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Flute

1871 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

This instrument was presented by his pupils in 1871 to Benjamin Wells (1826-1899), professor of the flute at the Royal Academy of Music. His private pupils included Prince Albert, the Prince Consort (1819-1861). This example is made by Rudall, Carte & Co., the earliest firm in Britain to use the 'Boehm system', a series of interlinking keys. which is still used today. It is made of ebonite, a hardened form of rubber, patented by Charles Goodyear (1800-1860) of New Haven, Connecticut, in 1844, and used to make flutes by about 1847.


Object details

Categories
Object type
Parts
This object consists of 2 parts.

  • Flute
  • Mouthpiece
Materials and techniques
Turned and drilled ebonite pipe with silver keys and mouth hole.
Brief description
Flute, ebonite, Rudall, Carte & Co, English, 1871.
Physical description
"Ebonite, in three joints. Rudall Carte's 1867 model, with silver keys and rectangular mouth-hole. Cylindrical tube with parabolic head joint'. Anthony Baines:Catalogue of Musical Instruments in the Victoria and Albert Museum - Part II: Non-keyboard instruments (London, 1998), p. 94
Dimensions
  • Length: 65.5cm
Taken from Anthony Baines: Catalogue of Musical Instruments in the Victoria and Albert Museum - Part II: Non-keyboard instruments. (London, 1998), p. 94.
Marks and inscriptions
  • Rudall Carte & Co. 20 Charing Cross, London, 509 (Stamped at the top of the main (second) joint of the flute.)
  • Presented to Benjamin Wells, Esq., by his pupils as a mark of their esteem, June 1871 (engraved on a silver shield, fixed to the head joint.)
Credit line
Given by E.S. Miller, Esq.
Object history
This instrument was given by his pupils to Benjamin Wells (1826-1899), Professor of the flute at the Royal Academy of Music in 1871, and presented to the Museum by Edward Scott Miller, Esq. in 1900 [RP 84789/1900]. It was accepted by the Museum as a 'specimen of the modern improved form of instrument'.

In a letter dated 15/05/1900, Miller wrote "The instrument has quite another value apart from the intrinsic, it was the subject of presentation from some of the pupils and admirers of the late Mr. Benj. Wells A.R.A.M (who was indeed faciles princeps among the performers of the day - leaving behind him quite a fame and work - well known to those who have to do with the flute." [see RP 15015/1900]
Summary
This instrument was presented by his pupils in 1871 to Benjamin Wells (1826-1899), professor of the flute at the Royal Academy of Music. His private pupils included Prince Albert, the Prince Consort (1819-1861). This example is made by Rudall, Carte & Co., the earliest firm in Britain to use the 'Boehm system', a series of interlinking keys. which is still used today. It is made of ebonite, a hardened form of rubber, patented by Charles Goodyear (1800-1860) of New Haven, Connecticut, in 1844, and used to make flutes by about 1847.
Bibliographic reference
Anthony Baines: Catalogue of Musical Instruments in the Victoria and Albert Museum - Part II: Non-keyboard instruments. (London, 1998), p. 93-94.
Collection
Accession number
316-1900

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Record createdJune 24, 2009
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