Category Archives: History

Jean Montour A Paris Clarinet

From Karmin:

I am a graduate clarinet student and have recently come across a vintage clarinet and I would like to find out more about it. I have been researching every possible place, but this one in particular doesn’t have much readily available information. I’m hoping you’ll be able to help me! Here’s what I know:
The clarinet is in wonderful shape and plays well. The parts, including bell and barrel, are all original and there are no cracks. The A key has been soldered, but everything else is original (except for pads, obviously!). It is a B High pitch clarinet with the “Jean Montour A Paris” brand with the little fly and a symbol underneath, with a “B”. I have not been able to find any serial numbers, but may have overlooked something. I believe that it is grenadilla wood, and the wood looks fabulous! The clarinet could stand to be cleaned a good bit, but that is all superficial and should clean up well. 

Reply by Martin Freres Company:

The Jean Montour A Paris is definitely a model manufactured by Martin Freres Paris. We have not ascertained the historical significance or provenance of the Jean Montour name but our research continues. 
What we do know is that this model was manufactured in Paris c1900 – 1905, prior to the Gran Prix model. These were not manufactured for export from France, however, Jean Montour instruments are extant across Europe today attesting to how well they were made. JFB Martin also made Oboes and Low clarinets with the Jean Montour name and the Martin Family’s iconic bumblebee stamp is clearly affixed. No serial numbers are know to have been engraved on these models.
Your clarinet was featured in the 1905 Martin Freres Catalog (advertised with the Martin Freres name) which you can see here:http://martinfreres.net/clarinetcatalog/vintage-clarinets/1905-martin-freres-paris-clarinet-catalog/

As far as we are concerned, this clarinet is a priceless piece of history. http://martinfreres.net/clarinetcatalog/how-much-is-my-martin-freres-clarinet-worth/

Because the piece is over 100 years old, we cannot provide a value for resale or for insurance replacement. 
Take care of it and enjoy it!

Best Regards,

The Martin Freres Company

Jean Montour A Paris by Martin Freres c1905

Grand Prix Low B Clarinet c1906-1914

Good Afternoon,

I wonder if you are able, please, to give me advice regarding my son’s Clarinet which was willed to him some 15 years ago. We are not especially interested in it’s value, although if it is valuable it would be useful to know as more care should be taken of it!

I have had it identified by a company who specialize in instrument repairs here in Brisbane. The instrument in question is a Grand Prix B low pitch serial number 1010. It was difficult to identify as the stamping is very faint but it is definitely Martin Freres with the little fly.

At some time it has had a pinned repair on the section next to the mouthpiece. The repair is still in good order.

What we would really like to know is when it was manufactured, so if you could offer a guidance as whom I may contact who could help me establish this I would indeed be very grateful.

Best wishes and thank you in hopeful anticipation,

John R.

 

John,

Thank you for your email.
The Grand Prix was a limited edition clarinet produced c1906-1914 by Martin Freres to coincide with first Grand Prix racing in France. Unfortunately, we no longer have serial number to date-stamp data for such models so we cannot be certain of the exact data of manufacture. However, we can find no Grand Prix model advertisements after 1914.

The original advertisement can be found here:
Value estimations can be found here:
Identifying photo can be found here:

http://martinfreres.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/GrandPrix3.jpg

Thank you,
The Martin Freres Company Team

Martin Freres Company

The Honored Journey of the Martin Freres Company Namesake

Martin Freres A Paris 19th Century Logo

Early Logo


The Martin Freres Societe (fr., Martin Brothers Company) , was established in the year 1840 in the city of La Couture Boussey, Eure France by (Francois) Jean-Baptiste
(Born 1817, Dec 1877), Claude Eugene (Born 1819, Dec 1874) & Felix (Born 1821, Dec 1896) MARTIN (surname). 

These fine craftsmen hand-manufactured flutes and clarinets from 1840 until their deaths*.

Martin Freres Logo

Martin Freres A PARIS

 

In the late 1890’s, the Thibouville family of Paris took the baton and continued the Martin Freres tradition until ~1927.

 

Martin Freres 20th Century Logo

Martin Freres 20th Century Logo

In the 1930’s, a team of French & American businessmen (unrelated to any previous owners) revived the company and licensed the Martin Freres name to various woodwind manufacturers worldwide to produce student and intermediate woodwinds until the 1960’s. In 1992, Martin Freres was dissolved worldwide and the last remnant of its iconic brand name with it. Yet, the instruments live on!

 

Martin Freres Company Today

Martin Freres Company

 

Today, a new generation of clarinet makers have risen to the challenge to keep the Martin brother’s dream alive. Affiliated by the great honor and deep respect for the groundbreaking work of its namesake’s founding fathers, the Martin Freres Company woodwind makers carry on that same fine family journey of excellence.

 

That is why clarinetists of today and beyond will say with pride, I Play a Martin Freres!  sm

– The Martin Freres Company Team

 

* The Martin Family actually began manufacturing woodwind instruments in the year 1740 (inspiring the collection of models with the 1740 stamp) in La Couture Boussey (Eure) FR. The use of the company and brand name ‘Martin Freres’ (for woodwind manufacturing) does not first appear until 1840.

The Martin Freres Company is a family business.

The Martin Freres Company has never been associated with the Martin Band Equipment Co., USA; the C.F. Martin Company or the Martin Guitar Company.

 

Take me to:

The Clarinet Catalog   —   About Martin Freres Company

 

Martin Freres Catalog of Clarinets 1905

Select pages from the Martin Freres 1905 Catalog of Clarinets.

In 1905, Martin Freres instruments were manufactured in La Couture Boussey, Eure, France.
The catalog features Boehm, Demi-Boehm, Albert, Simple and J-B Martin System Clarinets.

What does J-B Martin stand for?

  • J-B, Jean Baptiste Martin, one of the company founders; son of Francois Martin, founder of Martin Clarinets of La Coutoure Boussey, FR c1740;
  • J-B Martin is the name given to the patented System of clarinets designed and manufactured by Jean Baptiste Martin and his brothers;
  • J.B.M. stamped on many clarinets dating c1888 – c1927 stands for Francois Jean Baptiste Martin (the son of Jean Baptiste Martin, the company founder);
  • J-B Martin is also a d/b/a and brand name used by Martin Freres for worldwide sales and distribution;

Martin Freres Clarinet Catalog 1905

Martin Freres Clarinet Catalog 1905

MF-CAT-1905-bMF-CAT-1905-cMF-CAT-1905-dMF-CAT-1905-eMF-CAT-1905-fMF-CAT-1905-g

Vintage Martin Freres 1740 Deluxe Model Turns 70 Years Old

During a time in instrument manufacturing history, when clarinets were being widely produced for the Big Band Jazz sound, Martin Freres Woodwinds was focusing their manufacturing efforts on superior quality Grenadilla Wood Bb clarinets for the Symphonic enthusiast. Just after World War II, Martin Freres released a well fine-tuned instrument for experienced clarinetists engraved, ‘Martin Freres Paris Model 1740 Deluxe.’  Today, 70 years since its debut, the instrument is still performing for artists and collectors around the globe.

The 1740 Deluxe did not follow the mainstream clarinet build of the era, known as the large-bore clarinet (15.0mm and larger) made popular by such manufacturers as Conn, Selmer, Boosey & Hawkes and Penzel Mueller. Rather, Martin Freres manufactured the 1740 Deluxe using a very small 14.5mm bore, which was embraced by clarinetists throughout the world for playing classical pieces.

The 1740 Deluxe features outstanding intonation and key action throughout the registers, as well as the throat tones, making it an ideal example of a mid 20th century professional clarinet.

The Martin Freres 1740 Deluxe was manufactured in Paris, France from 1945 until the 1960’s. Originally tuned in the European playing style (A = 442 Hz), tuning barrels, made of various wood types, are available allowing the 1740 Deluxe to be tuned to A = 440 Hz and fitted to mouthpieces with tenons measuring 22.0mm – 22.6mm.

Acoustically, the 1740 Deluxe boasts an underlying whisper (silvery overtones) to complement its bright, rich tone and reaching projection. Players can easily blend with the full cast of instruments or stand out solo in virtually any venue.

So, Happy 70th, 1740 Deluxe. Clarinetists and collectors everywhere know the significance of your arrival!

 

Dimensions:

Barrel:

Top Receiver ID: 22.25mm; Tenon Receiver Depth: 17.30mm; Center Bore: 14.50mm

Bottom Receiver ID: 22.85mm; Tenon Receiver Depth: 20.30mm; Center Bore: 14.50mm

Bore Style: Straight

Length: 64mm

 

Upper Joint:

Top Tenon OD: 22.7mm; Tenon Height: 19.9mm; Center Bore: 14.50mm

Bottom Tenon OD: 21.9mm; Tenon Height: 16.3mm; Center Bore: 14.69mm

 

Lower Joint:

Top Receiver ID: 21.2mm; Tenon Receiver Depth: 15.7mm; Center Bore: 14.77mm

Bottom Tenon OD: 27.2mm; Tenon Height: 19.8mm; Center Bore: 21.9mm

 

Bell:

Top Receiver ID: 26.8mm; Tenon Receiver Depth 19.8mm; Length: 105.3mm