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Identify the oboe

Discussion in 'Oboe' started by Chris J, Oct 24, 2009.

  1. I am totally new to the oboe. I play saxes and clarinets. I have just received my first working one - it was a cheap no-name from Ebay.

    But I collect clarinets, and I think can recognise good workmanship when I see it - so when the oboe arrived, it was a bit more robust than I was expecting for the price.

    I have asked about the origins of the oboe on the Oboe BBoard, but the thoughts so far is that it is definitely German made, and makers name in the frame are:

    "Likely: Fritz Schuller
    Possible: Markhardt, Poppe
    Perhaps: Moenning"

    I do know there are some experts here that know a thing or two about oboes who may not post on the oboe BB, so here are the same questions.

    Any views on :
    The maker
    Wood used
    Date of manufacture
    Quality
    Intended market of initial sale (student, intermediate, professional)
    Value (serviced, sealing and tight)

    The only marking is a serial number on all joints of 7016

    The wood is dyed, with golden brown colour coming through wear areas on the body, but obvious inside. The bore is smooth.

    Photos below

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    I have come across pictures of an instrument in UK labelled "Gebruder Monnig Wooden Oboe" on Ebay - http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=360098527518&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT

    It has an identical case, though theirs is black. Mine below

    [​IMG]

    It has the same profile keys (pointed over the pivots) as mine

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    And in the picture below, the right first finger touch piece is the same concave plate and the G# key appears same shape. The only difference is as below, mine has an adjustment screw on the small bridge over to the UJ and theirs did not, though the photos available were not great

    [​IMG]

    Did the makers in the area use a common source for keys, and use the same cases as each other - or are these similarities significant?

    Thanks for getting this far in the post, if you stuck with me!

    So, to recap -

    Any views on :
    The maker
    Wood used
    Date of manufacture
    Quality
    Intended market of initial sale (student, intermediate, professional)
    Value (serviced, sealing and tight)

    Chris
     
  2. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Administrator Staff Member Administrator

    First observations:

    1. Wood is always my fav.
    2. Metal joints are not normally used on student instruments.

    Recommend you have a decent player give it a blow. It's what I do with my acquisitions that I don't play yet. Fascinating stuff that.
     
  3. Merlin

    Merlin Content Expert/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

    Looks like an older pro model intended for the European market.

    Most oboes used in N. America sport a double semi-auto register key mechanism with plateau keys throughout.

    Yours has single auto octave with ring keys.

    Good news is that it does have a LH F key.

    Value will be considerably less on this side of the pond than a semi-auto model.

    Play it for what it's worth.
     
  4. So a quick update:

    In the "nothing ventured, nothing gained" school of thought, I sent an email to the Moennig factory in Germany.

    What kind and helpful people!

    I got an email back from the Managing Director, who agreed it did bear similarities to an early Moennig model. If it was a Moennig, the serial number would date it to the early 1940's. He told me that they did make instruments that did not have a logo, for export to USA.

    He went on the say he would show the photographs to somebody else who might have a better opinion as the whether my oboe came from the Moennig craftsmen. That would be a 71 year old gent who still often comes into the factory - called Mr Klaus Moennig.

    Will post again if I hear more

    Chris
     
  5. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    Sorry. I missed this earlier.

    I have extremely little experience with oboes, but my ex-wife brought one home awhile back to play with. It looked like yours and it was a Moennig.

    YMMV.
     
  6. Ed

    Ed Founder Staff Member Administrator

    Chris J,

    That's great news. I hope that Mr. Moennig is able to confirm everything.
     
  7. There is a real satisfaction in buying an instrument on Ebay - an instrument I had assumed would be an unmarked, low grade instrument - and finding that it might have a traceable history.

    There is as much interest in chasing the history, than chasing a potential "golden find". Particularly in this case, because even if it does turn out to be a 1940 Moennig - I still do not know whether that makes it a professional level, currently coverted instrument - or an interesting antique. I can always hope for the former, but will not know until someone tells me!

    My favouite clarinet to play is a 1960's Couesnon Monopole. Rediculously cheap to buy, but once fully overhauled it is a beautiful instrument.

    My first alto sax was a Vito VSP, made by Yanagisawa. Difficult to place on the model lines over the years, I decided to send a fax to Japan with the serial number to ask if they had any information. Next day a fax back was waiting for me to say it is an A600 model of 1980, and only 50 were ever made (a story mentioned in the Yanagisawa pages of this site). I loved the history, but what have I got? - still an old Yanagisawa.

    When I got the oboe, I had intended to have a service to good working level - just what was needed. If it is a Moennig I will have a full overhaul. Just because I think that if it has lasted for 60 years and has been thought of highly enough to keep it in good repair, it deserves to be treated well!

    Chris