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PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2016 3:02 am 
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Are you positive the red whistle (in E) is a Clarke? Is it marked as such? It looks more like one of the many brands of German or Japanese made post-war whistles.


We talked about that one before. When I got it I thought of it as an odd one someone had painted red. Last time we talked about it I took it out to take a pic and realised it was a bit too well done to be an after market paint job. It's also well made and, more importantly, at a closer look it is exactly like other Clarke's. On top of that, I since came across a mention in Dannatt's book of the first post-war production run of plain (which I read as unmarked) single colour dip painted whistles, including red ones. Putting this together I now think it is most likely one of those.

I have a few more here:

A Generation Tabor pipe of the 1970s. Generation did those for a while, trying to tap into the emerging English folk scene I suppose. Basically the same effect as your whistle with the three top holes taped over that Bill Ochs made a go of, followed to this day by Cathal McConnell and his two whistle act but in this case made only with three holes, two on front and one on the back. A D from the same period beside it for comparison.

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Two French ones here, both by Ch. Mathieu, Paris. One is the typical conical design, the other, a Bflat, is the only cylindrical from this maker I have ever come across. Interesting feature of the conical one is that when using forked fingerings, it allows a decent chromatic scale.

The first ever 'old' whistle I bought was a Mathieu, back in the early eighties. I had a habit of going through drawers of dressers and chests of drawers in antique shops to see if there was anything interesting in them. One time a whistle turned up, to my delight and I got away with it for a fiver. Soon after I showed it to Micho Russell who immediately wanted it and wouldn't leave me alone until I let him have it. I gave in in the end and always slightly regretted it. Took me a long while before I got another one too.

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Another example of a French conical design:

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This one is a bit of an enigma. It's old and has some contraption at the back of the mouth piece the function of which I can't figure out. Whatever it is supposed to do, the whistle doesn't play.

Image

I have a few more pics taken. I'll post those later.


[edited to fix typo]

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Last edited by Mr.Gumby on Tue Nov 15, 2016 4:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2016 10:30 am 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:
Quote:
Are you positive the red whistle (in E) is a Clarke? Is it marked as such? It looks more like one of the many brands of German or Japanese made post-war whistles.


We talked about that one before. When I got it I thought of it as an odd one someone had painted red. Last time we talked about it I took it out to take a pic and realised it was a bit too well done to be an after market paint job. It's also well made and, more importantly, at a closer look it is exactly like other Clarke's. On top of that, I since came across a mention in Dannatt's book of the first post-war production run of plain (which I read as unmarked) single colour dip painted whistles, including red ones. Putting this together I now think it is most likely one of those.


Really!? Sorry, I have no recollection of our previous convo! I guess I was just taken in by the pretty red whistle! But you jogged my memory about the plain painted post-war Clarkes, so thanks for that!

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2016 10:43 am 
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Yes, here. I have since changed my thinking about it a bit, especially after I found the the reference in Dannatt's book recently (awful book really, someone should do a properly documented job on that some day).

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2016 11:49 am 
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Dannatt's book recently (awful book really, someone should do a properly documented job on that some day).

Yeah... a whistle collector.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2016 3:05 pm 
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Here a whole bunch of whistles of one particular type. I have the strong impression whistlemaking was, in Victorian times, organised along the same lines as many other crafts, concertina making for example. Essentially independent craftsmen were making things to order for various dealers/manufacturers who then added their own brand name under which the item was sold. This would certainly explain why the same design of whislte appears either without name or under various different names.

Anyhow, a bunch of examples:

Three whistles of the same make as the keyed whistle posted above, a brass and a nickel-silver D and a brass Bflat

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A brass Bflat and a nickel silver C marked A B.S. and A J. G. Dulcet respectively

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Two Generations, a brass F, probably from the forties or early fifties, just before the plastic heads came in, and an older nickel silver D with the Generation name punched in the metal (in several places, some more successful than other)

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Two more brass ones of different brands, A Joseph Wallis in F and (what looks like) H&I in E flat. Both made in London (like most of the other whistles in this batch)

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and, finally, an anonymous nickel silver C. Slightly unusual for having a more narrow body than the later Generation Cs we're used to. It has a lovely delicate ringing tone that is lost in the wider tubes and in common with all these whistles it is very well balanced between the octaves, volume wise. A feature that went out the window with the demand for more volume.

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Yeah... a whistle collector.


Well, perhaps but one with the ability to conduct systematic historical research.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2016 10:02 am 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:
Yes, here. I have since changed my thinking about it a bit, especially after I found the the reference in Dannatt's book recently (awful book really, someone should do a properly documented job on that some day).


Well, now I'm curious! --- what is your opinion of it now?

It looks like my impression hasn't changed much: it still looks like one of the post-war German or Japanese whistles. In particular, like this. The first whistle in the second picture (the red Delta-K with an angel playing a clarinet), or the second one, the yellow boy playing a whistle (Japanese make).

Rationale: I notice that the older Clarkes all have different 4-5-6 hole sizes and are not spaced evenly, just like the old Clarke in your picture or the old Clarkes in picture three above. But the red whistle not only has a different head geometry (squared edges rather than rounded like the Clarke), little folds of metal at the side of the window (characteristic of Schoha and Calura and Delta-K and other post-war makes, but not Clarke), plus all the holes on the red whistle appear to be the same diameter and evenly spaced (characteristic of Schoha et al., but not Clarke).

Re Dannatt's book, I agree. It reads more like a 94 page Clarke advert than a history of "tin whistles" in general. Also, there are precious few pictures of actual whistles. I was extremely disappointed that Mr. Dannatt didn't make better pictures of his own collection of old Clarkes for his book. To me, as someone interested in old whistles, that would have made the book entirely worthwhile!

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2016 10:11 am 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:
The first ever 'old' whistle I bought was a Mathieu, back in the early eighties. I had a habit of going through drawers of dressers and chests of drawers in antique shops to see if there was anything interesting in them. One time a whistle turned up, to my delight and I got away with it for a fiver. Soon after I showed it to Micho Russell who immediately wanted it and wouldn't leave me alone until I let him have it. I gave in in the end and always slightly regretted it. Took me a long while before I got another one too.


:) The French conical whistles (Mathieu) do seem to play nice. You must have had a particularly sweet one for Mr Russell to pester you for it!

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This one is a bit of an enigma. It's old and has some contraption at the back of the mouth piece the function of which I can't figure out. Whatever it is supposed to do, the whistle doesn't play.

Image


Any chance of seeing a picture of the contraption?

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2016 10:35 am 
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Well, now I'm curious! --- what is your opinion of it now?



Well, as I said, I have been gravitating towards Clarke recently but I just had a closer look and realised the seam is a fold over rather than a standing one so that speaks against Clarke. I am keeping an open mind. It did come from Hungary but that may not be significant.

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Any chance of seeing a picture of the contraption?


I will have a go in the morning and add it to this post. It looks like a sort of key but I am not sure it is supposed to do anything or is just a way of finishing that end of things, the bottom of the windway and the back are one and the same strip of metal, folded back. You can move the alignment of the windway with it anyway, whether that was meant to be or not.

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You must have had a particularly sweet one for Mr Russell to pester you for it!


I don't know about that, it was Micho being Micho and he just wanted it very badly. I did have, still do actually, a C Generation that he was very keen on and borrowed several times to do concerts with. I always made sure to get that back though.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2016 3:47 pm 
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It looks unfinished, as there is no depression to form the sound blade. Very peculiar. Even in good circumstances, I do not see how this would play. It appears that soldering was not this tinsmiths strong suit. You can make certain tin wares without solder, but getting a whistle to sound would be tricky without it.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 9:22 am 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:
<snip> A Generation Tabor pipe of the 1970s. Generation did those for a while, trying to tap into the emerging English folk scene I suppose. </snip>


They still make Tabor pipes. I have an old one of similar vintage as yours, but you can still buy them new. The Hobgoblin shop in Birmingham (England) have a supply that I saw a about a week ago.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 9:37 am 
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They still make Tabor pipes. I have an old one of similar vintage as yours, but you can still buy them new. The Hobgoblin shop in Birmingham (England) have a supply that I saw a about a week ago.


I hadn't realised that. Actually I have never seen them anywhere since the 1970s and even then they were few and far between. Probably location related.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 1:22 pm 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:
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They still make Tabor pipes. I have an old one of similar vintage as yours, but you can still buy them new. The Hobgoblin shop in Birmingham (England) have a supply that I saw a about a week ago.


I hadn't realised that. Actually I have never seen them anywhere since the 1970s and even then they were few and far between. Probably location related.

Possibly. Gloucester is near where I live, and it's a major hub for tabor fans. There's a festival, no less! A lot of them have Generation tabors, and they're fairly readily available around here. (Or at least they were when I last looked, which would have been some time last year, I think.)

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 3:35 am 
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Here you go.. https://www.hobgoblin.com/local/sales/p ... or-pipe-d/

(they have them in nickel too)


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 10:47 am 
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I bought a plastic Susato tabor pipe just 7 months ago. It's great if you want to play a drum with one hand and do your whistle with the other- great for celebrations and parades! Takes a little getting used to though, and at my lowly playing level it was too hard to just switch back and forth with the PW because of the thumb hole on the bottom. I hope when I'm more comfortable on pw I can revisit my pipe & tabor.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:18 am 
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it was too hard to just switch back and forth with the PW because of the thumb hole on the bottom.


A standard whistle with the top holes taped over achieves the same effect.

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