Alto Clarinet in E-flat

Johann Friedrich Wilhelm Wernicke German

Not on view

Johann Friedrich Wilhelm Wernicke was appointed as court instrument maker in 1863. The Prussian eagle in his stamp hints to that privilege. His customers included musicians in court and theater orchestras, in Saint Petersburg, Sweden, and Berlin.

Overall size: 890
Bore: 17.0
Technical description: This instrument is a 14 key Müller system alto clarinet. Boxwood with ivory ferrules and brass keywork. Five pieces: mouthpiece, barrel, upper section, lower section, bell. Very interesting mouthpiece of ebony covered with German silver. Bent barrel. Brass tube in thumb hole. Speaker liner projects ca. 4 mm into the bore. All keys mounted in blocks, except for G♯3/E♭5, which is mounted on a rod-axle and F3/C5, which is mounted between pillars. Wood recessed under some touch pieces. Integral wooden thumb rest. Silng ring below thumb rest. Wooden rim on bell. Wooden guidance for F♯3/C♯5 lever.

L0:   T; speaker.
L1:   T; throat A♮; throat A♭.
L2:   T; cross F4/ C6.
L3:   T; E♭4/B♭5.
L4:   C♯4/G♯5; E3/B♮4; F♯3/C♯5.
R1:   T; side F4/ C6; side trill key for throat A-B♮ and B♭-C.
R2:   T.
R3:   T; B♭3/F♮5; side B♮3/F♯5.
R4:   F3/C5; G♯3/E♭5.

Keyhead type: shallow cups.
Keymount type: wooden blocks.

Inscribed on barell and upper section "HOLZINSTRUMENTENMACHER" / Prussian Eagle / "Wernicke / BERLIN / 2" / two stars"; on lower section with Prussian Eagle / "Wernicke / BERLIN" / one star; below that with Prussian Eagle / "Wernicke / BERLIN / 2" / two stars; and on bell with Prussian Eagle / "Wernicke / BERLIN / 2" / two stars.

Playing accessories: a German silver ligature. (Heike Fricke, 2014)

#William McColl, alto clarinet, 2004



  1. William McColl, alto clarinet, 2004
  2. 9322. Alto Clarinet in E-flat
Alto Clarinet in E-flat, Johann Friedrich Wilhelm Wernicke (German, fl. 1849–1870), Boxwood, brass, German

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.