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 Drouelle Albert system clarinet
Author: kehammel 
Date:   2020-12-21 03:54

This comes from a seller of used Albert system clarinets who plays Greek music and has connections with that musical community. He has for sale a 4-ring LP Albert marked "Drouelle, Paris." It has the left hand E flat, as well as rollers, and looks pretty typical for a ca. 1920s Albert. Has anyone ever heard of this trade mark?

An internet search gives Drouelle as the name of a maker of brass instrument piston valves, who was a contemporary of Adolphe Sax, but this is too early, unless there was a Drouelle company that persisted into the 1900s.

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 Re: Drouelle Albert system clarinet
Author: MichaelW 
Date:   2020-12-22 14:46

From New Langwill index: "Drouelle BI [brass instruments] fl [flourished] Paris c1848-c1878
Listed as supplier of "pistons et cl├ęs garnitures". Successor to Sassaigne; 1865 reported as trombone specialist."

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 Re: Drouelle Albert system clarinet
Author: modernicus 
Date:   2021-01-21 18:36

I don't really know specific "Albert" keywork development very well, but Albert the man and Klose/Buffet (Boehm system) were contemporaries, both starting in the in the late 1830s to seriously improve the clarinet. Albert was basically improving the Mueller system while Klose and Buffet reimagined things somewhat. The 1920s was nothing special in clarinet development, so I wouldn't be surprised that the characteristics you are looking at might be earlier than you think. Another possibility is that the company continued on as exclusively a distributor or in a diminished capacity somehow after the late 1870s. Also, it seems likely that if they were brass specialists, they contracted out their woodwinds to another company the whole time.

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 Re: Drouelle Albert system clarinet
Author: kehammel 
Date:   2021-01-23 06:23

I actually bought the horn. I haven't received it yet, but the seller provided more pictures, and the bell appears to be stamped with "Fillmore Music House." Assuming that checks out, a quick Google search shows that they were a dealer in Cincinnati (chiefly of brass instruments), and used that name from 1912-1952, when they were bought out by Carl Fischer.

I saw your very useful list of French manufacturers on the other forum, Modernicus. Also your post there about this instrument, thanks. There was no company named Drouelle, so the stamp on the instrument is presumably a stencil name used by some unknown manufacturer for Fillmore Music House. I figure we'll never know who made it.

Oddly enough, it looks similar to pictures of some Kohlerts, including the arrangement whereby the F sharp vent is located above the top ring and the throat A key and top ring both close it. Kohlert obviously not being located in Paris...


Post Edited (2021-01-23 06:25)

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 Re: Drouelle Albert system clarinet
Author: kehammel 
Date:   2021-01-23 06:26
Attachment:  Drouelle.jpg (938k)

Here's the picture of it again.

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 Re: Drouelle Albert system clarinet
Author: modernicus 
Date:   2021-01-23 18:51

Ah, yes, the Fillmore Music House distributor stamp proves very useful in this instance. Perhaps, also, if Drouelle was a manufacturer at some point, they were formed prior to the start date of that list.

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 Re: Drouelle Albert system clarinet
Author: kehammel 
Date:   2021-01-23 23:15

Hello Modernicus. Here's an interesting resource: the French National Library (Gallica) has a variety of old Paris business directories online, and they can be searched. Not sure if I found them all, but some examples are:;2;2

I tried this, and the name Drouelle comes up occasionally for other types of business, including the maker of brass piston valves from ca. 1880 that I mentioned earlier. But I haven't found any other Drouelle associated with musical instrument manufacture up through the 1930s. On the other hand, if one searches known makers such as Thibouville, clear hits come up.

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