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I was given an old Leblanc Vito and I can't ID it, any help would be great

#1
Recently a woman in my neighborhood gave me an old Leblanc Vito that her husband used to play. He had passed away. She knew that I love music and playing and any instrument. The cork is worn and needs replacing, but it is in great shape other then that. I am trying to find out what model it is to know what the right course of action is. The inside of the case has a sewn orange cloth that says Leblanc and Vito on it. The only writing I can find on any of the pieces is the number 545, and the word France. I tried looking online and found conflicting information. I want to find out what model it is, how old is is (she could not remember), and what it is worth before I do anything to it. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#4
I can say -- with some consideration -- that I think you have a clarinet.

Frivolity aside, do you see any marking on the clarinet that says "Vito" or "Leblanc"? Where do you see the "France" stamp? You can buy cases, mouthpieces and accessories separately from the instrument. In other words, just because you've got a Rico reed in the case doesn't make it a Rico clarinet.

It does look wooden. That generally means it's not bottom-of-the-line student quality.
 
#5
It is definitely wood. You can see the grain of the wood beneath the paint. The only marking I can see are the number 545 and the work FRANCE both ingrained into the wood on the two larger pieces, and just FRANCE ingrained on the other pieces.
 

Gandalfe

Admin and all around good guy.
Staff member
Administrator
#6
It probably will take quite a bit of luck to find out too much about this instrument, but you could get lucky and find someone that knows. I suspect it isn't a buffet or super high-end instrument, but if it isn't cracked, and if you want to put some money into it you might find a diamond in the rough.

The instrument will never bring much if sold, will cost some money to fix, but may be a lovely player given to the right person. Sometimes you can get a music major at a local university to hook you up with a professor who might be able to help, Make sure you buy them a coffee for their efforts.
 
#7
I think the keywork looks like Malerne. They made a lot of unbranded instruments that were sold by retailers as their own. This may be one of them. If it is, then it's a student-intermediate level instrument. Malerne instruments were quite good when set up properly.
 
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