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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 12:44 am 
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Hi,
I play sax and clarinet (my apologies! :wink: ) and have taken the plunge and purchased an old wooden flute.
I'll receive the flute in few days from the auction house but I was hoping someone could I identify the kind of flute I've actually bought?
I'm thinking an English 8-key? Forgive my ignorance.

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I know buying any instrument, especially a wood one, sight unseen/played is a big no-no, but it was too good to pass up. Hmm... I may regret this!
Well, after a visit to my tech I'm looking forward to playing whatever it is. :mrgreen:

Nice to meet you all!
Vaughan

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 2:45 am 
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Welcome to the flute forum!
Fascinating keywork on your flute! I would be all over that with a bright light and magnification to get some sort of maker's mark.
Curious Boehm style foot....sort of transitional with both lever touches and post and axle pivoting keys. My main concern would be if this was late enough to fall in the High Pitch era. Do you have a sounding length?

Best of luck,
Bob

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 3:17 am 
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I'm thinking French flute, because of the cross G#.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 5:04 am 
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Hello and welcome Vaughan,
You've picked a nice looking instrument to begin your flute foray. It certainly has all the appearances of a French styled or manufactured instrument. Not so common is the metallic tuning barrel. Usually made from nickel silver or sterling silver on the more expensive models, they were often employed as a sleeve type repair for cracks. This may not be the case in this instance. Closer inspection may tell. As Bob advised you earlier, the best clue to identification is a maker/dealer's mark. Sometimes these can be extremely faint in appearance and that's before you factor in the wear caused by literally ages handling. Strong light and magnifying glass are good - I sometimes use a microscope if you happen to have one. Your tech will probably have the necessary. Let us know how you get on. Owen.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 6:08 am 
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Concur on most likely a late 19 or early 20 century French simple system flute. Barrel crack seems visible, poking out from under the silver banding, in the first picture. I would budget for getting that repaired and the flute re-padded at minimum. If slide, between the headjoint and barrel, is frozen you are in for another bit of grief. Probably will also need to have the tennon thread replaced. If an accomplished player has trouble getting the flute to sound initially I strongly recommend that you get this flute to a competent repair person with experience working on antique flutes.

Good luck with your journey. Antique flutes are the best!

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 7:59 am 
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Looks French with a band barrell repair as stated above.

Often French flutes are pitched at a:432-35
Though last one I had played readily at 440 though.

I thought mine was unmarked until I looked very closely and found the really worn stamp.

Ive noticed most French flutes I've seen play very similarly.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 10:04 am 
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Yes, the keywork does look 'French', but I have seen several Swiss made flutes with similar keywork. I still would like a sounding length. It would be a pity if it were pitched at diapason normal.

Bob

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 1:24 pm 
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Thanks all for the wonderful responses and information!

Once I receive the flute in a day or two I'll endeavour to measure its sounding length (middle of embouchure hole to end, correct?). I'm hoping for A440 or A435 although I doubt I'll be playing with other people any time soon. I'll hunt for a makers' marks or any identifying stamps and I'll also post some better photos of the keywork and features. I know with clarinets the stamps usually wear off after a few years so I won't be surprised if I can't locate any markings.

Now that you all generally concur on it being a somewhat transitional French simple system I can see what you mean, although examples on the web seem older styled and less modern in their key mechanics. Posts and axles seem to be a later wooden flute feature?

I'm really hoping there's no cracks, or at least un-repaired cracks.

Thanks again,
V

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 1:38 pm 
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Hi Vaughan,
Rick Wilson has a web page on simple system French flutes, including a later example which
looks similar to the instrument in question, especially regarding the foot. Here's a link:
http://www.oldflutes.com/french.htm
Regards, Joseph.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 4:58 pm 
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2TOOTS, in looking at Rick Wilson's page, I see nothing like dubrosa22's foot joint. When Lot and other makers in France adopted the Boehm foot they used Boehm's mechanism in toto: post and axle pivots. Dubrosa22's foot has distinctive lever actuating touches for the c# and C keys. I've seen something like this before. . . reminiscent of some clarinet mechanisms, but I can't call it to mind. Blast! perhaps one of the makers in what is now Czechoslovakia. . .?

Bob

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 7:26 pm 
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Thanks, 2TOOTS.
Yes, Bob it does appear different in many regards to the French simple system examples on that page and elsewhere, and every other simple system. Kind of a combination of German-French-Boehm???

And the foot keys do resemble a clarinet lower joint, which is probably why I was drawn to this flute in the first place. Can't wait to get me hands on this one!

V

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2015 4:26 am 
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Nice one Bob, That was my 17 year old son's first attempt to message and help someone on this forum.
In his message to Vaughan he states that one later example on the page looks " similar " to the flute in question. Whilst far from being a carbon copy, in his eyes at least he could see some connection. I just wish you had been less dismissive with your response. Owen.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2015 8:38 am 
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Definitely French style. The foot key mechanism is not uncommon and is very similar to that Böhm first used. A good read of Rick Wilson's website (not just the French flute pages) will show you......

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2015 8:58 am 
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Quote:
in what is now Czechoslovakia. . .


FWIW, Czechoslovakia ceased to be in 1993.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2015 9:44 am 
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2TOOTS, I was unaware that your account is a 'tag-team account.' Do tell me if there are any other members of a committee using this account. I wouldn't want to spread offense any further.

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