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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 5:04 am 
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Speaking of all things Gallic, I spotted two beautiful French beauties on ebay at the moment. One is a Godfroy 8 key, and is clearly marked as such. the other is a 7 key marked JOUVE. I have done some research on the latter, and will divulge my meager findings to those interested a little later. The thing that caught my immediate attention where the striking similarities in the key work, especially on the unusual feet. ( This one should appeal to you Bob - being something of a footman ).
My question is could the latter have been made by Godfroy and sold through this Parisian music publisher ( dealer ) ?
see links below http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/181693330654? ... EBIDX%3AIT

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/281627678278? ... EBIDX%3AIT


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 1:31 pm 
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After much anxious waiting the flute arrived from Adelaide yesterday afternoon. :party:

http://users.tpg.com.au/nefesh/misc/Flute/Flute02.jpg

A cursory hands-on inspection found the following:

- No seized barrels/slides or tenons.

- No missing or damaged keys.

- All pads are present but mushy yuck.

- Springs are present and working.
- 1.8cm crack in middle section of the body (2nd 'joint', the lower left section in the above photo). The crack starts at the top of the tenon receiver (this 'female' tenon is lined with silver - a repair?) here the wood is quite thick so I'm not sure how far the crack penetrates yet. But it will have to be pinned/glued if it is yet unrepaired.

- Tuning barrel is lined in silver and as estimated by astute forum members here it is evidently to repair a crack.

- Cork stopper stuck in headjoint (the crown and screw comes out; the cork thread has broken)

- Tenon thread obviously needs to be replaced.

Poor thing was dry, dirty and dusty so I gave it a good drink of bore oil and gave the keywork a quick clean.
I can see no hint of makers stamp on any part of the flute. But I'll get out the magnifying glass.

The keywork appears to be solid silver not plated brass (unless it has very little plate wear) is this typical? My woodwind repair/restoration experience is with mid 20th saxophones. I love the silver C roller!
Most keys are stamped with an '0', one an 'E' and '0' and one a '7'. I doubt that will point to a maker.

http://users.tpg.com.au/nefesh/misc/Flute/Flute14.jpg
http://users.tpg.com.au/nefesh/misc/Flute/Flute15.jpg
http://users.tpg.com.au/nefesh/misc/Flute/Flute16.jpg

I'll measure the sounding length and post some better photos :)

Vaughan

Changed oversized images to links. - Mod

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'...I want to warn you that playing the flute is impossible for those who have no tongue, for all notes must be led by the tongue; therefore, those of you who take pleasure in playing the flute should guard your tongue against mould, which is to say, drink often.'
- Philibert Jambe der Fer (1556)


Last edited by dubrosa22 on Mon Mar 23, 2015 2:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 2:06 pm 
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Cannot be totally certain from photos, but from both yours and the auction ones the keys look to me to be maillechort (Google it) - nickel silver. That is by far the commonest material used on flutes of this general type. Earlier and very high end ones had sterling, but most after c1835 have maillechort. It was almost never plated, so you won't find traces of worn plating. They either used solid silver or no silver at all, with very rare exceptions. Part of the point in the "white bronze" nickel silver alloys is that, polished up and depending on copper content, they can look deceivingly like silver or gold. Some of the French alloys are very (confusingly) white..... But remember, silver tarnishes black, maillechort just goes dull and patinates. There will probably be (or have been before cleaning) traces of verdigris in places betraying the copper content. Moreover, most French flutes with silver keys were hallmarked, so no hallmarks, almost certainly not silver (this isn't the case for other countries, BTW). You can clean up the keys and rings safely with Brasso or metal wadding for brass-type metals.

What is the flute's "sounding length" in millimetres? - Centre of embouchure to foot end, measured on assembled flute, slide closed.

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Last edited by jemtheflute on Mon Mar 23, 2015 2:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 2:17 pm 
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Thanks Jem!
I think you are right about the maillechort keywork, that makes much more sense. It's overall duller than silver I've work with. However, I've not known nickel silver (in modern clarinets) to tarnish and then polish quite like this. Much more black on the cloth and brighter results faster.
There was definitely bright green gunk in the silver tenon receivers and also around some of the posts suggesting a verdigris closer to brass (with it's copper content, as you said).

Thanks,
V

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 2:18 pm 
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See my edit above asking about sounding length - cross-posted.... ;-)

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 3:12 pm 
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The sounding length (with a short ruler, sorry, not a tailors measure tape) = 575mm.

V

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 3:18 pm 
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dubrosa22 wrote:
The sounding length (with a short ruler, sorry, not a tailors measure tape) = 575mm.

V


Oho! If that's within a few mm, you're probably in luck - the flute should (no guarantees!) play acceptably at modern pitch, probably with the tuning slide open about 1/3 to 1/2 its length, depending on player's embouchure style. Worth restoring.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 3:24 pm 
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jemtheflute wrote:
Worth restoring.


Great to hear! I've measured it 3 times now and its consistently within 575mm (ie, 574-575-576mm).
I plan on repadding it myself (I've done plenty of sax and clarinets before) and taking into a tech for the crack and the cork stopper.

Then I just need to learn how to play it (!!!!) :)

V

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 3:34 pm 
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Lovely photos dubrosa22. Appears you have a 'find'!
I see it has 'needle' springs, which speaks to a fairly recent, relatively speaking, build date.
If the hardware is maillechort I would avoid Brassotm as it leaves residue. I would search out 4000 grit went/dry paper. Rockler International supplies it. It goes under the generic name 'Tri-mesh'.
Bon marché!

Bob

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 4:48 pm 
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I've also measured from the middle of the C# hole to the middle of the Eb key (as prescribed in McGee's excellent website http://www.mcgee-flutes.com/CsharpEb.htm ) and it comes to = 255mm.
Does that put this flute in the A430Hz range potentially? :-?

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'...I want to warn you that playing the flute is impossible for those who have no tongue, for all notes must be led by the tongue; therefore, those of you who take pleasure in playing the flute should guard your tongue against mould, which is to say, drink often.'
- Philibert Jambe der Fer (1556)


Last edited by dubrosa22 on Mon Mar 23, 2015 6:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 5:28 pm 
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FWIW, I have a flute that shares many build characteristics with your flute. I measure the C# to Eb distance at 250 mm, possibly 251. I do not have the keys off to measure. I am not an especially 'flat' blower, but with the flute well warmed up and with a slide extension of 8 mm I get an A=440 tone. My bottom 'D' reads out at 291 Hz, or about one cent low.
I am not entirely certain how predictive Terry's survey of measures is in this case. Perhaps you could ring him up?

Bob

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 6:40 pm 
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I have to say that I don't find Terry's "indicator" to work as he hoped it might. Despite the limitations to using sounding lengths which he correctly described, SLs still work quite usefully, whereas the C#-Eb length does not, at least as an indicator of probable actual playing pitch of a flute. It may say something useful about scaling and thence probable intonation issues, but it won't give you the playing pitch.

That said, it is more common for French flutes to be made for diapason normal A=435. But DN flutes usually have SLs c600-610mm and the ones I've measured have C#-Eb lengths c260mm. A modern pitch French flute I have has a SL of 580 and a C#-Eb of 248mm.

As for Brasso, it doesn't leave a residue if you buff with a dremel (or bench buffing wheels) or use metal wadding or rinse with Meths or whatever after using it. I do tend to prefer the wadding except for the most stubborn deposits.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 1:56 pm 
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I've practised awhile (it's a bit hard on a pad-leaking flute!) but I can play all the notes in the first octave on the top section pretty well.

So I got out my digital tuner and C#, B, Bb, A, G# and G all play in tune A440. I was stunned when it light up green for every note! (My main instrument alto sax rarely does that straight off!) This is with the tuning slide out 13mm or so, btw, which was a lucky 'ear' guess. Plus I gather with more playing it would need adjusting due to warming up (or cooling down).

Does this mean I can call it a A440 flute or do I need to measure more notes and into the second octave to draw that conclusion?

Many thanks for all your help!
V

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- Philibert Jambe der Fer (1556)


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 2:07 pm 
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No, I think you've proven the pudding adequately. Yes, you can call it "usable at 440".

Once fettled up and as your embouchure improves, it may well play at 440 with the slide somewhat less open (also depending on atmpospherics), but if you're getting the results you relate as-is, and given the SL prediction, I think you're in business. :-) It will probably have a slightly flat foot end, but hey...... It might not.

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Low Bb flute: 2 reels (audio)
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 2:14 pm 
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Wonderful! Time to repad and get practising! :D

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- Philibert Jambe der Fer (1556)


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