Joseph Wilds Sallenger's
Favorite Flutes Index
Begun March 2000 | More (hopefully) to Come | * = More Recent Listings `
When I bought an alto flute to play at my kid brother's wedding, I discovered that not all flutes are like the pawn shop junkers I doubled on when playing alto sax.  Flutes aren't supposed to be hard to play.  So I gave up sax and began my quest for the perfect concert flute.  Now I seem to be turning into a (shudder!) collector of sorts, but strictly of transverse Boehm and Boehm variant instruments that are fun to play.  I know that if I keep looking long enough I will eventually find the flute that plays itself....

The internet is still lacking in information about instruments and instrument makers.  I began these listings in early 2000 hoping to share some of what I have learned, and to encourage others to do the same.  There are so many wonderful instruments out there, made by artisans who hoped their work would inspire others to make great music. Please let me know of any errors or inaccuracies, I have much to learn....

Principle resources in my amateurish foray into flute history include: William Waterhouse's New Langwill Index: A Dictionary of Musical Wind-Instrument Makers and Inventors; Susan Berdahl's splendid 1985 dissertation, The First Hundred Years of the Boehm Flute in the United States, 1845-1945: A Biographical Dictionary of American Boehm Flutemakers; Nancy Toff's The Development of the Modern Flute; and Philip Bate's The Flute: A Study of its History, Development and Construction. If only my brain operated a bit better I would cite them more properly throughout my ramblings.

Table of Relative Flute Headjoint Sizes - If you've ever tried swapping flute headjoints, please check this comparative listing.
Homemade Folding Flute Stand
* - Construct a simple but light and stable stand for multiple flutes.
Homemade Headjoint Case - GoferJoe's
cheap and easy headcase. 

Click on name or image to link to a dedicated page about each flute.

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Table of Relative Flute Headjoint Sizes
Homemade Flute Stand / Homemade Headjoint Case


                  Berteling #30 Grenadilla c.1860 Theodore Berteling, New York,  c. 1860.  Silver seamed body and mechanism, diagonal scroll embouchure with leaf and acorn engraving, approx. A-448.  A gem from an inventive early American maker.
                  Berteling #30 Grenadilla c.1860 Theodore Berteling, New York, S#30, c. 1865.  Grenadilla with nickel silver mechanism and palm crutch, approx. A-448.  American innovation and remarkable preservation thanks to climate of a Tucson closet!
Rudall Rose Carte & Co., London, 1867 System, S# 594. Soldered silver body and mechanism, just too darned pretty to pass by. Engraved barrel embouchure, open G#, non-Briccialdi Bb. Made around 1870, the flute is a work of art (even though I'm all thumbs with open G#).
A.G.Badger, New York Alfred G. Badger, New York, c.1868-1880. Soldered plated nickel silver(?) body & mechanism to low B-flat; metal clad wood barrel embouchure and crown; A~446.
                  and Co. Pratten's Perfected Boosey & Co. "Pratten's Perfected", London, S#10604, c. 1879. Soldered silver body and mechanism, ornately engraved crown and barrel.  Robert Sydney Pratten adapted the Boehm cylinder flute to the fingerings familiar to players of conical bore instruments.
                  aîné 5-key flute Gautrot aîné, Paris, c.1880. Conical five section, five key simple system.  Wood with nickel silver ferrules, post and rod keys.  So much for sticking with Boehm and Boehm variant flutes.... 
                  Bonneville S#2155 Auguste Bonneville, Paris, S# 2155, c.1886.  A Parisian silversmith who subcontracted for Godfroy and L. Lot, Bonneville established his own shop in 1876.  Soldered, silver plated body and mechanism, elegantly finished and very light. 
Buffet-Crampon & Cie., Paris, S# 844, c.1895(?).  Seamed maillechort thinwall body and mechanism, soldered, metal clad wood screw indicator crown, set screws to trill steel, A~438, repair to A  key.
Claude Rive, Paris/Toulouse, S# 1756, c.1905(?).  Seamed silver thinwall body and mechanism, soldered, originally fully gold plated but most removed, probably when scale was altered to A-441.  Headjoint engraved Emilio Puyans (turn of the century flute virtuoso).
C. G. Conn, Elkhart, S# 10210, 1905-6.  Footless unibody with standard and ebonite headjoints, gold wash mechanism, R1 G and B-C trills, knuckle rest and (replacement) palm crutch. This very early Union Label flute is even in reasonably good playing condition.
Albisiphon Albisi and Vanotti, Albisiphon Baritono, Milano, d.1920(?).  Vertical bass flute in C to low B.  Designed by Abelardo Ernesto Albisi c.1910, manufactured in conjunction with Luigi Vanotti 1913-1925.  The novel sound inspired Puccini and Mascagni to incorporate Albisiphon parts in their compositions.
William Winthrop Haynes, The Haynes Flute Co., Incorp., Boston, S# 365, 1920-21.  Silver body and mechanism, strapless keywork. Very similar to flutes of this period by estranged father William S. Haynes. After litigation courts required firm's name be changed and it was renamed  The Haynes Schwelm Co. in 1921.
H. Bettoney, Boston, S# 1532, 1918(?) (also M33 series flute).  Silver body and mechanism, gold springs, A=440, knuckle rest, (replacement) palm crutch, C# and B-C trills.  Very similar to Haynes of this period, a fine example of Bettoney's professional quality instrument.
                  Lebret S#2424 c.1910 Lebret, Louis Léon Joseph, Paris, S# 4242, 1923(?).  After a decade with the Louis Lot firm, Lebret established an independent shop specializing in metal Boehm flutes in 1888.  Keywork styling on this plated flute is quite peculiar to Lebret. 
                  Worswick #10 Boston*Ashton "Jack" Worswick, Boston, S# 10, 1930(?). Soldered silver handmade thinwall with nicely pointed plateau keys. One of Powell's first employees, Worswick worked for almost every major Boston firm and fabricated just a precious few in his own name as an independent maker.
A. Rampone & B. Cazzani & Co., Milan, S#1462. Soldered silver plate(?) body and mechanism, the bells and whistles special edition.  Made around 1930(?), split-E; trill touches for C#, B-C, G#; and added L4 touch which clutches to foot to either trill D# or both B and C# pads.
                  Laurent specification very thinwall Haynes Wm. S. Haynes, Boston, S#18530, 1947.  Toneholes soldered to an extremely thinwall (.011") silver body, these uncommon "Laurent spec" flutes were made to approximate 19th Century French flutes.
Marigaux - S.M.L, Paris, S# 1359, early 1950's (after acquisition of Louis Lot firm?).  Silver thinwall body and mechanism, drawn, gold springs.  Found by the former owner in a Florida brass shop, this flute literally had to do cartwheels to reach me....
"Klingson" Hammerschmidt's "Spezial", Burgau(?), Germany, 1950's?  Seamed plated tube construction, drawn toneholes, ebonite reform embouchure, palm crutch.  No serial number, no provenance (found in an old music shop when doing inventory), I fell in love with the name.
Wm. S. Haynes, Boston, S# 23950. Soldered 14k body and mechanism.  Made in 1954 for Frederick Wilkins (Radio City Music Hall Orchestra, Firestone Hour, etc.) and passed on to Trudy Kane (Metropolitan).
                  Carte & Co. Ltd bass flute Rudall Carte & Co Ltd, London.  Bass flute in C, London c.1964. Silver tube, drawn toneholes, plated mechanism.  Who could look at the sculptural form of this flute without wanting to hold it and play it? 
Verne Q. Powell, Boston, S# 1775, 1957.  Silver thinwall body and mechanism, soldered, gold springs.  Labeled a "merciless taskmaster" and a "crusty old curmudgeon," Verne still ran the shop into the early 1960's.
                  Opperman Alto #121 George Opperman Alto, South Bend, S# 121, 1957-58.  Silver plate 60/40 brass heavy wall body, soldered. Dimensions based on Powell, mechanism an original Opperman design.
Hans Reiner, Schöneck im Vogtland, S# 858, c. 1967.  Silver plate (over silver?) body and mechanism, bakelite reform embouchure, knuckle rest and clear acrylic palm crutch, split-E, G-A trill.  Lip centers automatically, flute speaks effortlessly, a doubler's dream
G. Rudolf Uebel, Wohlhausen im Vogtland, S# 116-69-1481, 1969.  Heavy aluminum tube with nickel plated headjoint and mechanism, about as odd a beast as the East Germans could manage.  The eccentric gesture of the post-modern keywork is countersunk into the massive tubing of the footless unibody, tapering at both ends as though the instrument were about to burst. 
Edward Almeida, Boston, S# 160, made in 1972 by Geoff Almeida with Albert Cooper Headjoint, London, made in 1975 and Verne Q. Powell C footjoint.  Solid silver mechanism and soldered thinwall body (except heavier wall Powell C-foot for resonance and balance).
Rampone & Cazzani, Italy, S#05353. This is a highly stylized MOD 2002 edition.  Made around 1980, pad cups are nearly flat and polished to a mirror-like finish, touches are boldly shaped from flat stock.  Seems I'm not the only one attracted to shiny objects!

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