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Klarinet Archive - Posting 001390.txt from 2000/04

Subj: [kl] Whatsit?
Date: Sun, 30 Apr 2000 17:55:23 -0400

Three or four times during the last year, at flea markets, I've seen a
peculiar type of clarinet and wonder if anyone can identify it. Although the
examples I've seen all looked brand new, none of them had any maker's mark or
serial number. I've never seen one with its own case. Usually they're sold
naked. (Today I saw one for sale with a used trumpet case. Almost bought it
for the case....) They're made of matte finished black plastic, with cast
pot-metal keys (very shiny silver color) and tenon rings. They're lighter
weight than typical clarinets. The pads are bright red and look like
plastic, rather than skin. Instead of cork, the tenons are wound with bright
red string. These clarinets , though clearly modern, look similar to Albert
system, with wraparound register key, only two trill keys, only two keys each
for left and right pinkie fingers, and no thumb ring. Only the third finger
has a ring on the upper section. Long B/E is articulated.

These clarinets look and feel tacky, cheap and strange. The first couple of
times I saw these, I thought it someone might be importing them as wall
ornaments. Today I examined one closely for the first time and concluded
it's a marginally real clarinet (for young children?), not just a decoration
or a toy. Flea market asking prices have ranged from $25 to $400 (!). A
price range that extreme translates to: dealers clueless. I've asked dealers
about these clarinets and received answers ranging from shrugs to extreme

I don't want one of these ugly puppies, but it bugs me not to know what they
are or what they're really worth (assuming near-mint condition). Are these
the Kinder Klarinets?

Sweet dreams on Walpurgisnacht....


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