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What am I? Noblet, All Wood, Stamped Made in France, Serial 5185A

Discussion in 'The Leblanc Family' started by SouthCityPawn, Jul 31, 2015.

  1. SouthCityPawn

    SouthCityPawn

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    IMG_5299.JPG IMG_5301.JPG IMG_5305.JPG IMG_5311.JPG IMG_5316.JPG

    Hello all from a lowly Pawnbroker in South San Francisco. We have this beautiful vintage Noblet clarinet here at our shop, but I'm struggling to come up with an accurate year and model.

    Here's what I know so far:
    - modern keying system, so ignore the late 1890s Buffet in the background. That is a project for another day.
    - both body joints, the bell and the barrel are all stamped with the Noblet Paris diamond with ND at the top -- which makes me think I have a model 45
    - the mouthpiece has a different, more modern stamp, so am assuming the mouthpiece is a later addition.
    - the top of the LH body joint is stamped " Made in France"
    - both body joints are stamped with "5185A" -- this doesn't really match up to any of the serial number lists that I have found online.
    - except for the replacement mouthpiece, all 4 pieces seem to be dark wood, so not compressed plastics.


    So, with all this info, what model do you think I have?

    Thanks,
    A lowly pawnbroker who was a flautist...
     
  2. Carl H.

    Carl H. Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

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    Welcome to the board. There is much to be gained for any woodwind enthusiast by being here.

    I appreciate your honesty in mentioning that you are a pawnbroker, however you may not find much love here if you aren't also a woodwind player as well. We help others here whenever possible, but a commercial concern seems a bit outside of our mission.

    My experience with pawn shops and instruments is summed up by the phrase "gold plated turds". I suspect others feel quite similarly.

    Hope you are the exception and share your experiences as a WW player with the gang.

    All the best,
    Carl
     
  3. SouthCityPawn

    SouthCityPawn

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    Thanks for the honesty -- I was a woodwinder back in the day, which is the reason I am the go-to person in our shop for woodwinds. I played flute and piccolo for years, but clarinets are outside my purview. I grew up in Indiana, so the Elkhart brands are close to my heart -- Gemeinhardt, FTW! I totally understand not wanting to turn this into a commercial channel; I'm a member of other online BBs too.

    Yup, you are right that most pawnshop instruments are turds, but sometimes we find little nuggets of gold. I'm currently sitting on 2 pre-1900 Buffets, a matched Penzel Muller Low Pitch Set, and this all wood Noblet and just want to make sure they go to proper homes. I definitely want to make sure that I'm accurately describing them and really want to learn the ins-and-outs of vintage clarinets.

    So, not even a hint on the Noblet? Pretty please?
     
  4. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    I have found many treasures in pawn shops. I'm loathe to go into a pawn shop because there is always a poor instrument to rescue. :)

    The cornet we rescued is now in the hands of a student who couldn't afford one. I think it cost us $15. The bass guitar was gifted to a nephew, under duress as i really liked it.
     
  5. Helen

    Helen Content Expert Saxophones Staff Member Administrator

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    I got my 6M at a pawnshop. It's my main alto now, and replaced my Mark VI that I had for 20+ years as my primary horn. Best $425 I ever spent!
     
  6. TrueTone

    TrueTone Clarinet, Sax, Oboe, History

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    I got my backup Clarinet (A Buffet Evette Master Model) for $120 in a pawnshop, needed a repad.
    Unfortunately the King Marigaux there I couldn't afford was gone within a week, so I missed out on a much better one.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2015
  7. SouthCityPawn

    SouthCityPawn

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    Aw thanks for the pawnshop love! The bad apples give us a bad rep, but you can really find some treasures if you are willing to dig. Unfortunately, a lot of people think just because their horn is old that is instantly valuable. The hardest part of my day is telling someone their family heirloom is only worth about $50. Help me learn about these old French brands so I can better help my customers!!
     
  8. TrueTone

    TrueTone Clarinet, Sax, Oboe, History

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    I'm waiting for seeing that "another day" to see that Buffet pair overhauled.
    (and also for opinions of a musician on how it plays, as I've never seen a playable pre-1900 Buffet.) (Though I have played a 1910ish A that I liked, other than it was rather stuffy.)
     
  9. SouthCityPawn

    SouthCityPawn

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    Today will be your lucky day then -- I shot some decent pics of the pair last night because I have some questions about the keying on the M serial # vs. the K serial number. I think the K series is some weird Albert/Boehm hybrid... here's a preview :) IMG_5324.JPG IMG_5325.JPG IMG_5327.JPG
     
  10. Carl H.

    Carl H. Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

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  11. TrueTone

    TrueTone Clarinet, Sax, Oboe, History

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    And I'll paraphrase the topic you posted in on this for when someone finds this later:
    Those are both pure Albert, rings and lack of rollers don't automatically mean Boehm.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2015
  12. SouthCityPawn

    SouthCityPawn

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    Good to know with the rollers -- I was more interested in the LACK of rings on the LH body joint and the extra little trill key. Does that matter? I want to make sure I am accurately describing in the eBay listing!
     
  13. TrueTone

    TrueTone Clarinet, Sax, Oboe, History

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    One's a 15/4, (keys, rings) the others a 13/2, which is basically Mueller's design with Sax's improvements (rings)
    The 15/4 is the standard Albert.
    The A would probably be worth around the same as the Bb (if you sold them seperately, though I'd sell them together) as it's a less complex system but n A
     
  14. TBill

    TBill

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    As far as I know best info is on ClarinetPerfection.com which you may have seen. Many pics of Noblets like yours and old brochures, and as you may have seen, serial numbers but not the serial numbers you have. You do seem to clearly have a Noblet 45 logo. 1971 would have had serial no. A5185 but you have 5185A, and by old appearance looks like we are talking a pre-1960 clarinet. In one photo he shows a circa 1948 Noblet with serial no something like 58xx. The only thing you might do is correspond with the ClarinetPerfection folks but it looks like you got an older one. I see the ClarinetPerfection guy sometimes posts to SaxontheWeb. The other thing you can do is check eBay for similar looking horns.

    The only reason I know is I am thinking of buying a Noblet 40 today, but it looks a lot newer maybe 1970s.
     
  15. TBill

    TBill

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