Bass clarinet in C

about 1820

Nicola Papalini, Italian, active about 1800–1825 Italian


Length 68 cm (26 3/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Pearwood, horn, brass

On View

Musical Instrument Gallery (Gallery 103D)


Europe , Musical Instruments


Musical instruments , Aerophones

In C. Pearwood, varnished dark brown. Horn rings. Rosewood mouthpiece (later). Made in five parts: mouthpiece, crook, barrel, body, and bell. The body is carved from two separate slabs to make possible the forming of the bore of serpentine shape; the halves are glued together and fastened by iron pins. Nine fingerholes in the front (the second and eighth doubled; the first and fifth stopped by the middle joints of the fingers) two thumbholes, and one venthole in bell. Five square keys (Young type A) of brass (e, f#, g#, a', and speaker), mounted on blocks with springs attached to keys.


Francis W. Galpin (1858-1945), Hatfield Regis, England; 1916, sold by Francis W. Galpin to William Lindsey (1858-1922), Boston, Massachusetts; 1916, gift of William Lindsey, in memory of his daughter, Leslie Lindsey Mason, to the MFA. (Accession Date: October 5, 1916)

Credit Line

Leslie Lindsey Mason Collection