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Clarinet in C by Graves & Co., Winchester, New Hampshire, ca. 1830-1850
NMM 5755. Clarinet in C by Graves & Co., Winchester, New Hampshire, ca. 1830-1850. Five sections. Stamped on barrel and the two middle body joints: GRAVES & Co. / WINCHESTER / N.H.; on top joint: [eagle] / GRAVES & Co. / WINCHESTER / N.H. and, on bell: [eagle] / GRAVES & Co / WINCHESTER / N.H. / C. Boxwood, ivory ferrules. Five brass keys with flat, round key covers, mounted in rounded rings; springs attached to keys (SATK). Bottom joint stock bulge. Straight f-sharp/c-sharp2 key. Length (top of barrel to bottom of bell), 532 mm. Original pewter mouthpiece. Cecil B. Leeson Collection, 1994.
This clarinet is made in a typical, Classical style with five sections, unlike the other Graves clarinets in the NMM's collections, all of which are constructed in four sections. The sharply cut, bottom-joint stock bulge (a reinforced socket) is characteristic of English clarinets, in contrast to the more gracefully curved stock bulge commonly found on Continental European clarinets. The f-sharp / c-sharp2 key on this Graves clarinet is straight (as can be seen above), as is common on Continental instruments; however, on most of the NMM's other Graves clarinets, this key is cranked in the English style.
Maker's Signature Stamped on Bell
The original mouthpiece for this Graves clarinet is made from a pewter alloy containing quite a bit of lead, with a brass tenon. Its long shank extends completely through the bore of the barrel, abutting to an internal ridge that holds the mouthpiece securely in place. Only three Graves clarinets are known to have survived with their original pewter mouthpieces.