Clarinet/Alexandre Clarinet


jeff wrote at 2007-05-06 04:58:25
Alexandre clarinets were a higher end clarinet at the turn of the century. Alexandre was Henri Selmer's brother, as I was told. They shared many production ideas. Selmer (Henri) clarinets at the time as well as today,  are outstanding instruments. They (wood pro models) are played by many top professionals worldwide.

ARW wrote at 2008-10-24 21:18:56
I just ran across this question, and I know it is much late...  I also have been researching Alexandre clarinets.  It is extremely confusing and information is hard to find as all are very old.  According to one source, Alexandre Selmer (brother to Henri) did make a few clarinets under his own name for a short time which had 4 digit serial numbers.  Other source have mentioned that there was an instrument distributor/marketer of other manufacturers' instruments under the name "Alexandre Paris" ("stencil instruemnts or stencils"), who also sold clarinets and other woodwind instruments.  One source says "Alexandre Paris" instruments ranged from student to professional quality.  In the very little I could find, nobody had anything negative to say about the clarinets.  Now, to confuse things even more, I have seen a photo of a clarinet marked "Henri Alexandre."  I have no clue how this clarinet fits into the picture of things.  Possibly, it is yet another stencil brand, or maybe a small maker?  As well, I have found reference to makers of non-woodwind instruments, (one brass, one organs), in the 19th century, with the name Alexandre as well.

Kris wrote at 2012-07-13 19:13:47
I found this information: Alexandre Clarinets

Alexandre Clarinets were from Henri Selmer's Brother Alexandre.  (in summary) Alexandre departed to the US in 1885 and was solo clarinetist for several of America's biggest Orchestras (Boston Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony,  and New York Philharmonic Orchestra). He also struck out on his own and started manufacturing Alexandre clarinets in the US.  

He started the Selmer USA company in 1904 and then started importing his brother's, Henri Selmer, instruments to the US.   George Bundy, a former student, was hired to manage the company.  When Henri desperately needed assistance in producing clarinets Alexandre went back to France in 1910 and opened the Gazillion factory.  For a short period he produced Alexandre clarinets in France.  These clarinets are stamped "made in france" the US ones I believe had no marking of origin.  He then abandoned clarinet manufacture after helping his brother get his clarinet design "corrected".  

You could say the Alexandre clarinets were Selmer Paris prototype clarinets. BUT they are not.  Alexandre Selmer is a Selmer, but not a Henri Selmer and then Alexandre did design the new Henri Selmer clarinets which of course resemble his clarinets.

I have one numbered 7022

Jay wrote at 2012-11-10 23:30:10
My serial # is 4027 so does that tell you what year it was produced in because i dont see a made in Frace stamp

David Powell wrote at 2013-02-09 02:30:29
I have two very old wood "Alexandre Paris" clarinets each with original marked parts. These are essentially identical in every detail except the small print. The serial numbers are close together, 4346 and 4861. #4346 has no country of origin stamp, however one assumes it would be France because of the name "Alexandre Paris". Quite surprisingly #4861 is marked "GERMANY" on both the upper and lower joints. Even so, the bell, upper joint, and barrel all have the same "Alexandre Paris" imprint. Also interesting;- #4346 has the name "ALEXANDRE" engraved in the same positions as "GERMANY" is engraved on #4861. The design is definitely similar to early 20th century Henri Selmer instruments in many ways;- particularly the bell shape and the key shapes. Even so they are distinctly different in many manufacturing details from the Henri Selmer Clarinets, and now quite obviously known to be of German manufacture.

I think the explanation is that these two particular "Alexandre Paris" clarinets were made in Germany, and only one of them was made and marked for US import. The other one was not marked because it was most likely not sold in the US, but arrived here some other way. These are definitely two of a kind. These are typical of early 20th century higher end clarinets;- very dark close grained grenadilla and silver plated keywork.


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Gale Mack


I can answer questions about playing saxophone or charinet. I have taught these instruments privately for over 40 years. I was a public school band director for many years. At the time of my retirement, I was an adjunct faculty member of Saint May College, Leavenworth, Kansas.

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