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PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2018 12:41 pm 
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Location: Edge of Misery (Missouri) KC area
Up for adoption is a Firth, Pond & Co. D-Flute made of stained boxwood with ivory ferrules and a brass key. (circa 1850)
Stamped:
FIRTH, POND & CO.
FRANKLIN SQ.
N-York

Image

Image

This is a very fine playing instrument, it has been my flute of choice for several years. I love the tone of this easy playing flute and crisp ornamentations just pop out of the smaller holes.

I would say the flute plays @ 444 with the embouchure in-line with the tone-holes.
But plays wonderfully @ 442 (my preferred pitch) with the embouchure tucked in a bit (far edge in-line with tone-hole centers.

The flute has some wear from over a 150-years, but I did not find any repairs.

Feel free to ask questions.

Here’s a history of Firth, Hall & Pond:
Quote:
John Firth: 1798-1864
1812 served in war w/William Hall
1813 worked for Edward Riley in NYC
1815 started his own shop at 8 Warren St.
1817-19 now at 9 Frankfurt St.
1820 now at Hester St.

William Hall: 1796-1874
1812 served in war with John Firth
1813 worked for Edward Riley in NYC
1820 joined John Firth at 8 Warren St.

Sylvanus B. Pond: 1792-1871
1825 established music store in Albany, NY
1833 moved to NYC to join Firth & Hall

Firth & Hall:
1821 established at 362 Pearl St.
1832 moved to 1 Franklin Square

Firth, Hall & Pond:
1833-47 store at 1 Franklin Sq.

Firth, Pond & Co.:
1847-55 store at 1 Franklin Sq. with sons Thaddeus & Wm
1856-62 now at 547 Broadway; S.P. retires in 1850
Firth, Son & Co.:
1863 established at 563 Broadway with John, Thaddeus & Edward
1867 sold business to Oliver Ditson

(Condensed From the Adirondack Branch.net)

Offers will be considered
Please send inquiries via PM or Email.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:52 am 
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Location: Edge of Misery (Missouri) KC area
I will slash my asking price to $650.

I am selling this flute, because my tendonitis only allows me to play for 2-3 minutes before the pain flares up. This is my favorite flute, but it is not worth assembling and swabbing for just a few tunes.

As per volume, I can play this flute loud enough to hurt my own ears. With a tight embouchure it can be a strong player. But is certainly not a session cannon.

Sorry, due to the Ivory rings and cap, sale is limited to the U.S.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:36 am 
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Hey Jordan, Sorry to hear about your tendonitis.
Soaking hands in icy water seems to help, IMO.
Does the flute play at 440? Also there is no
tuning slide, right? Thanks.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 2:17 pm 
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Sillydill wrote:
I would say the flute plays @ 444 with the embouchure in-line with the tone-holes.
But plays wonderfully @ 442 (my preferred pitch) with the embouchure tucked in a bit (far edge in-line with tone-hole centers.


From the OP....

Best wishes.

Steve

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"[Some flutists] place the flute between the upper lip and the nose, blowing the instrument from below. This position does not prevent good playing, but it does not look graceful."
~ Antoine Mahaut, 1759 in a tutor for playing the transverse flute ~


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 3:52 pm 
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So it doesn't play at 440. Just trying to get clear, since 442 is close.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:33 pm 
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Hey Jim, :)

I could play the flute @ 440, but I find it easy to "lip down" (play flat), I have a harder time lipping up.

As seen in the picture, the flute does not have a tuning slide.

This was my dream flute; to find an unmolested single key boxwood antique, without a tuning slide, that played at modern pitch and had a fantastic tone.

In the past I've had a couple of McGee's GLP's and I didn't care for their tone, but this flute's great!

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 7:52 pm 
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I've got to stay in control of myself. This man can sell me anything.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:02 pm 
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Control, shmontrol. Look at the price, Jim. :twisted:

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:03 pm 
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How's the internal tuning?


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:06 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
Control, shmontrol. Look at the price, Jim. :twisted:


Keep talking that way and you'll be banished from Minnesota!


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:31 pm 
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Please. We're not all that ethical.

But seriously, I do think it's a good price. I'd be sorely tempted, myself, but I've got other fish to fry now.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2018 10:52 pm 
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That's a beautiful flute. It is my impression that Firth Pond and William Hall were at the top of the US flute makers in the middle-19th century.

I have a voyeuristic interest as my flute is an 1850, 8-key Firth, Pond & Co. Mine is quite different from yours; pretty much identical to a modern, 8-keyed irish flute. I look at yours and I think "Baroque flute".

A couple of things I wonder about:

(1) The holes are not Pratten-esque, but relatively large. That is, they are definitely not small like earlier flutes.
- Firth-Pond or William-Hall were publishing Nicholson's book on larger holed flutes around 1850.

(2) What was the role of a one-key flute in 1850?
- One key makes sense in general for a simple-system flute, as the Eb is so difficult to play
- Do you find you can hit the other accidentals easily using cross-fingering?
- This style of one-key flute was typical of Baroque flutes from late 1700s - early 1800s.
- Even today, modern flute makers list one-key flutes similar to this in the Baroque style for musicians wanting an authentic instrument.

(3) Do the F# and E notes benefit from holding down the Eb key?
- My 8-key flute was clearly designed to require the Eb key to open up F# and E.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2018 11:00 am 
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Hey Jim, :)

The internal tuning is good by contemporary standards (exceptional for an antique).

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hey tstermitz,

1) I believe the size of the tone-holes is an illusion due to the Boxwood (we are used to the stark contrast of Blackwood). The 5th tone-hole is ~7.5 mm, making this a small-holed flute by McGee's standard. But this flute plays stronger than any Baroque flute I've tried (I've long wanted to try a Palanca..). {I had a Blackwood Grenser model by Mollenhauer that was a very robust player by Baroque standards.}

2) What springs to mind is a flute played by Henry Thoreau. If memory serves is was a Blackwood Firth, Hall & Pond with a single key. (Sorry, but I can't currently find the source of this information and am relying on my dodgy memory.) That is to say, the one-key flute serves as a minimalist flute, able to play chromatically (but requiring great skill). Personally I prefer the single key (never becoming fluent with other keys), but appreciating the ability to play Eb and a strong E, plus its use enhances the overall tone of the flute (IMO).

3) As mentioned above YES, the Eb key strengthens the E and sharpens the F#. I believe contemporary makes tend to enlarge the E-hole in an attempt to strengthen it and this messes with the internal tuning and F#.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2018 2:16 pm 
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https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File ... C05635.JPG


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2018 3:07 pm 
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I had the opportunity to handle, play, and service (clean, re-thread and re-pad) a Firth, Pond & Co. four key flute in boxwood quite similar to this one in appearance. A lovely instrument. When I played it, it was as close as damnit! to A=440, and as you say, it had exceptionally good internal tuning. Someone will get an excellent flute.

Bob

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