Rive receiver

Claude Rive / P. Gautié & Cie
Serial # 1756; Paris/Toulouse; c. 1905(?); seamed silver body & mechanism, soldered; altered scale Bennett A-440/441; sl 600mm; 400g; .012"h .0115"b

The Toulouse based musical instrument dealer P. Gautié & Cie commissioned many instruments from top makers of  the period such as Louis Lot, Bonneville, Rive and others. Claude Rive, like Auguste Bonneville and Louis Lot, learned his craft working for Godfroy, who held the original permit to manufacture Boehm flutes in Paris. 

It is very likely this flute was made after proprietorship of the Rive shop was acquired in 1895 by Alexandre Robert, who had impressive credentials of his own: he worked for Gautrot Aîné, Evette & Schaeffer and served as foreman for Thibouville-Cabart.  If this is the case, since this flute was commissioned by Gautié & Cie, the Rive "CR" monogram was retained while the mark of Robert was displaced for the mark of Gautié and its predecessor Charles Simonin's "CS" monogram.

Rive lip

CR Claude Rive monogram
Rive: page  from C. Dorgeuille The French Flute School
Rive Headjoint Engraving

Rive Crown and Hallmark
The ornate engraving on the headjoint apparently honors or indicates ownership by a famous flutist of the time, Emilio Buenaventura Puyans who, born in the Dominican Republic in 1883, moved to Paris with his family at eight years of age. He won a First Prize at the Paris Conservatory in 1904 as a pupil of Paul Taffanel (see page from Claude Dorgeuille "The French Flute School" above). Puyans went on to have a successful solo and orchestral career in the early part of the century with the New York and San Francisco Symphonies.

The top right image shows the very open shape of the embouchure.  What appears to be overcutting is cosmetic wear to gold plate.  Below it is a closeup of the "CR" monogram.

The image to the left shows the crown and one of several tiny "crab" hallmarks on the body and mechanism, which simply indicate the flute is at least .800 fine and was made in France after 1838. The highly magnified color image to the right is a bit confusing due to the gold plate left behind combined with reflections from the red case interior and chromatic aberration from my homemade closeup lens.  The black and white photo below may be easier to reference to see the crab body facing upward and slightly to the left (or downward and slightly to the right?), with the claws in front, smaller walking legs to the sides and swimming legs behind.  OK, you really do need to use your imagination, and try to ignore the punch outline surrounding the crab. I tried to outline the anatomy as best I could manage, but I am neither an artist nor a connoisseur of insect shaped crustaceans.  (The Paris Assay Office used the "boar's head" hallmark through 1961, then switched to the crab.)

 

Crab assay mark  
Rive: seamed tube, trill alteration This instrument was found in its altered state by the previous owner in a shop in New York called Rod Baltimore International Woodwind and Brass.  He had the instrument overhauled, with handmade pads, and played it professionally in the NYC area for the next four years.  During this time the mechanism has remained remarkably light and tight, requiring only two minor adjustments even though for much of this time it was being played 30 hours a week.

The flute appears to have originally been completely gold-plated.  At some time, probably during retuning, the plating was removed from most of the exterior and keywork, remaining on the lip plate, riser, tubing interior, head tenon exterior, tone hole facings, crown decoration and within the engravings.  In all likelihood the "brushed" finish was chosen over a more traditional highly polished tube at this point  It is attractive, it feels less "slippery" and, best of all, it doesn't show fingerprints!



In the image above you can just see the outline of the original tone hole opening to the left of the trill pad cup.  Also visible is a slight discoloration of the tubing seam just to the left of the strap.

At right you see the elegant gesture of the Bb trill touch and the fluid shape of the G# touch.  Above the upper G# steel post is a bit of larger diameter tubing applied to the mechanism between the L3 G# and G pad cups.  I assume this to have been done in an overhaul subsequent to the retuning to reinforce the point where material had been removed to shorten the spacing between the pad cups. 

Rive trill and G#
Rive Footjoint On this shot of the foot we see the more obvious signs of retuning and later work done to reinforce or tighten the mechanism.  To the right of the C you can see evidence of the original tone hole location.  The key arm has been cut to reposition the pad cup.  Above the left edge of the C pad cup the strap was cut to shorten the distance between the posts, and the tubing was cut to match.  Larger tubing has been applied to either side of the C# key arm -- the bit to the left probably to reinforce an alteration seam, the bit to the right probably to tighten the mechanism?
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Images & Provenance by J. W. Sallenger and Brian Miller


Rive back connector
Some people have a foot fetish.  Well, I have a penchant for an elegantly turned back connector.  Of course, I won't turn up my nose if I come across a sexy little trill key, either.  Ok, I give up, I have a terminal case of total flute fetish!

(Thanks Brian, Gerardo and Peter for your assistance!)