Clarinet in B-flat

Charles Joseph Sax Belgian

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 684

The ivory body of this clarinet and its ornate gold plated keys suggest that it was a special commission or presentation piece. Its bell proclaims Sax’s status as musical instrument maker to the court of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. This instrument is also distinguished by its early use of Ivan Müller’s improved thirteen-key system, which became the preferred choice of most clarinet players until the beginning of the twentieth century.

Clarinet in B-flat, Charles Joseph Sax (Belgian, Dinant, Belgium 1790–1865 Paris), Ivory, brass, gold-plated silver, Belgian

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