade "frame" and the shade, itself -- or find a junk lamp that works and has a base. You'd also want to use some sort of epoxy to make sure all the clarinet body sections fit together and won't come apart.

It's a bit of work if you want to do it right.

I'd love to see one with colored LEDs for each of the toneholes and have a controller where it changes color and turns on/off with the press of a key. Maybe plays an MP3, too. Hmm. Raspberry Pi or Arduino ... ?
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