Chiff and Fipple Forums

Please Help ID This Recorder
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Author:  BobbieCB [ Mon Dec 09, 2019 2:27 am ]
Post subject:  Please Help ID This Recorder

I bought this recorder from an estate sale in VA. It's very old, and has 2 VERY UNUSUAL extra holes near its end. I'm an experienced recorder player and AFAIK because of those 2 extra holes this is not a playable instrument. Could anyone please help identify it? What is it?

NORMAL: 20" length, 7 holes on top, 1 hole on underneath for left thumb. Beautiful silver inlay of a rose around each fingering hole, plus intricate tulip designs near top and bottom. Old block style fipple. Windway and fipple are on the underside. I can't determine the kind of wood. Craftsmanship is excellent. Whoever made this was highly skilled in metal and wood work. Definitely appears old, my guess is pre-Civil War.

ODD: There are 2 additional holes on this instrument! Both below the right little finger hole near the end of the instrument. 1st hole is to left on side of tube about 1" below the little finger hole. 2nd hole is on the middle right side of the tube 3" beyond the little finger hole.


Thank you!

Author:  MichaelLoos [ Mon Dec 09, 2019 3:34 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Please Help ID This Recorder

Whatever it is, it's definitely NOT a recorder! :wink:
My guess would be a "dilli kaval" or something very similar from Turkey/Armenia/Azerbaijan/Georgia.
If it has more holes than you have fingers, the extra holes are meant to stay open, they are for tuning and/or improvement of the sound.

Author:  FrankPerrone [ Mon Dec 09, 2019 7:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Please Help ID This Recorder

I agree with MichaelLoos that this is not a recorder. Recorders, at least for the last 400 years, have a beak mouthpiece and they never had extra tuning holes. It is a a fipple flute of some sort though.

Author:  BobbieCB [ Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Please Help ID This Recorder

Good feedback, yes definitely not a recorder.

Trying to play it, it voices very poor, out-of-tune sound. This is with the two odd holes left open. And also after closing either one or both of them.

Looking at it closely, I notice the fingering holes are all the same size and are equally spaced.

And I notice that there is no extra wear around any of the fingering holes.

It would appear that --

1- This instrument has never been played
2- Because it is not playable

Either it was made --

1- As a decorative piece only
2- As a mistake, by someone who imitated a recorder but didn't actually know how to make one

In any case, it's just really odd that someone would go to the trouble of making a very nice looking, high quality "instrument" that doesn't actually play. How strange.

Thank you for your feedback!

Author:  whistlecollector [ Fri Jan 03, 2020 6:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Please Help ID This Recorder

It looks like a touristy memento to me. If you worked on the labium and block, you could probably get it to play! Otherwise, I concur with the other responses.

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