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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 6:57 pm 
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Location: Wisconsin, USA
I am going to buy this whistle from the widow of a friend and ex-bandmate. I want to pay a fair price, but we don't know who made this whistle and what it might have sold for new (purchased sometime in the past 5-10 years, as I recall). Any tips from you connoisseurs?

These are larger images in case details of manufacturing help you identify the maker. The engraving on the last image on the underside of the head is, I believe, my friend's own marking, not the maker's.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 7:08 pm 
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I can’t see the photos all that well on my phone, but isn’t that an older Burke Composite whistle? Does that engraving say “MB”?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 7:12 pm 
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Terrible photos - couldn't run them through imaging software for a good look. Can you read off the inscription? Also, what material is the whistle head & body? Looks like plastic or other composite or 3D-printed material.

The style of the inscription does look like Michael Burke's, so it might reflect date & model#.

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Last edited by kkrell on Fri Oct 18, 2019 9:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 7:14 pm 
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Loren wrote:
I can’t see the photos all that well on my phone, but isn’t that an older Burke Composite whistle? Does that engraving say “MB”?


Why, yes it does, thank you! I see Burke doesn't make composite whistles any more. Does anyone recall what these things sold for back then? Or have an estimate of a fair market price now?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 7:24 pm 
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Yeah, based on what little I can make out, it does look like the sort of inscriptions Mike put on there. The date should be one of the engravings, maybe month/year? Been a while since I owned a Burke so I don’t remember the exact format he used.

New cost would depend on the the year it was made, but looking at the photos, I’d say it’s not worth much in its current condition. I mean if it plays well enough then I’d say it’s worth whatever one is willing to pay, but it sure doesn’t look like it would play like it did when new. No offense intended, and looks can be deceiving - sometimes beat up whistles play just fine.

I’m sure someone else will remember what they cost new back in the day.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 7:31 pm 
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Loren wrote:
Yeah, based on what little I can make out, it does look like the sort of inscriptions Mike put on there. The date should be one of the engravings, maybe month/year? Been a while since I owned a Burke so I don’t remember the exact format he used.


It's all fitting together now as a Burke. His other nice whistle is a well-worn brass whistle also with the same scraggly, hardly readable hand engraving starting with "MB" at the top, then some inscrutable numbers (presumably a date) and then total chicken scratch for the last line.

Same arrangement of, ahem, "information" on this black plastic whistle, too. I think the date line might be "10/15."

Loren wrote:
New cost would depend on the the year it was made, but looking at the photos, I’d say it’s not worth much in its current condition. I mean if it plays well enough then I’d say it’s worth whatever one is willing to pay, but it sure doesn’t look like it would play like it did when new. No offense intended, and looks can be deceiving - sometimes beat up whistles play just fine.


Yes, it does still play quite nicely. I always liked its sound when my friend played it back in the day, too. And yes, partly I want to adopt to this instrument to carry on his memory and musical legacy.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 9:00 pm 
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It is hard to tell about the condition on the pictures I am seeing. I am getting extreme closeups which might be magnifying any flaws on that whistle. Hey, I'm not so sure I'd like anyone looking at my face that close HaHa. I used to call the Burke Composite Whistles but I see the Irish flute store is calling them Burke Carbon Whistles. If it is in good playing condition I have seen them sell for the neighborhood of $200 and more than that at The Irish Flute Store. They are extremely fragile so be careful with it. I have one and I really like it but I have heard of them shattering when dropped which may be why Burke eliminated them from his line. If you don't end up buying it and your friend's widow wants to sell it I would have her contact the Irish Flute Store in Greeley Colorado since you don't seem to have anyone on hand to evaluate its condition. They would sell it for her and charge a commission, and they would be able to tell her if it is in good condition. So she wouldn't have to deal with that uncertainly. They recently sold a Burke Composite D. A search of their site may tell you how much they asked since they sometimes keep sold items up for reference. I never have cleaned mine since I don't play it all the time so, but I would contact Michael Burke directly on his website if you or she wants to clean it. He is likely to respond with good advice regarding cleaning if you feel like you want to do more than a mild dusting. Mine has a lovely tone and a great feel in the hand. But I do believe they are more fragile than most. I am not sure what material it is a composite of. I am sure there is someone on this site or Michael Burke that could fill you in on that one. But I was never tempted to call it a plastic whistle.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2019 10:26 pm 
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Update: I contacted Michael Burke by e-mail today, and he wrote:
Quote:
That is a BbC, Bakelite composite whistle.
The material is bakelite Composite formed by impregnating a wood fiber sheet with bakelite resin and thermosetting it.
It is a kind of synthetic wood, you might say. The listing of a So called “carbon Burke” is erroneous, because it seems to call the material carbon fiber composite and that is not at all what I used.
Care is easy.
Wipe with 91 % isopropyl alcohol outside and wipe dry.
Never immerse in anything
Never crush or drop it if you can avoid it. Like a wooden instrument, it can be crushed.
The slide is at the bottom of the slide unit. It has the brass slide inside, I think, so you can lubricate the orings by pulling the lower bore out.
Clean windway by inverting over a sink and dripping a dish soap solution imto the window so it drips out the beak where you blow in. Take apart slide and blow out amd let dry. Do not rimse with clear water.
I make the dish soap solution with a squirt of Dawn Detergent in a nasal spray bottle and fill with clear water.
I may have instructions somewhere but I do not sell them any more. That may make it more valuable. It sold for $250 a number of years ago.


This instrument does not, by the way, have a brass slide or any brass parts at all, nor any visible O-rings.


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