Bass clarinet in C

about 1820
Nicola Papalini (Italian, active about 1800–1825)

Object Place: Chiaravalle, Italy


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



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