Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: antique clarinet by a. fontaine ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: antique clarinet by a. fontaine
Category: Arts and Entertainment > Music
Asked by: fritolay-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 17 May 2004 14:13 PDT
Expires: 16 Jun 2004 14:13 PDT
Question ID: 347813
I came accross an old clarinet with the only markings A. Fontaine Paris 1638.
The name is on the top of "Paris" inside a small horizontal circle and
the number 1638 on the back side of clarinet which is made of some
kind of metal. It is heavy for it's small size. Is this from  the year

Request for Question Clarification by kriswrite-ga on 17 May 2004 14:34 PDT
Is the clarinet made of metal? Or is the marking on metal?


Clarification of Question by fritolay-ga on 17 May 2004 16:17 PDT
All of the Clarinet is metal. My guess is brass.The markings seem to be engraved.
Subject: Re: antique clarinet by a. fontaine
Answered By: denco-ga on 17 May 2004 17:06 PDT
Howdy fritolay-ga,

The clarinet pages is a great resource for this information.

"A Source of Information for the Clarinet Amateur, Professional, and Anyone
Who 'Just Wants to Know'"

They have a area full of interesting messages called "The Clarinet BBoard."

"A. Fontaine ... mainly sold "stencil" instruments, that is, made by others
but with the Fontaine name on them."

More on what a "stencil" instrument is in this message.

"A. Fontaine was an importer, not a manufacturer. Clarinets labelled 'A.
Fontaine' and "made in France" may have been made by Thibouville Freres or
Couesnon ... Most of the clarinets labelled 'A. Fontaine' that I've seen
were from the WWII to 1950's time period, as best I could tell."

Here, we find out about the "1638" marking.  Clarinets were not invented until
1690, it can't be the year it was made, but rather it's a serial number.

"A. Fontaine was a trademark for U.S. imported woodwind instruments. It was
made in one of the many factories in France and stamped with that name."
"On the brass instruments by Couesenon (Couesenon is very famous in the brass
wind trade) the last 2 digits of the serial number indicate the year of
manufacture; no mention is made of how they marked woodwinds."

If the serial number of your clarinet follows this pattern, it might have been
made in 1938.

Your clarinet, highly depending on condition and the actual maker, might be
worth up to $350 or more.  From the Marsh Woodwinds web site.

"A. Fontaine Clarinet #2xxx - Wood - in original tweed case - Price: $350.00"

The above is dated to the 1950s.  If you click on the link marked "View more
pictures of this item" on the above page, they have an image of the logo.

It might also be worth $150 or less.  From the Vintage Instruments web site.

"Clarinet in B-flat, A. FONTAINE BY COUESNON, Paris ... in very good condition,
requires standard overhaul ... $150"

If you need any clarification, feel free to ask.

Search Strategy

Google search on: clarinet "A. Fontaine"

Did further searches on the site for Fontaine.

Looking Forward, denco-ga - Google Answers Researcher
There are no comments at this time.

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy