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Date: Tue, 24 Aug 1999 20:16:59 EDT
Subject: Re: Sua Na

Grant Green wrote,
>And, of course, there's now one up at ebay:

That one on eBay looks nearly identical to my smaller one, including the
shape and type of bell.  My bigger one has a bell like the one shown on the
Lark in the Morning site.  The necks on both of mine look like the neck on
the eBay horn, with those decorative (?) balls.  I'm not registered as either
buyer or seller on eBay (aversion to buying anything that way), so I haven't
answered the dealer's inquiry, in case anyone else would like to explain to
the person.  Regarding the seller's estimate of the age of the eBay
instrument, I don't know about that one, but wouldn't be surprised if my sua
nas are pretty old, probably early 20th C., to judge from the deep patina of
the copper.  I've had quite a lot of experience with both natural and
chemical patinas in my stained glass business.  My sua na appears to have a
natural patina of age.  How long that takes to develop depends on a lot of
factors (temperature, humidity, exposure to sunlight, air pollution, etc.),
but I'd guess this horn is pre-WWII, maybe even WWI era, maybe earlier.  It
didn't come out of a Taiwanese factory last week, at any rate.  My larger one
seems to be the other half of a pair, including the same natural patina on
the neck and on a small band of metal just above the bell, but that tin bell
looks like it was made yesterday.  I'm fairly convinced that the reed
assemblies I've got were never meant for these instruments.  The corks on the
reeds are too big among other things.  I have to wrap duct tape around the
bocals to get a seal.  If anyone finds a commercial source of sua na reeds,
please let me know.  Haven't tried Asian stores or House of Musical
Traditions (Takoma Park, MD) yet -- the next step.

Thanks for all this information!


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