c.1860; New York; Boehm system; silver body and
soldered tube and tone holes; A~448; sl 588mm; 397g; .011"h .014"b
From 1855 until 1890
(1821-90) made various keyed system flutes in wood, ivory and metal. An
inventor as well as a craftsman, in 1868 he took out the first American
patent for improvements specifically to the Boehm system flute. Several
of Berteling's innovations can be seen in the images here.
Characteristic of his
work are the
"raised nipple" pad cups with fairly long "Y" hinge arms. This
has a striking "diagonal scroll" design lip plate with oak leaf and
engraving. Circumferential decorative engraving is also found at
the flute ends, ferrules, foot tenon receiver, and barrel surrounding
maker's mark "T. Berteling & Co. NY."
Notice the separate axles for the thumb key and
Briccialdi Bb lever. This is a much more stable and durable
greatly reducing the "slop" that comes with wear. You can also
where the B-C trill touch connects to the right end of the thumb key
The palm crutch receiver is at the lower left, but the "T" shape crutch
itself has gone missing.
In his 1868 patent Berteling moved all
for the coupling of the keys to the back side of the flute (see images
of later wood
Berteling flute). This flute has ball adjusters much like the
standard Boehm arrangement, leading me to surmise that it may predate
LEFT: The upper R1
is B-C rather than Bb. The lower touch duplicates L3 for G-A or
trills. G# is (thankfully) closed.
Trill key spring arrangement is
The attachment point is an extension of the upper post of the left hand
mechanism and also acts to stabilize the trill rod.
The wood crown is female threaded to mate
the wooden screw cork adjuster and perforated for the silver pin cork
indicator. Crown was originally silver clad and engraved.
workmanship on this flute is fine throughout. The mechanism has
up remarkably well over the decades, and the only evidence of repair
be the 5mm by 60mm silver strip applied longitudinally along the
to reinforce the seam between the embouchure and the tenon.
The instrument plays well and produces a
but very clear sound. The scale is quite usable, but an overhaul
with thinner pads would allow for proper venting and probably improve
A special thanks to Peter Spohr's article on
American Boehm flutes in the Journal of the American Musical
Society (Volume XXV) for a most detailed description and commentary
on a similar and probably later flute of Theodore Berteling.