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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:16 pm 
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Anyone know whether Bryan Byrne labels his flutes and/or puts a serial number on his instruments?

Thanks and best wishes.

Steve

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:51 am 
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Steve,

The Byrne I have is only marked in one place that I have ever found, the very top of the tuning slide, on the barrel portion of the slide. You basically have to nearly separate the barrel from the HJ to find it. The engraving is quite small, and it’s just his first initial and last name.

Hope this helps.

Loren


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:12 am 
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Thanks Loren.

I have a loaner from a friend that is supposed to be by Bryan. No reason to doubt that—I just was curious when I couldn't find any maker's mark. Looked in the spot you described and couldn't find anything, even with a magnifying glass. Perhaps what I have to hand is an early model, before he got wealthy enough to afford a stamp.

I've always wondered why makers don't include a serial number, or something similar, on the instrument for both identification and dating purposes. Maybe I just got spoiled by Ralph Sweet. I could send Ralph a note with a serial number and he'd inevitably respond with the date, species of wood, original price, and sometimes the weather at the time of making.

Best wishes.

Steve

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~ Antoine Mahaut, 1759 in a tutor for playing the transverse flute ~


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:32 am 
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Quote:
I've always wondered why makers don't include a serial number,


Some do, Hammy's for example are numbered.

Maybe some don't want to disclose the range their output to the taxman?

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:35 pm 
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Yeah, we kept a log book where I worked - serial numbers, date the instrument was finished, instrument type and wood, plus any other details about non-standard additions or modifications to the instrument. Not an uncommon thing to do when you make a wide range of instruments, as we did. I suspect many makers just don’t feel it’s worth the additional time and expense.

Having talked to Bryan, I can say he knows his flutes. If you contact him he can likely tell you about the flute if you give him a few measurements. He does keep a record of the flutes he’s made.

Steve, I can get you a picture of the engraving, perhaps it’s elsewhere on that flute.


Last edited by Loren on Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:37 pm 
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I think in Bryan's case the lack of marks is a reflection of his very clean and pure design aesthetic. He told me once that his name is indeed somewhere on my flute, but it's in a place that I'll likely never see (he implied that I might have to damage the flute to see it). And that's his goal, as far as I understand it -- to keep the flute's design perfectly clean. On my 6-key flute he didn't even put cork on the bottom of the touches, which makes for a very low and efficient action but can also lead to key clicks if you press too hard.

I like it this way, although it did present a slight problem when I purchased the flute, brought back over the border into Canada (where I live) and declared it to customs; they wanted a record of the serial number and of course there wasn't one. But I don't think it's an issue; I keep the papers with it in case any questions come up at border crossings.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:40 pm 
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As a tangential aside I would provide a little more about early production. In my case I wouldn't want to glorify my making of cylindrical bore 'folk flutes' and what I called 'little wooden whistles' in the late 1970's as anything like a 'production run'. I was trained as a machinist, had an interest in 'folk music', and was unemployed. I was mostly concerned with getting something sell-able 'out the door'. My last thought would have been numbering my instruments. I was gobsmacked reading Pat Olwell's description of his early days, on the other side of the continent, and how in a tiny way it mirrored my own feeble early efforts.
Several grand differences tho': I did not have two little babies to feed, and I solved my temporary employment problem soon enough. And of course, I would like to think, he had a lot more native talent. . .

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:11 pm 
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I understand Bryan's aesthetic interests and, having heard him describe it, his clear thought about every element of his instruments.

On the other hand, to follow on Brad's comments, how do you identify a hunk of wood, no matter how elegant, to a border guard wants to clearly identify that wood, or describe it to the police (if it's been stolen and they'd like to send out a BOLO notice to the local pawn shops or Craig's List)? Without a maker's mark and/or a serial number, it might be difficult to convince someone "That's my flute" or "That's the flute I took across the border and now I'm bringing the same one back. At that point, a hidden mark/# does little good as an identifier.

You see, the weather has finally gotten above freezing and my mind's drifting....

Best wishes.

Steve

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~ Antoine Mahaut, 1759 in a tutor for playing the transverse flute ~


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:26 pm 
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Steve Bliven wrote:
On the other hand, to follow on Brad's comments, how do you identify a hunk of wood, no matter how elegant, to a border guard wants to clearly identify that wood, or describe it to the police (if it's been stolen and they'd like to send out a BOLO notice to the local pawn shops or Craig's List)? Without a maker's mark and/or a serial number, it might be difficult to convince someone "That's my flute" or "That's the flute I took across the border and now I'm bringing the same one back. At that point, a hidden mark/# does little good as an identifier.


True, but in a way the fact that Bryan's flutes are unmarked makes them easy to identify as a Byrne flute: no other maker at that level, that I'm aware of, has no maker's mark. So an "unmarked flute" would narrow the list considerably. As long as Bryan's still around, he'd be able to identify any flute that was stolen.

As for the border, I am a frequent border crosser and have often been subject to inspections; it's never been an issue. As I mentioned above I do keep the flute's papers with me (receipt of tax payment at the border from Canadian customs, where it's listed as a 6-key blackwood flute, no maker's marks) and I think I have a bill of sale from Bryan in my case as well. It has never been a problem.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:21 pm 
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bradhurley wrote:
True, but in a way the fact that Bryan's flutes are unmarked makes them easy to identify as a Byrne flute: no other maker at that level, that I'm aware of, has no maker's mark.

Dave Copley's aren't at all obvious... a single engraved 'Copley & Boegli' on the metal part of the tuning slide which you don't see till you pull the slide out a bit. So maybe not quite as well hidden as what Loren's described, but not marked on the wood at all.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:41 pm 
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Peter Duggan wrote:
Dave Copley's aren't at all obvious... a single engraved 'Copley & Boegli' on the metal part of the tuning slide which you don't see till you pull the slide out a bit. So maybe not quite as well hidden as what Loren's described, but not marked on the wood at all.

Although on his delrin and Baroque models (or at least some of them) there's a printed or stamped logo/name on the head joint, just where you'd expect it to be.

Best wishes.

Steve

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~ Antoine Mahaut, 1759 in a tutor for playing the transverse flute ~


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:49 pm 
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Because there’s no slide to mark, lol.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 7:54 am 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:
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I've always wondered why makers don't include a serial number,


Some do, Hammy's for example are numbered.

Not his early ones. I have one, circa 1992.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 8:00 am 
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Not his early ones. I have one, circa 1992.


The one I had was (partly) an old one. It was an upgrade to keyed exchange one so I suppose the head was new. Number was one the edge of the head, visibly only is you took off the stopper.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:01 am 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:
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Not his early ones. I have one, circa 1992.


The one I had was (partly) an old one. It was an upgrade to keyed exchange one so I suppose the head was new. Number was one the edge of the head, visibly only is you took off the stopper.
Yes, that's how he does it now. Well, my 6-key from 2001.


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