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Oboe/Oboe Serial Number Comprehension


Serial Numbers (Maybe)
Serial Numbers (Maybe)  
Hello Geoffrey

I am wondering how to identify my instrument's age from its serial number, and was curious if you could help. It is a Paul Gerard Oboe, and the only sign of serial numbers, printed on the upper and lower joint, are T824. Are these the serial numbers, or are they somewhere else, and can this be used to find the age of it? Thank you for your time and expertise.

Dear Dale

The serial number is useful for finding out the age when there is a relevant list available. The problem with some makes such as yours is that a list is not published and the maker is no more. major manufacturers have lists which can be referred to. For example Loree, Howarth and Rigoutat for oboes can be dated with near certainty.

Paul Gerard was an instrument dealer in Paris during the first half of the 20th century and had instruments made by various makers.
His oboes were usually made by Malerne or Cabart.

He sold all the orchestral instrument range from his shop specialising in wind and brass. It has been said by some that he made every instrument he sold but considering the range of skills required to make flutes, french horns , oboes, saxophones and bassoons this is highly unlikely!
These all require specialist skills requiring long experience.

Paris has still the majority of oboe makers in one city and there are very few others in the world today outside France.
Germany, Japan, Italy, Luxembourg and the UK being the main ones having makers of professional quality oboes on their shores.

As the company who have their name stamped on your oboe existed until after the second world war until about mid fifties, you can estimate the age as about 70 years old.

Best wishes



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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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