Boosey & Co. "Pratten's
|The saddle for the right thumb and
for the left index finger make the flute remarkably
stable, even with
key touches up. Since the left thumb key down
opens its tone
this stabilizing device is a must. Indeed, it is
I'm rather surprised it has not been adapted as a
standard option on
My best guess has this flute made around 1875, so it should have been about as perfected as it could get. Solid silver and ornately engraved, the original owner thought highly enough of the instrument to have his initials "EWD" engraved on the crown and case. A less ornately engraved plaque was added -- I originally thought it was of the initials "W.H." but, now that I've learned that many of these instruments were sold to the British military, I believe I was looking at the plaque upside down and it is properly the property of "H.M." Queen Victoria.
At some point the embouchure was further "perfected" to provide a more acute blowing edge (rather like the modern Julius Baker model Yamaha AC headjoint). A rather ugly and kludged-together looking job, it actually plays rather well!
Images © J.