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 Overprinting on B&H Imperial 926
Author: Bill 
Date:   2019-04-03 19:44
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I just got a B&H Imperial 926 Bb. It's missing the "Made in England" that usually appears at the very top (back) of the bottom joint, and the serial number -- which matches on both joints, and is machine-imprinted, not hand carved -- appears to be something added later. In the area of this "new" serial number the wood of the clarinet appears uneven (blotchy).

I can read the "G" of "England" on the bottom joint and the numbers 0194 on both top and bottom joints, but this is very faint (I used 25x magnification).

Anyone ever seen this?

Bill Fogle
Ellsworth, Maine
(formerly Washington, DC)

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 Re: Overprinting on B&H Imperial 926
Author: Hurstfarm 
Date:   2019-04-03 20:09

My guess is that it’s ex-military - the armed forces have a tendency to stamp reference numbers on all kinds of equipment and this may have suffered the same fate!

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 Re: Overprinting on B&H Imperial 926
Author: Bill 
Date:   2019-04-03 20:45

*Fascinating observation* because I have read 1010s were supplied to orchestras and 926s were supplied to bands.

Bill Fogle
Ellsworth, Maine
(formerly Washington, DC)

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 Re: Overprinting on B&H Imperial 926
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2019-04-03 21:27

This was probably one of their top clarinettists' concert instrument - the Royal Marines bands have all manner of high end clarinets for their solo clarinettists who want something special as their concert instrument. I know a former ERM bandsman with an RC Prestige Bb and a set of B&H 1010s which were issued to him and he bought when he left the band service. I've seen Howarth S3 and also Selmer CT clarinets belonging to the band service.

It's got the broad arrow stamp there above the four figure number, but very feint as that too has been obliterated.


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 Re: Overprinting on B&H Imperial 926
Author: Caroline Smale 
Date:   2019-04-04 00:24

I have just checked a 1946 B&H Imperial A clarinet I own but that used to belong to the Royal Marines.
At that time the name 926 did not appear on the instruments.
Both upper and lower joints had a hand stamped "A ^ P" and below it a 4 digit number.
The Bell has a neatly stamped "R M B" and below that "L.P. 186"
All the original B&H serial numbers 37xxx remain intact.

Although officially the military adopted LP before the war, many line bands, especially those located overseas, did not convert from HP until after the war, hence the LP marking.

Back in those days the RMB solo clarinetists were issued with a pair of Imperials.
Some years later the solo player would get a pair of 1010s and the rest of the clarinet section were issued 926s.
Note - these were the days when B&H had a virtual monopoly of UK band instruments.

in the first decades after WW II most army line bands issued 926s to the solo clarinet players and Emperors to the rest. I think the staff bands were probably all issued 926s though many players used their own personal instruments for non-marching jobs.

When I was serving I part exchanged my (personal) pair of Imperials for a pair of Leblancs. In a section of 10 clarinetists I was the only one using French instruments (which did not go un-noticed during a Kneller Hall inspection).

In more modern times just about anything goes. During a cold winter marching gig some years ago the whole clarinet section of a Foot Guards band were playing on plastic Buffet B12s (quite sensible)

..and especially for Bill - it really is "Mrs"  :)

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 Re: Overprinting on B&H Imperial 926
Author: Bill 
Date:   2019-04-04 01:12

Caroline Smale wrote:

> ..and especially for Bill - it really is "Mrs"  :)

Sorry about that!

Bill Fogle
Ellsworth, Maine
(formerly Washington, DC)

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 Re: Overprinting on B&H Imperial 926
Author: Tony F 
Date:   2019-04-04 09:56

I have 2 ex-military B & H clarinets both in hard rubber. One is a 926 Imperial marked RAN (Royal Australian Navy) and the other is an Emperor, although it is not marked as such. It has the Emperor style rings and is in every way identical to other Emperors in my possession. Both were previously owned by an ex-RAN bandsman.

Tony F.

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 Re: Overprinting on B&H Imperial 926
Author: LGS316217 
Date:   2019-04-22 22:23

@Caroline... May I ask what regiment and band you served in and when? My first teacher joined the 17/21 Lancers in 1913 at the age of 14, was sent to Kneller Hall by Bandmaster Albert Lemoine, and eventually became the solo clarinetist. He also doubled on sax and viola. He transferred to the Commandos for WW II and wound up in a German POW camp for most of the war. After the war he transferred to the Life Guards and was the solo clarinet there as well as Trumpet Major from 1945 to 1950 or so when he retired and emigrated to the U.S. His B flat ever since I met him was a fine 1950s pre R13 Buffet and I never knew to ask what he played in the Life Guards (though I have many photos of him from the 1930s, in the Lancers, with a silver clarinet). His A was a Rudall Carte from the 1930s that I assume was issued to him by the Army. The Rudall Carte has been restored and is currently for sale by the Vintage Clarinet Doctor, Jeremy Soule, if anyone is interested!

Amy Paul

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 Re: Overprinting on B&H Imperial 926
Author: Caroline Smale 
Date:   2019-04-23 04:28

Hi Amy,
Some really amazing coincidences here !
Albert Lemoine became Director of Music of The Life Guards in 1938 and served all through the war, rising to become eventually the Senior Director of Music in the Army. He retired in 1959.
I auditioned for The Life Guards band in 1959 just a few months after Lemoine retired and I joined the band early 1960.
Was your first teacher L G Smith or P O'Donavan ? O'Donavan was solo clarinet in 1945 followed by Wilf Hambledon till 1948, F Perks until 1953 and then, the well known in USA, Johnny Denman until 1955.
Smith was trumpet major from 1945 to 1949 and was probably on the solo clarinet stand but not actually the solo clarinet. Smith was followed as T/Maj by Ben Clarke, Ben retired in 1959 and joined the Standard Motorworks Military Band as solo trumpet. I was then playing with that band, and it was Ben who basically pointed me to the Life Guards when my conscription call-up came.
During my time with the band our solo clarinet was Colin Parr. Colin eventually became principal clarinet with the City Of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) staying there for 33 years, including the years when Simon Rattle was music director.

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