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 Post subject: Interesting eBay flute
PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 10:29 am 
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Location: Hood River, Oregon, USA
I just noticed this Wylde flute on eBay. Needs quite a bit of work. Not mine, unfortunately.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2019 3:51 am 
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Yes, some challenges in that one. But a very nice looking instrument. A couple of interesting points....

Note the very common end-to-end crack in the barrel. Wood shrinks under dry conditions, metal doesn't. But this flute is still in England (unless it traveled and returned). I guess central heating got it.

Note the wear mark just below the first finger hole. These puzzled me when I first came across them - I've seen lots of them since. After a while I realised they are the result of contact with the player's first-finger nail. It tells us how vertical players back then held their LH first fingers (this flute hasn't been played in a very long time!). And perhaps that they kept their finger nails longer than I do - my fingernail never goes near touching the wood. But maybe that's because I play guitar and keep LH nails short?

Come on, come clean. Do your fingernails hit the wood?

Unusual wear around the RH2 and RH3 holes. Hard to imagine what caused that!


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2019 11:05 am 
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Interesting point about fingernails, Terry.

I play guitar and mandolin as well as flute, and I'm a right-handed player. My LH fingernails are very short, actually shorter than I need them on guitar because mandolin is so fussy with string spacing. So no nail against wood with an arched finger position, and contact towards the end of the finger.

My RH fingernails are long because I play some fingerstyle stuff on guitar. I use a semi-flattened piper's grip (not the full thing) with my right hand, so the longer nails don't hit the wood. Very short nail on RH4 to avoid scratching the top of the guitar when I'm "posting," so intermittent contact with the flute while playing doesn't matter.

The only minor conflict is maybe my RH thumb with its longer nail for fingerstyle guitar, that pushes slightly against the wood to stabilize the flute hold. I think the contact may be a little more towards the corner of the thumb where the nail doesn't reach, but I'll keep an eye on that area for any extra wear. Not that I care; this flute is probably a lifelong keeper and I'll let the next owner worry about it.
:)


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2019 5:50 pm 
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Yes, I have longer right-hand nails for finger-style guitar, but even using the old-English-style three-point-hold, those nails never come near the wood.

Nicholson tells us: "The first and second holes should be covered with the points of the first and second fingers; and the third hole by the third finger, using the broad part immediately under the nail." Yet I don't remember seeing signs of wear below the second hole of flutes.

Interesting to speculate what wide stretches and smaller hands might do to increase the likelihood. Holding your third finger flat on its hole, rehearse the stretch back to 1st and 2nd holes further back than your current flute has. As you draw those fingers back, they naturally point down more and more, increasing the probability of nail contact.

So perhaps these were flutes played at some stage of their lives by people with smaller hands, gasp, perhaps even women?


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2019 10:53 pm 
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Terry McGee wrote:
So perhaps these were flutes played at some stage of their lives by people with smaller hands, gasp, perhaps even women?


Well, we did used to be smaller in ye olden days when these "Irish" flutes were locked down to designs we play today. Not just women, but men too.

I live in a Victorian-style house up here in the Pacific Northwest USA that was built in 1888. I'm 6'2" tall and have to duck under the upper landing when going up the main stairway. I have to duck to avoid hitting my head in the upstairs bathroom door frame. This house wasn't build for someone my height. And I'm not all that tall my modern standards.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 1:01 am 
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Indeed. The late Philip Bate, flute collector and author of the book "The Flute" (note how almost all books about flutes are called "The Flute") said when we met: "now you must visit my collection in Oxford. And when you do, make sure to have lunch at the Turf. But mind the door." Sure enough, the collection was stunning (been there many times since), the Turf was brilliant (unfortunately gentrified since) and I had to duck at the front door.

The Turf is also where the late Australian former Prime Minister set a Guinness Record by downing a yard of ale in 11 seconds. And where Bill Clinton allegedly "didn't inhale".


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 4:42 am 
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paddler wrote:
I just noticed this Wylde flute on eBay. Needs quite a bit of work. Not mine, unfortunately.

The price (flute needs major restoration) was eventually lowered on a re-listing and sold for USD $1271. Some would probably still consider that too high a price, although about $300 lower than the initial listing.

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Last edited by kkrell on Tue Jul 02, 2019 2:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 10:46 am 
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kkrell wrote:
paddler wrote:
I just noticed this Wylde flute on eBay. Needs quite a bit of work. Not mine, unfortunately.

The price (flute needs major restoration) was eventually lowered on a re-listing and sold for USD $1271. Some would probably still consider that too high aprice, although about $300 lower than the initial listing.


I think the address stamped on this flute is worth a mention. Wylde worked at a variety of addresses during his career, but the ones from Villiers Street are by far the most common survivors. The Newington Causeway address makes this particular instrument a very rare specimen ( considering Wylde flutes are an uncommon appearance on the flute market in general) and arguably very desirable.


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