1800s Ivory over Boxwood Clarinet

KeySideBoxwood 5891joints2

I’ve purchased this clarinet that is over 200 years old.  Here’s the description:

A rare 6 keyed ivory mounted boxwood clarinet in Bb stamped on all joints: Cahusac, London. Unrestored condition. Pinned and repaired bell, barrel is missing, one key and one half of a key are missing. Interesting owner’s initials engraved in one of the keys: RW. Measurements: – total length without barrel 55.7 cm – diameter of bell 8.4 cm .

The piece is not playable which is a departure from my other vintage instrument purchases but it really is a curiosity piece. I was looking at the Early Musical Instrument Web site when I found this instrument. It looks like most of the instruments are sold now which is kind of sad in a way. But I’m sure they went to the hands of fine musicians or instrument collectors.

This instrument will join my collection of metal clarinets and such. I might even get Suzy to turn a replacement barrel just for fun.

5891joints  5891bell

About Gandalfe

Just an itinerant saxophonist trying to find life between the changes. I have retired from the Corps of Engineers and Microsoft. I am an admin on the Woodwind Forum, run the Seattle Solid GOLD Big Band (formerly the Microsoft Jumpin' Jive Orchestra), and enjoy time with family and friends.
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5 Responses to 1800s Ivory over Boxwood Clarinet

  1. Elizabeth says:

    How awesome! I wonder what sort of pieces the original owner played so many years ago… :)

  2. Isabelle says:

    200 years you say!!!
    WOOOAOOOOW!!! I really wonder what sort of sound may come from it. Ok a clarinet sound for sure, but I wonder what a 200yrs old one can do.
    Besides I was told that these instrument were made and that no technology can equal there quality of music, violins for instance. Is that true?
    Take care,

  3. Kathryn says:

    How absolutely beautiful!

  4. Rambling says:

    I have to tell you I am totally impressed.  For real.  I love this!!!

  5. kitten says:

    What a wonderful find Jim, if I may, just to touch and hold on to something that is so very old is exciting. Wondering who played this instrument not knowing its journey or where it might have traveled is amazing.
    You have gifted this Ivory Boxwood Clarinet with a good home even though it can not be played it will be a marveled for the richness of its past. Although not a collector like you darling I have an unusually lovely old grand piano over 110 years old with the original ivory and ebony keys. 
    This grand piano is adorned with intricate rich dark wood that has been carved to perfection ornate to the point of breathtakingly beautiful. I often sit running my slender fingers along the keys enjoying the feel of the cool pale ivory slipping over the ebony that is as deep and dark not unlike the black of a starless night sky.
    Admiring something so wondrous makes one ponder if there were any nights of haunted sweet melodies shared by these instrument so long ago; or how many joyous family holidays did these instruments enrapture. I am pleased you have a passion for things of old, a grand appreciation of ones past. I love your thoughtfulness in sharing this with all of us a truly remarkable gift you have acquired. Thank you.          
    Kisses and Hugs Catherine

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