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Possible Heckel Bassoon

#1
Hello all,

I'm here visiting from Clarinetpages.info (where I'm the Hero moderator guy).

I've recently acquired a bassoon that may require an expert opinion.

The seller advertised this as unbranded, but upon closer inspection I see the following on the bell joint:

--NAA(?)--
MADE BY
HECKEL
BEIBRICH GERMANY

My main concern here is the apparent misspelling of "Biebrich". Or is this an alternate spelling?

In any case, do I have an authentic Heckel product?

Pictures attached.
 

Attachments

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#4
In a sense, I'm a bit more of a bassoon guy, but definitely not an expert. I've only been interested in Heckel because of the Heckelphone, which is (one of) the inspiration(s) for the Conn-O-Sax.

Regardless of the spelling of Biebrich, according to this website, the serial number doesn't compute. "1379" or "1879" would be from about 1870 and your bassoon has too many keys for that. I thought maybe mis-stamped and maybe it's "13790" or something like that. That'd at least get you to a sensible date of about 1995, but your horn doesn't look very much like the Heckels produced around that time pictured on that 'site.

Is it possible that it's a fake of some kind? I don't see why not. There are a lot of faked saxophones and clarinets and saxophones and clarinets "inspired by" or "cheap copies of" other famous-name clarinets and saxophones, so I don't see why other instruments -- especially much more expensive instruments -- would be exempt.

Recommendations:
* Contact the folks at www.heckelbassoons.info through their contact e-mail at support@HeckelBassoons.info. I'd recommend more photos. Looks like the keywork can really help pin down a correct date.
* Contact Heckel direct at http://www.heckel.de or through their Facebook page at https://de-de.facebook.com/pages/Wilhelm-Heckel-GmbH/131039180306761. It's mostly German and I've found that manufacturers are rarely the best source of information about horns they made in the past, though. However, because Heckel has a relatively small output, they might have more info than a ginormous manufacturer.
* You might get some answers through the Bassoon subreddit at https://www.reddit.com/r/bassoon.
* You might get the best information through the International Double-Reed Society at https://www.idrs.org. If the website's up when you check, that is. I've gotten some great info from them in the past.

And please, please tell me that you play some kind of Leblanc instrument. Or that you hate them with a passion. For obvious reasons, of course :).

Good luck!
 
#5
Thanks very much for all the info! That's very helpful. I'll ask through those links and see if I can determine whether or not I'm sitting on a goldmine!

And to answer your question - I'm a big fan of LeBlanc. I (used to) play a vintage LeBlanc bass clarinet and fell in love with the brand!
 

kymarto

Content Expert/Moderator
Staff member
CE/Moderator
#6
Since the numbering of Heckel bassoons started at [HASHTAG]#3000[/HASHTAG] I'd say it is not a Heckel. Seriously, it looks much too cheap and roughly made (keywork) to be anything special, sorry to say (though I am not an expert on bassoons). I'm guessing it is a student model, like the great procession of violins with a "Stradivarius" label pasted inside.

Here's a site for more info:

http://www.heckelbassoons.info/bassoons.html

Here is what a Heckel stamp looks like:

http://www.doublereed.co.uk/Heckel_Collection/Bassoon_Heckel_4000_49XX.htm
 
#7
Last time I had an unmarked, made in Germany bassoon (similar to this), I sold it as an "unmarked German bassoon". Turns out it was a Fox 220 or something. Somebody got a great deal at $775...

So naturally I'm trying to do my research now to make sure nobody gets that good of a deal ever again!
 

kymarto

Content Expert/Moderator
Staff member
CE/Moderator
#8
As well you should. One thing that is telling (usually) is the quality of the keywork. If somebody puts effort into that, even if unmarked, then it *could* indicate a decent instrument. Student instruments can be decent too, of course, but poor keywork usually indicates poor quality throughout. This one strikes me from the pix as having rather mediocre keywork, but I can really tell from the pix alone.
 
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