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 Help identifying metal Clarinet - "National"
Author: Revell23 
Date:   2021-02-18 22:03
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A friend of a friend gave me a metal Clarinet. I believe it is silver\sterling silver plated.. IT was very dirty and tarnished so I cleaned it up, but cannot find any information on the make or model.

The only markings are "National" and "Made in the U.S.A" on the bell. There also appears to be a serial number of AE3174 on the body where the mouthpiece is inserted.

Does anyone have any information or clues to help identify this clarinet? I've looked online but haven't found anything. Maybe this is a student clarinet? The only date I have was when the owner graduated high school in 1946.

Any help would be appreciated!

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 Re: Help identifying metal Clarinet -
Author: modernicus 
Date:   2021-02-24 06:53

I'm familiar with these as they come up at auction periodically. The construction of the flare in the bore at the bottom as a separate piece is interesting. No idea who made them. A number of manufacturers made hundreds of student grade stencil named metal clarinets in large numbers in this era as I understand it. By many accounts, most were terrible and in combination with large numbers made, they're not really valuable at this point in time, though interesting for sure. As I'm sure you know, there were professional level metal clarinets made.

Post Edited (2021-02-24 17:50)

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 Re: Help identifying metal Clarinet -
Author: Revell23 
Date:   2021-02-24 19:39

Thanks for the reply!

I figured it wasn't worth much as I haven't been able to find anything about it, but I am enjoying cleaning it up. I have ordered new pads and am going to install them myself.

If anything this will be more of an art piece but I would like to see if it will be playable after I get it re-assembled.

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 Re: Help identifying metal Clarinet -
Author: modernicus 
Date:   2021-02-25 00:24

Sounds like a fun project, I know for best value ratio on antique/vintage metal clarinets if you really get into them, many suggest the Bettoney Silva-Bet as they are supposed to be pretty good and they made quite few, so the prices aren't as high as other rarer pro quality metal clarinets. I've almost pulled the trigger on a few at auction. I have a few pro metals, but they're down on the list on getting fixed up. I had a few others, but they were of an intermediate level and/or very old and beat up, so I ended up selling them- but they did have some good qualities I liked. One was especially light and it was really quite a relief on the thumb. Also, it was quite responsive, for whatever reason.

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