The history of Malerne clarinets is sketchy at best, so the following
information may be correct at one certain time or another. If you have any
more accurate information please please contact Steve
Malerne has three distinct soprano clarinets. The “Professional” which had 4 stars, the “Intermediate” which had 3 stars, and the “Standard” model which had no stars and was considered the student model. Malerne (like SML) stenciled their clarinets and you can find Malernes as Conns, Olds and Linton, Evette (Buffet student), Evette and Schaeffer (Buffet Intermediate), Selmer UK clarinets and many others.
The Standard model apparently did not have an adjustment screw on the G#/A
throat keys on the early ones. The Intermediate and Professional did (I assume all the time). The bore on the standard (on one measured instrument) was smaller at .577 than the Intermediate and Pro. Not many of these have passed through my hands and I have not kept any measure dimensions or pics of them.
In 1904 Mr. Malerne was a Noblet foreman and played in the La Couture Municipal Band when Mr. Georges Leblanc was the Director. In 1930s LeBret (Paris) was sold to Malerne. In 1975 Malerne was bought by SML.
Malerne made clarinets a variety of makers including Buffet (their Evette and
Evette-Schaeffer models – look for the serial number preceeding “A”, “B”, “C”,
“D” or “E”), even department stores such as Sears at one time resold a Malerne as a “Symphonie Artiste” model. Way too many stencils names to list but look for the letter preceeding the numbers as a potential indicator.
Malerne Standard Emblem
A1816 & A43xx has the Bb throat adjusting screw. ( The dates are
really just a guess )
A6793 – 1942ish no lining and no throat adjusting screw. Yes, if you
noticed the A6793 (supposedly a later serial number has no adjusting screw,
where as the A43xx has one)
E3491 – 1946ish – had that nickel silver lining in the upper joint.
adjusting screw on the throat keys. Pics are from top of top joint, and
from bottom of top joint
Oxxxx = 1955ish
There have been ebay ads trying to tout a Symphonie Artiste as a Leblanc
clarinet. This is not the case. I bought my Symphonie Artiste years
ago on CraigsList hoping for the same thing. Instead I got a clearly second
grade quality instrument. This is clearly a stencil and is not a
professional instrument in any way. The keywork is large, not highly
finished and clumsy feeling, ie, a student instrument. This instrument
screams “student” and nothing like a finely finished Leblanc professional
clarinet. Of course, it isn’t. It’s a student Malerne clarinet.