L. L. Lebret; S#2424; c.1910
Lebret barrel engraving

L. L. Lebret
Serial # 4242; Paris; 1923(?); silver plated body and mechanism, soldered tone holes; sl 602mm; 400g; .014"h .013"b

Louis Léon Joseph Lebret (b.1862) spent a decade employed by the Louis Lot firm learning the flutemaking craft. In 1888 he set up an independent shop in Paris and devoted a long career specializing in metal Boehm flutes until turning over the firm to René Celles in 1928, who was then succeeded by Robert Malerne in 1932.

Peter Spohr puts it quite succinctly, "Lebret belongs together with Lot, for whom he had worked previously, Godfroy, Bonneville and Rive to the famous French makers of Boehm flutes in the 19th century."

Lebret lip plate engraving

Lebret C# tone hole pad cup, ball and pillar key arm Lebret Bb shake and raised nipple pad cups Lebret soldered tone hole with convex bevel
Lebret G# key pointed arm, back connector, club-shaped kicker

Lebret odd volcanic thumb key base

Keywork is wonderfully peculiar to L. L. Lebret. Except for the quite normal pointed key arm for the G# at left, Lebret adopts a "raised nipple" pad cup design which he attaches to the mechanism by a longish D-F# adjustment lugball and pillar key arm. Even the tiny F# adjustment lug is similarly sculpted.  The spherical key post heads are exaggerated as well, as is the odd base of the thumb key mechanism at the lower left.

The ball motive is emphasized throughout with club shaped kickers (oddly reminiscent of ball and claw furniture feet). Even the outer edge of the soldered tone hole facings are convex, giving a more rounded impression than the more common angle bevel or concave chamfering.

This flute is in good overall condition and plays sweetly at A-440 with a slightly hollow sound more evocative of a silver flute.  The action is comfortable and quiet, the scale is good.  The overall integrity of the plating is excellent despite some surface pitting (which actually adds a bit of extra sparkle if, like milady, you are attracted to shiny objects!).

This flute was purchased from Tony Bingham of London. He acquired it in exchange for another flute from an amateur player from Jersey of the Channel Islands.  (Hmm, perhaps this climate explains the surface pitting?)  Tony is the publisher of such essential musical instrument tomes as Tula Giannini's Great Flute Makers of France: The Lot and Godfroy Families, 1650-1900 and William Waterhouse' The New Langwill Index: A Dictionary of Wind Instrument Makers and Inventors. 

Lebret club-shaped tail kickers and Bb connector

Lebret R4 cluster

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