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Oboe/serial number and cost?



I would like to buy an oboe for my niece.  I found a used one that looks nice and is in my price range (less than $500.00) and a high school student who played it said it played "okay".  

The serial numbers on the upper and lower pieces do not match.
The numbers are the same until the last two digits.
The bottom ending in 44 and the top ending in 45
the brand is Artley and the first three numbers in the serial number are 616

Should I steer clear of this because of the mismatched serial numbers or is that normal for oboes?

Thank you,



Normally I would be a bit wary but at this price I wouldn't worry about it at all. I can't tell you how old it is I'm afraid as the serial numbers list is not available.
The Artley is a decent student brand. Their instruments are made in the Selmer factory I think in Elkhart IN.
What to watch though is that it plays all the notes with ease and the pads look in good shape. Adjustments can be made of course if it isn't playing as well as it could as long as all the pads are sound.
Certainly it would be best to have it played by a decent oboist, student or otherwise, as they will tell immediately if it is worth the money.
I would say the brand is a good starter oboe and for the money you won't find much more on the market.
Best of luck with it


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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.


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

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