Recently Paul Plier, a clarinetpages member from the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg (!), wrote to me about this same model Thibouville Frères, but a different one being sold on eBay:
“This is a very interesting old French clarinet from the Thibouvillé brand himself. The 'Concert' model is even very rare, especially if it is in playing condition. … The additional stamp 'Fr. de l'armée' means that Thibouvillé produced this for the French army, but does not at all indicate that this very instrument was played in an army band or by a professional musician. Nevertheless,this clarinet is very interesting if you tend to complete a collection.“
This instrument didn't live up to my expectations, given what Paul said, and the good Thibouville reputation.
Serial # 4508
Bore LH joint top: 14.6mm
Bore LH joint at bottom: 14.7mm
Intonation results taken when playing loud and not lipping. See how to interpret these results on the Model Comparison Page.
This test, 12Feb2011, was done having pulled out only about 1mm at the barrel and 0.7mm at the middle. I would have pulled out more, but the flatness of the Mid F bothered me.
Intonation summary: This will work for a beginning player.
Key work quality: I would say this is only fair key work. It will be sturdy enough. The springs are not top quality. Some of the pivot holes are too large, allowing for sloppiness. The keys of this Thibouville are chrome plated, indicating that they are in the later period, perhaps before Masson took over the company.
This clarinet is most appropriate for: A beginning player.
This clarinet is useful for showing Thibouville characteristics, which will help in identifying stencil models produced by this maker.
There is a batch mark under the keys on both keyed joints. This one is marked O 597. And the mark is made by a hand engraving tool, not stamped.
The shape of keys is probably not a reliable way to identify different makers, as the stencil makers probably bought keys from the same metal working companies. However some of these characteristics will probably be useful.
This model has four posts for the G# and A throat tone keys.
There is no post underneath the G# throat tone key.
There is a Malerne like style for the right bridge linkage and the first key cup, which turns upward.
The register key looks normal, like Buffets.
The left pinkie keys have two posts and are not pin in hole type.
The thumb rest is the modern type with the two screws set horizontally.
The rings are the nice wide style— very comfortable.
There is no chiselled out area under the right pinkie keys.