Criteria for Appraisal

Goodevening,

Our family has a Henri Leduc Bb hard rubber clarinet (serial # 2670B) that has been in our family since the 1930’s. What a great sound and complete joy to play. My question is…who made these clarinets and of course any other info would be greatly appreciated. Thank you !

A K

Hello AK:
It’s absolutely wonderful how the criteria for the appraising process is frequently in the ear of the beholder.
Henri Leduc is obviously a gentleman from France, or the name would make one think so. Maybe Belgium, I guess, but definitley that part of the world . But, in researching the name Henri Leduc, one gets nowhere, because there are those responses that say he is German and others who say he is French. The road gets more and more circuitous until one is given the answer, which is, there is no answer. Your clarinet is what is generally called a “stencil” clarinet. These are instruments that are made by any number of makers who then put names on them and sell them so indeed they can be resold. The legend has begun.
And this rubber clarinet at that has been in the family since the 1930s. That’s almost a hundred years. We have then an ebonite clarinet that has been “in the family for almost one hundred years. But, it also has a great sound and it is a compete joy to play as well.”.
What can I possibly tell you about this lovely sounding clarinet that you don’t already know?
It is a joy to play. We know that it is made of rubber, or ebonite, which we know has a more dulcet kind of sound than does wood, and further we know that the material is the best there is as far as stability is concerned .
We also know that it will not crack.
It may play beautifully for the entire period of your ownership, and who knows, even after that when perhaps a grandchild might play it as well.
Will he find it as you have found it? Will he continue to love it? Or will she?
Or perhaps in the long history of a family, will the child pick up the instrument, blow into it, and out will come the most horrendous squeak ever heard! “What is this old piece of junk! I think we shall throw it away or give it to the Salvation Army”
Can’t tell.
But right now, the clarinet that you vaguely asked me about is something you’re absolutely in love with, and a complete joy to play”

If I were you, I would enjoy the clarinet and continue to play it beautifully.

best regards, Sherman

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One Response to Criteria for Appraisal

  1. bulldoggy2008 says:

    Ah, those glorious hard rubber clarinets. I played on an ebonite clarinet, probably relatively inexpensive, from the 6th grade, through jr. and high schools, and in my first year in the First Marine Division Band. It survived the rough handling of a public school student, and the strenuous requirements of a Marine Corps band. At that point, in 1958, I sold that faithful ebonite and bought a brand-spanking new Selmer Center Tone clarinet ($350.00), which is still in great shape, and which I still play in community musical groups. I have no regrets in buying that wonderful CT. But, how I wish I still also had that old, ever faithful hard rubber clarinet, and which undoubtedly still play could play fine had I hung onto it. I now also have one of Tom Ridenour’s Arioso clarinets, which is great, plays as well as my “professional” CT, and a heck of a lot less expensive than the over-rated, vastly over-priced name brand clarinets.

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