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help with model, year, value

Hi,

I have a buffet clarinet that I played when I was in elementary school (20+ years ago). It was my grandfather's clarinet, but I don't know when/where he purchased it. The bell has a crack along the edge which doesn't affect the sound. Please see the pictures.

It has 27435 marked on it. I also recall being told it has silver keys.

I'm trying to determine a value, model, and year.

Thanks,

David
 

Ed

Founder
Staff member
Administrator
The serial number indicates it was built in 1945. It is pre R-13 as that was developed around 1950. I'm not sure if the Pre R-13 clarinets had an official model number. Hopefully Steve will weight in. I haven't been looking at the clarinet market much lately so I have no idea about value. Obviously as a family heirloom it has a lot of value to you.
 
Thanks

Hi Ed,

Thanks for your insight. I've had it in its case for the past 20 years and am thinking of finding it a new home where someone would play it. Should someone be looking for something like this, I'd likely sell it.

Best regards,

David
 

Dave Dolson

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
DavidE: Welcome to the forum. Looks like a nice enough older clarinet. Buffets are my favorite and that's what I play except mine are newer than that (an R-13 and an RC Prestige). A friend of mine plays a Buffet Albert System from 1887 and that one will put the lie to the old saw about old clarinets becoming "blown out" (whatever THAT means).

Anyway, you could probably find a Buffet replacement bell for the horn (but keep the original, too). And, a run through eBay may give you a sense of what an older Buffet clarinet may gain if you were to sell it. I'm guessing not a lot of money given its condition now. A complete overhaul may cost $400 +/-, but that will vary depending on where and who does the work.

I'm guessing the keywork may be "German Silver" or nickle-plate but some judicious polishing with a silver-mitt may prove me wrong. Should you have the horn overhauled, it will most likely turn out to be gorgeous - I recently had a 100-year old (guessing about the age) C-Albert clarinet re-done and it is a beaut. You could give yourself a lot of satisfaction by overhauling your Buffet and then playing it. If it were me, given the history of it, I'd keep it rather than sell it. DAVE
 

Steve

Clarinet CE/Moderator
Staff member
CE/Moderator
as previously mentioned it's about a 1945 model. This predates the famed "R13" brand by 10 years.

eBay-value-wise it's worth about $400 +/- dependent upon the current market conditions.

it looks like nickle-silver keywork (and not silver plated) due to the tarnishing

If you plan on selling it do not have any work done to it - sell it as-is, you will only get a small $ (if any) of that back on an eBay sale. You can donate it to a local school nad probably get more money for tax-wise for it

good luck
 
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