Charles Joseph Sax (Belgian, 17911865), Maker
Ivory, brass; L. 26 3/4 in. (68 cm); L. of mouthpiece 35 in. (89 cm); L. of barrel 27 1/2 in. (70 cm); L. of upper body section 8 3/4 in. (22.1 cm); L. of lower body section 10 1/8 in. (25.7 cm); L. of bell 4 5/ 8 in. (11.8 cm); Diam. of bell 33 1/2 in. (85 cm)
Purchase, funds from various donors, 1953 (53.223)
This clarinet in B-flat is marked "C. Sax" for Charles Joseph Sax (17911865), whose son Adolphe invented the saxophone. The quality, tone, and forms of musical instruments are largely determined by the materials chosen for their construction. Elephant-tusk ivory, a particularly adaptable but exotic material, has long been employed in fashioning instruments of great value, though it is no longer used by ethical craftsmen.