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PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:42 pm 
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I'm so excited to have found a cocus, 8-key Firth Pond & CO Flute, complete with original case.

It's in excellent, fully playable shape. In tune at A=440. Nice tone with a crisp edge. Embouchure is not as forgiving as my Solen Lesouef, i.e. I have to work a little harder.

I'm guessing it was made right around 1848, as that is when William Hall split from Firth, Pond and Hall. This is virtually identical (minus one detail) to a William Hall described at Terry McGee's site. Stephen Foster played just such a flute.

The F# and E notes play a little flat, but using the Eb key opens their voice and trues up the intonation. That's the way these flutes were designed. But, damn if it isn't hard to break old habits around the right-hand pinky finger. It's like I have to relearn every tune!

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 2:36 am 
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Congratulation! It looks like a handsome flute. What's with the bottle wrench?

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 3:37 am 
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Congratulations! Looks very nice. I like the key work. Is the head joint crack stable or does it need fixing? Are you going to remove the cork and use thread, or will you use cork on the the other tenons?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:49 am 
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Steampacket wrote:
Is the head joint crack stable or does it need fixing?

I gave both pictures a good looking-over, and (perhaps because I'm not a flautist) didn't notice a crack.

It's a nice-looking flute, but almost certainly not the type of instrument that I'd attempt to play!

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:56 am 
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Agreed, I see no crack in the HJ. Lovely flute.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:51 am 
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Yes, you're right Dan A. & Loren, there is no crack. I thought there was a repaired crack through the embouchure hole, but after magnifying the photo I see there is no crack. It was just the lighting reflected on the flute :thumbsup:


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:58 am 
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Thanks everyone. I bought it from a classical musician who specializes in baroque music, and didn't want to keep up with so many different fingerings.

No cracks that I can see; probably just reflections or dust.

Only repair I've found is some reinforcement or rebuilding of the second hole. There's a little extra material glued or tacked inside the hole. I imagine that isn't a very easy thing to fix.

The threaded joint is working fine, so I don't feel any need to change that. Don't fix what ain't broke.

I like the intimacy and immediacy of a keyless flute, but really wanted a better capability of hitting the accidentals. Half-holing works pretty well on whistle, but isn't that easy on flute. Half-holed Eb is so veiled it is no more than a shading of the E note.

Key of A is now pretty easy (or it will be when I get in practice). Key of E is surprisingly easy. Not sure about the flat keys - I find cross-fingered Bb easier than using the key. If I was buying a keyless flute, I would definitely add an Eb key, but then you start down that road, and I'd want a G#... I'm used to cross-fingering the Cnat.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 12:55 pm 
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I believe you will find yourself getting used to the keys pretty quickly. A bit of
practice.... I don't quite need them, but they really help.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 1:13 pm 
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tstermitz wrote:

Only repair I've found is some reinforcement or rebuilding of the second hole. There's a little extra material glued or tacked inside the hole. I imagine that isn't a very easy thing to fix.


Yes, it looks like the hole has been “sized Down” so to speak, most likely to change the tuning/scale, which is not all that uncommon. The original hole appears to have been properly drilled so I wouldn’t expect that this is a correction of a mistake during manufacture, and I see no evidence of damage to the original tone hole.

People somewhere down the road a few years often decide they don’t like the original tuning scale of the instrument, which is always a compromise of sorts. Of course the scale will not be what the maker intended if you play the flute without using the fingerings/ventings intended, or if you play with A tuned to A=440 when it was designed for a different pitch, and these are the things that often lead to people requesting work such as that seen here.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:15 am 
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What a beauty! As you say, it looks quite a bit like my go-to Wm Hall and Son's flute, except being 8 key instead of 6 key and cocus rather than grenadilia. If it plays like mine, I predict you will learn to really treasure it.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:31 am 
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I've measured a number of these. These are actually great flutes and often under appreciated.

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