Oboe/How old is my oboe


QUESTION: I have a loree Paris oboe serial number is  BI.3 or B1.3
It really looks like a capital i vs  the number 1
I would appreciate any info on this instrument
I bought it used about 1972
I really can't remember where my parents bought it from
I know it was not in Florida where I was living
I am a retired music teacher and I am staring to practice again hoping to start playing in local orchestras just for fun
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer this question
The oboe has a beautiful tone and after so small repairs it sounds wonderful

ANSWER: Dear Penny

Thanks for this question. It is great to learn that you are taking up the oboe with some seriousness of intent.
Your oboe was made in about 1964 I would say. Maybe a year either way depending on the part of the year it was made.  It is hard to pin down with more accuracy from the lists I have.
The serial number with Loree is almost always two capital letters and two numbers so I have based my estimate on  a serial number of BI 3.
The very early Lorees made in late 19th century were single letters followed by numbers. The first double letter was in 1910 and the number of oboes made in any year was small as they were handcrafted all through. These days the turn out is huge as mechanisation of key stamping, wood turning and setting out, speeds up the process radically.

Best of luck with it all


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks so much
Wondering if there was a  ball park value
Without seeing or hearing it
Of course the value to me is not measureable
Also  where would you suggest getting cane as I make my own reeds
Thanks again for your answer
I'm so excited

Dear Penny

The value is hard to decide but I would say if the instrument plays well and looks good and the case itself is clean and not badly worn inside or out then the price in the USA would be somewhere in the region of $2000 - $2500.

If it is in real great shape with no cracks and plays with real character then maybe $3000. There is sometimes a problem getting repairers to do much work to older instruments which might be a disadvantage to some buyers. But then you are not going to sell it are you?

Beauty is after all in the eye of the beholder!

Reed cane is a always a difficulty but I have had some great success with Turkish (Aegean cane) oboe canes from a Swiss company: oboes.ch.
I have success with their Aegean Canes: hardness 12-14, 10.5-11mm diameter. I use an RC 13 shape on my shaping machine. The reed lasts and lasts too which is good. Try some of that. Another good supplier is Neuranter in Paris, France. They both export everywhere in the world.
There are so many companies and brands to try nowadays!

Hope that helps



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Geoffrey Bridge


Professional oboist with many years experience. Former pupil of Leon Goossens. Solo artist for Arts Council of Great Britain. Freelance recitalist/broadcasting/orchestras. Former Head of woodwind teaching in Hampshire, England. Questions on repertoire, playing styles, reeds, cane selection and processing.


St Andrews University Royal College of Music, Aberdeen College of Education Licenciate of the Royal Academy of Music General Teaching Council certificate Broadcast solo recitals/performed with major symphony orchestras/Music Club recitals/writings on double reed matters

Chairman and Trustee of the British Double Reed Society International Double Reed Society Association Hautbois Francais Orchestral Manager of Southern Pro Musica Orchestra/Aberdeen Sinfonietta

Double Reed News/Australasian Double Reed Society magazine/International Double Reed Society

LRAM, Cert Ed

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