Josef Kolar Simple System C

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Pitch: Low Pitch C

Maker: Josef Kolar(?)

Brand Name: Josef Kolar(?)

Place of Manufacture: Czechoslovakia(?)

Approximate Date: ~1850s

Material: Grenadilla wood

Keys: German Silver

Keywork: Simple System

Serial Number: ---

Thanks to Jim for the images and information on this wonderful clarinet. From information from Jim, this C clarinet plays well in tune.

Here we have a very interesting simple system LP (Low Pitch) C clarinet. Made of tight-grained and dense grenadilla, it was probably made in former Czechoslovakia if the mouthpiece’s markings are any indication.

An interesting feature is the seemingly original mouthpiece, marked “Josef Kolar/Kladno”. Information for Mr. Kolar can be found here:

The mouthpiece is actually an Eb clarinet piece. C clarinets vary in what kind of mouthpieces they can accommodate – some take Bb and some take Eb.

The clarinet features pins instead of actual screws – making this quite an early clarinet, dating possibly to the 1850s.

The added left hand pinky key is an alternate actuator for the top right hand pinky roller key, a quite rare and unique addition. So although this clarinet is definitely considered a simple system, it does have an “advanced” feature.

Measurements of the instrument as follows:


Total length = 3.105"

Tenon OD = .75"

Tenon ID = .535"

Table to tip = 2.525"


Total length = 2.170"

Top joint:

Total length = 7.75", including tenons

Top ID = .470"

Bottom ID = .485"

Bottom joint:

Total length = 8.25"

Top ID = .485"

Bottom ID = .500"


Total length = 3.25"

top ID = .620