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 Re: 'Jean Cartier' 'Artiste'
Author: Jack Kissinger 
Date:   2007-06-11 03:54

I wonder if, 80 years from now, someone will look at mouthpieces by Greg Smith, Clark Fobes, Walter Grabner and others and conclude they must all be stencils by Zinner because the blanks all have the same markings.

The point I want to make here is a general one (without necessarily making any claims about Cartier instruments, in particular). I've been told by someone I consider a very reliable source that, in Paris, particularly up to WWII, there were a number of small manufacturers making clarinets and/or other instruments. Some of them were individuals probably moonlighting while they worked in a larger manufacturer's factory during the day. Some disappeared during the war. Some were bought out by other manufacturers.

It strikes me that the mouthpiece makers above find it inefficient to create their own blanks from scratch. Instead they buy Zinner blanks to use as a starting point, applying facings and often doing additional work on the bores, baffles, etc. to make the mouthpieces uniquely their product. Is it not possible, perhaps even probable, that small manufacturers of clarinets might also find it inefficient (impossible) to make all the individual parts for their instruments. Might they not instead have purchased keys and other parts, including even joints, barrels and bells from a common source and then assembled the instruments at home or in a smaller shop. Might not the better ones, like the better mouthpiece makers who do more than simply apply a facing, have done more than simply assemble the instruments, perhaps reaming bores, undercutting toneholes and making other modifications unique to them. If so, to call the resulting instruments stencils is, IMO, as incorrect as calling Greg Smith's mouthpieces stencils.

Another point I would like to make is the fact that finding some instruments with a particular brand name to be stencils is not proof that all instruments with that name are stencils. Consider Linton. They manufacture double reed instruments and have done for many years. During the 60's and early 70's, they wanted to add clarinets to their product line but didn't have the facilities to produce them so they purchased stencils from Malerne and Buffet. The existence of those stencils is fact but not evidence that all instruments with the Linton logo are stencils.

So were Cartier clarinets stencils? The absence of an entry in Langwill's is consistent with that conclusion, the existence of Cartier saxophones is consistent with that conclusion, the use of the same keys as are found on known stencils is consistent with that conclusion. Now, if one can come up with several pieces of evidence, all of which are consistent with the conclusion that Cartier's are stencils, one can say, well, it sounds like a duck, it smells like a duck, and it feels like a duck, so "it's probably a duck." Toss in "it looks like a duck" and "it tastes like a duck" and we may be able to say "it's almost certainly a duck." Each additional piece of evidence increases the likelihood. But absent records from a major manufacturer tying it to Cartier, I still find some room for doubt. Langwill's may have missed Cartier. Even if the saxophones are stencils, it's possible the clarinets are not. Cartier may have purchased keys from the supplier who supplied the maker of the known stencil or, indeed, may have purchased them from the company that made the stencil. From a standpoint of logic, however, this evidence does not "prove" that Cartier's are stencils.

Some of you may be satisfied with the weight of evidence already presented. And someone out there who has the clinching piece of evidence may not have come forward yet. But given the quality of workmanship in my Cartier and the testimony of other owners, I'm not ready to concede that they are stencils just yet.

Best regards,

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 Topics Author  Date
 'Jean Cartier' 'Artiste'  new
srdu7993 2007-06-10 00:24 
 Re: 'Jean Cartier' 'Artiste'  new
Mark Charette 2007-06-10 00:33 
 Re: 'Jean Cartier' 'Artiste'  new
tictactux 2007-06-10 00:43 
 Re: 'Jean Cartier' 'Artiste'  new
Jack Kissinger 2007-06-10 01:37 
 Re: 'Jean Cartier' 'Artiste'  new
Mark Charette 2007-06-10 01:52 
 Re: 'Jean Cartier' 'Artiste'  new
Don Berger 2007-06-10 13:50 
 Re: 'Jean Cartier' 'Artiste'  new
Jack Kissinger 2007-06-11 03:54 
 Re: 'Jean Cartier' 'Artiste'  new
Mark Charette 2007-06-11 10:52 
 Re: 'Jean Cartier' 'Artiste'  new
Bill 2007-06-11 12:50 
 Re: 'Jean Cartier' 'Artiste'  new
Don Berger 2007-06-11 14:25 
 Re: 'Jean Cartier' 'Artiste'  new
David Spiegelthal 2007-06-11 18:31 
 Re: 'Jean Cartier' 'Artiste'  new
Don Berger 2007-06-11 18:47 

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