I have reconditioned several René Dumont clarinets. The first one was purchased from Musician's Repair in Indianapolis and was the subject of my first review.
All parts, including the mouthpiece, are marked in very simple, sans serif caps:
There is no serial number in the normal places, but N 23 is stamped under the keys of the two keyed joints. The name stamp and key work look just like the Jean Barre that I have. I think that this was a late Thibouville product, but think that it dates from approximately 1940 to 1950. I give this an earlier date than 1950 because of the older style of the original case. The Dumont clarinet has a wooden bell, while the Barre's bell is plastic.
The R. Dumont clarinet seems to be the same as the Jean Barre, which means Good and Worth Fixing. However the Piérre Dumont clarinet is almost certainly a Malerne product, and not as good. [2Dec13 I am not certain about either calling this Thibouville or Malerne. This has the short center tenon I associate with SML.]
This has the Buffet style pin-in-hole left pinkie keys.
I show the case details here, in case this might help in dating the instrument someday.
Barrel: 66mm. [2Dec2013 #492 barrel 63.6mm]
Bore at barrel tenon: 14.85mm (or perhaps more like 14.78, depending on where you measure). 14.68 at the middle.
[2Dec2013 14.65mm top, 14.6mm bottom LH joint. I found the serial number only on the RH joint. There is a batch mark under the keys on both keyed joints, 14V. So Victoire, we meet again! This one also came with a perfect-condition René Dumont mouthpiece.]
[18Apr2013 testing #26. I pulled 1mm at the barrel and .7mm at the center. Using Chedeville Prime mouthpiece and Legere 3 3/4 Signature series reed.]
Quite frankly, I was not expecting this horn to play so well in tune. This was using my Portnoy mouthpiece and an Ontario Cut Legere 3 3/4 reed. This instrument is better in tune than any Selmer Signet, and probably a bit better in tune than a Normandy. It would be a good idea for an intermediate to advanced student to get a 64mm barrel to use with this, for use in ensembles that play sharp.
I like the tone of this instrument.
The key work on this clarinet is moderately sturdy, meaning not as sturdy as a Signet or Normandy. While I wouldn't recommend this for marching band, it should stay in adjustment for anyone who doesn't get careless when assembling or disassembling the instrument.
Other Rene Dumont clarinets with the same logo restored by Phil:
Feb2013: Let's call this one #H26. It has a batch mark of H26, but no serial number. Again, excellent tone and pretty good intonation. There is a small difference in the logo. The one reviewed above had no accent above the final -e of René, but H26 does have the accent.
H26's bell was replaced by one from a Selmer Barbier. H26 was owned by the Minneapolis board of education, and I take it was last used at Roosevelt Middle School. Some band teacher must have liked the instrument. When he had to mark the instruments with a long number and found no serial number, he managed to find the batch number which is not visible. One has to remove keys to find that! Because of the incredible intonation, this has become one of my *Favorites*.
2Dec2013, #492. Thanks to David Bein for giving me the opportunity of reconditioning this clarinet. No condition issues.
Pictures of #H26: