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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 2:15 am 
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Location: Kingston WA
Okay - Chiff and Fipple knowledge-base, I have one of those "What is my flute worth" questions.

This one is for a ver nicely preserved Rudall, Rose and Carte flute (#6048) that comes in an original Rudall Rose case (#4908). Cocus, simple silver or nickel silver rings, normal cap, pewter plugs on the bottom 2 keys. Needs a little bit of repadding, cleanup, and mortise adjustmant for the foot joint keys (or simply a drier climate!). There is a "well placed" check or crack on the head joint that doesn't affect the embouchure. The most interesting aspect is that this flute has been "Nicholsonized" - that is, there is a cutout for the first finger on the upper middle joint, and an inlay of shark skin for the right hand thumb position. Both features well-done sometime around the time when this flute was new. I have this in my possession currently for a friend in Portland.

My own personal thoughts is that these originals should sell for at least $5000. Comparing it with what I charge for a 6 key ($3800) and what I probably would charge for an 8 keyed flute if I was willing to make them ($5600). I'm not and I really want to hang up from the keyed flute business, except it seems all of my clients are rushing to my door to get theirs before this happens and I have more keyed flute business than ever before currently. Am off to Portland to pick up a "Die Filer's Machine" which will save my arms and hands from tendonitis or worse from too much filing at the bench.

Comparing what I would charge vs. an antique instrument - with the antique there are the potential issues: finding a repair person, paying for repairs, tuning, Cocus allergies. With a new flute you get some sort of warranty, custom fitting (especially with ergonomics), the current wood du jours, other styling details, etc. But one also has to wait and I know that there are many who would prefer to flaunt their lovely original Wylde-built instrument over something modern. But then its a matter of what the market can bear and what people are willing to spend.

I've seen some Rudall and Roses in good shape go for much less. Its almost embarrassing to charge what I charge for my keyed flutes - one of the reasons why I want to eventually stick to keyless. Patrick's flutes on the other hand seem to be appreciating in price as well as they should (this is sometimes the case on some of my rarer instruments when available used).

So what number do people think these should go for? I'm bringing the flute back to my friend when I pick up the Die Filer next week and will be taking measurements and photos - and will post a few of the latter over the weekend.

There is another Cocus and Ivory Rudall and Rose that I am helping the sale of. Formerly played by the late Portland Irish flute player Bill Bulick. Currently 6 keyed and somewhere in his house are lost the two foot joint keys. His wife is keeping a watch for them. This one has the flat foot experience that I described elsewhere on C&F yesterday - thus was originally at 435 and moved upwards. He played it with a simple in-tune foot made by Mark Minkler. The original foot could be tuned upward. The flute is a wonderful player! I've made a few copies of this but find that one has to be very precise in terms of duplicating every acoustically significant nook and crannie. I've done it once with good results. Bill borrowed this copy as he was searching for an easier to hold instrument. It fell down a very long flight of stairs at his beach house on the Oregon Coast and someday I plan to glue it all back together as it should still be a great player and has this great story associated with it. Bill's flutes and ones they had for sale at Artichoke Music back in the early 1980s (the other flute probably was purchased there) were some of the first real flutes that I studied. We were still in the late 70s early 80s Boeing Recession. Bill was gratified that I was pursuing this flute making idea, but was frank with me when he said that I would be lucky to sell more than 40 flutes in my lifetime. That was in 1982. His opinion mattered as he ran a folk music store along with the Haggerty brothers Jamie and Gary. To his and my delight, I made a few more than that number I think since. I really miss him!!!

Should any one be really interested in either of these instruments please send me a PM or email. For Bill's - he wanted to find someone who would actually perform with it, instead of it disappearing into the random used instrument base and end up in someone's attic.

Casey

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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 5:37 am 
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The market in these wonderful antiques is distressingly depressed, and has been for quite a few years now. I sold an excellent Rudall Carte 8-keyer a year or so back for £2k GBP. I had to be patient to get that. The reality is that few ITM players now want them, preferring modern-made instruments which are in fairly plentiful supply nowadays. The latter have held price level (though haven't gone up as they perhaps ought to to reflect what goes into them) but the antiques, almost regardless of how well they play, have dropped way back. There's the odd exception (say eg a boxwood R&R) which still commands a premium price, but the wise player who wants a fully keyed flute should nowadays look to the antique market rather than the new-made for value for money. As a seller one is probably looking in the £2k-2.5k at best for anything but the most exceptional R&R/RRC/RC&Co.

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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 7:48 am 
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I agree with Jem as to value, and that is assuming having all 8 keys & silver keys, not nickel. They should no longer sell at a premium to a modern maker's flute unless quite exceptional & in great (or restored) condition.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 12:57 pm 
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@jem.

Personally (as a buyer) I'm super-thankful that the older flutes can be found at a lower price. I lucked into an 8-key Firth, Pond & Co at a good price... a new 6-key, would be more expensive, depending on the maker it could be much more. I'm even using the C foot keys (since I have them).

I notice that ITM became suddenly popular in the 90s (thank you Riverdance), which meant a surge in demand over the next decade or so. Prices for antiques went up, and modern flute makers responded to the high demand flutes by making ever-improving replicas.

I think that original wave of musicians is older and less likely to buy, maybe even selling. ITM still seems popular, but perhaps not growing all that quickly. I'm an adult learner coming from whistle. But, around here it seems like more flute players are coming in from a background with Boehm flutes.

Casey commented that he is getting fewer orders for keyless flutes. Maybe some people are trading out of keyless and going to keyed. More of those "ex-boehm" players?


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