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Clarinet/Martin Freres Deluxe Clarinet

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David Moyer wrote at 2013-11-11 08:38:26
The 1740 Deluxe was Martin's "semi-professional" quality model.  They also had the standard 1740 which was a student model.  Judging by the high serial number, I would estimate this one to be from the late 1950's, possibly even the mid 1960's.  If you want a history of the Martin Freres brand it's a long story that actually covers the original Martin family in Paris, followed by three or four different continuations of the brand.  Most recently, this past August 2013 an American engineering firm has rebooted the Martin Freres name (which was officially dead since 1992) and started making newer editions of the student and intermediate level wooden clarinets.  Anyway, the 1740 Deluxe was basically one of the earliest "mass production" model clarinets, and it looks like you've got one of the latest made here.  If you look on the back of the two main parts, you'll see a stamp showing what country it was made in.  From the late 1920's the Martin Freres name was licensed to several worldwide manufacturers.  French instruments are generally rarer and worth a bit more than those from other places.  I believe the 1740 Deluxe were rosewood instruments.  I have an earlier version of the same model that I still play.  It's a good instrument as long as you maintain it:  clean it regularly, keep the keys oiled and the pads dry, use bore oil about twice every year, etc.  You ought to find a polishing cloth and clean up the shiny parts a little bit before you try to sell it.  Don't go too crazy though--it's plated, not solid. So just give it a quick rub with one of those anti-tarnish cloths and call it good enough. It's tough to tell from this photo, but if it has mold or mildew then your best bet is probably to throw it out.  I've seen similar instruments sell online for between $50 and $300, mostly on the lower end of that range though.  I spent $250 on mine but that was about 15 years ago and it was in "near-mint" condition.


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Ken Shaw

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I can answer questions about the clarinet and its music, history, teachers and recordings. I can also answer questions about the recorder.

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I have played clarinet for 56 years, performing classical orchestral and chamber music. I own and have read nearly every book in English on the clarinet. I participate very actively on the Klarinet mailing list and the Clarinet bulletin board, posting well around 5000 messages that are very well respected. I own over 1,000 clarinet LPs and CDs. I also play the reorder at a professional level, have participated in numerous workshoos and master classes and am very active on the Yahoo and Ning recorder boards.

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I studied English and music at Oberlin College and have a B.A. from the University of Tennessee. I'm also a lawyer. I was a member of the West Point Band and studied with Jay Craven, Keith Stein, Sidney Forrest, Bernard Portnoy, George Waln, Tommy Thompson and Kalmen Opperman.

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