William S. Haynes
Serial # 23950; Boston; 1954; 14k body & mechanism; sl 635mm; 464g; .0105"h .010"b

Frederick Wilkins from NY Flute Club recordsHaynes 23950 box engraving    What can I say?  This beautiful instrument was made for Frederick Wilkins (1907-1968).  Wilkins studied under Georges Barrère at Julliard and became principle flutist in the Radio City Music Hall symphony under Erno Rapee.  Following naval service in the Pacific theatre during WW2, he became principle flutist with the Voice of Firestone Orchestra under Howard Barlow, which had a national following on both radio and television. Perhaps the most active free lance flutist in New York, he also performed with the New York City Opera and the New York City Ballet and often played for RCA Records in addition to teaching at the Manhattan School of Music and the Chautauqua Institute.
    An inquisitive man who worked on his own flutes, Fred Wilkins even enlisted the assistance of a dentist named Dr. Levy to make molds of instruments to try to determine why the Haynes and Powell flutes were so special as compared to other flutes. Donald Artley pursued him for his advice on how to improve the Artley flute and would not quit until Wilkins reluctantly agreed to meet with him.  Out of this strained beginning came a collaboration from which emerged Artley's flagship flute, the "Wilkins Model" -- a godsend to aspiring flutists who could neither afford nor wait years to acquire a handmade Boston flute.  (My heartfelt thanks to Fred and Paul Preuss for sharing recollections about their fascinating "Uncle Fred" with me and adding even more to the personality of this instrument!)
    This particular Haynes flute later passed on to Trudy Kane of the New York Metropolitan, who had John Fuggetta make a new (which of course does NOT equate to "modern") headjoint for it in 1989.  She commented, "I've always played Haynes flutes because their quality is unsurpassed. My gold Haynes is without a doubt the best flute I've ever played."

    After receiving a gold Haynes during his first U.S. tour in 1958, the late Jean Pierre Rampal played them exclusively -- even relegating his legendary gold 1869 Louis Lot to the security of a safe in France.
    This particular flute left the Haynes shop three months to the day after I was born, and I only wish the years had been so kind to me.  Thanks to careful maintenance it is as beautiful in appearance, as precise in action, and as rich in timbre as the day it was made.  You can push the bottom notes until pants legs start flapping in the front row.
    I'll let a few images speak for themselves, low resolution though they may be.

Haynes footjoint key clusterHaynes footjoint engravingOpen, rectangular embouchureHaynes closeup G-F#

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