Interesting stories, items for sale and “things” running through Bob’s Brain
GRAY STUDIOS, LLC
I R S
(INSTRUMENT RESCUE SOCIETY)
I have just finished the complete rescue, (restoration), of a 1953 Buffet Bb Clarinet,
Serial # 47171. I am still doing research to determine the model, because unlike more modern Buffets, the model number is not listed on the instrument. I use the term rescue because someone previously attempted to fill a small surface crack in the upper joint. The area filled was left in a very crude condition which I cleaned and buffed as much as possible. The crack has been completely sealed, however the area still shows the repair. ( Please see the photo of the detailed area). Besides this cosmetic flaw, the instrument has been totally re-built with all new pads and corks. The springs have been replaced and adjusted where necessary and the keys have been buffed to near-new condition. The body has been completely cleaned and the boar oiled. Except for the cosmetic repair, the instrument looks almost brand new! The clarinet sounds GREAT, and here is a major point, because of the cosmetic repair I am offering it at a price of $550.00 + NJ Sales Tax.
This Buffet is looking for a good home and someone to play with.
“Instrument Hoarder of Duke Road”
It’s official, my wife has nicknamed me the “Instrument Hoarder of Duke Road”. I just purchased 15 additional clarinets to go along with my previous purchases of instruments. I also have several instruments that have been donated and in need of major restoration. Instruments fully restored and ready for new homes include student clarinets and flutes, intermediate and professional level clarinets and oboes. The metal clarinet that I am holding in the photo is a 90+ year old Cavalier student model clarinet that I fully restored and is in great playing condition. Go to my web site: www.bobgraystudios to see what’s finished!
I recently purchased five antique metal clarinets in various stages of disrepair. The first one I completely cleaned, polished and made into an attractive lamp which sold very quickly. The plan for clarinet #2 was to restore it into a working antique for those clarinet playing purists who just had to have an original 75+ year old instrument for their collection. Well….it didn’t work out that way. When I removed all of the keys to polish it I discovered that there was an important part of the body of the clarinet that was missing. What to do….what to do…….ANOTHER LAMP! When I cleaned and got it back together you couldn’t tell there was a piece missing, and it made a GREAT looking lamp. And now……I’m starting on the working antique. Clarinet Lamp #2—-$295.00
I accept it. Anyone who plays music on a wooden instrument, (Bassoon), and takes photographs with a wooden camera deserves the word “Retro” in front of their name.
While it’s common for professional bassoonists to play on wooden intsruments, you don’t see many wooden cameras anymore. The camera you see in the photo is a
4” X 5” View Camera. The basic design is old, but modern versions are still manufactured in 4” X 5”, 8” X 10” and even 11” X 14” sizes. My camera is approximately 10 years old and the lenses that I use all utilize modern optics to achieve extremely sharp images. The camera uses 4” X 5” film which I develop and print in my darkroom. I also mount and frame all of my images to insure the highest quality. Fine Art Photography is still popular with collectors and the materials, film, paper and chemistry, are still readily available.
Bundy To Buffet
I just purchased some used flutes and clarinets that are in need of tender loving care. Most are student instruments that need complete overhauls. They will make excellent beginner level instruments for parents who don’t want to rent or invest in expensive new ones. Amongst the student clarinets I found a Buffet clarinet that also needs much work but has the potential to be a good, advanced level instrument when it is re-built. I will probably start on this one in that I already have several re-built beginning level instruments available on my web site. Also included in the “buy” were two more old metal clarinets. I now have four old metal clarinets that are destined to evolve into lamps or possibly re-built working instruments. Enough talk…I better get to work!
Metal Clarinet Lamp
I recently purchased an old metal Cavalier Clarinet which I thought was quite interesting. The instrument was black, green and pretty disgusting looking. After boiling in water, baking soda and aluminum foil to clean and disinfect it, I stripped all of the keys and buffed and polished them and the body. I reassembled it into a pretty nice looking lamp which is presently looking for a new home. Check it out. Metal Cavalier Clarinet Lamp $295.00
EVETTE & SCHAEFFER Bb CLARINET
Evette & Schaeffer was the student line of clarinets manufactured by Buffet many years ago. Some of the instruments were made directly by Buffet and some were made for
Buffet by other manufacturers in Europe such as Malerne. This particular instrument
was manufactured in 1951 and can almost be considered “new/old stock”. It was played for a very short time before the student changed to another instrument,(Oboe), and it sat in a case unopened for 60+ years.
The instrument has been totally restored, including a complete re-pad and all new cork.
The bore has been oiled and the dark brown grain wood meticulously cleaned and polished. There are a few minor marks on the side of the trill keys which could not be polished, however the instrument appears almost brand new. The instrument is offered at $475.00 and would be considered a “step up” grade clarinet for a young player or excellent instrument for a doubler. Evette & Schaeffer Bb Clarinet $475.00
I recently purchased some used woodwind instruments which I have restored and either sold or made available on my web site. In this purchase was an Amati Oboe which looks brand new, but doesn’t play very well. I spent a considerable amount of time working on the mechanism which improved it, but not to the level that I would feel comfortable selling it to anyone. A friend of mine who is a professional oboist made some adjustments which improved it further, but still not to an acceptable level. The other challenge to this instrument, (and I know this only makes sense to you Oboe Geeks out there), is that it has an automatic octave system, which means that there is no left hand octave key. This system is used more in Europe than in the US.
What to do….What to do……..
I still haven’t decided whether I am going to sell it or keep it.