This extremely unusual 4000 series Heckel bassoon was made in 1908. It is one of the very few instruments made in the Heckel “water-free” design as listed and pictured in the Edith Reiter Heckel History book on pages 110, 113, and 114.
Very importantly, it comes with the original bocal which was handmade by Heckel in 1908 from a stock CC2 with the added extension key and pip as photographed.
Conceptually, it was supposed to help avoid excess moisture from building up during play. The wing tenon was built at 16 7/8″s in length to account for the extra bocal length, and side mounted posture of the bocal.
In its current excellent condition, it has a singing tone, even response, and a classic late 4000 voice. This will not be an appropriate instrument for a student, beginner, casual enthusiast, or player looking for a cheap deal on a performance Heckel.
The instrument has been completely cleaned, key and bore oiled, repadded, recorked and fully mechanically adjusted. It’s a well preserved and very original example of this extremely rare style of experimental Heckel instrument.
The keywork appears to have been replated in the past 50 years to 80 years, and has expected wear at the touch points but no pitting or restored damage. The maple wood body is in sound condition. It was refinished in the past 20 to 50 years with a light varnish which is worn as expected.
The lower tenon of the bass joint was replaced with wood, which appears to be grenadilla. The crack (as photographed) was repaired using a very old (but solid) tradition, leading us to believe this replacement happened in the early part of the 20th century. The original U tube has light denting from 100 years of cleaning with a cleaning rod. There appears to have been light boot rot at some point in the distant past, which is well restored.
Included is a solid traditional case in very good but worn condition. We will be happy to answer specific questions, and we welcome comments, corrections, and observations from interested players and scholars.