EulerFrankfurt a/M, Germany
Stamp: EULER/FRANKFURT/a/M stamped on all joints. Piccolo stamped: (crown)/(curved)H. F. MEYER/(curved)HANNOVER/C -stamped on ivory head only.
Comments: This lovely package of instruments from L. J. Dean is actually of quite high quality for it's time. Euler made fine instruments, fully capable of high quality playing. The piccolo is a rare instrument from the original Meyer shop, with the crown stamp. This fine quality flute and piccolo are typical of the non-Boehm instruments of the second half of the 19th century. The headjoint cracks are unfortunate, but typical of flutes made with ivory over a metal tube. In this case, the crack does not prevent the flute from playing very nicely; in fact this flute was in use for performances in the recent past.
Material: The flute and piccolo are made of grenadilla? wood, with German silver keys and trim and ivory heads.
System: This is an 11 keyed flute, with fully lined ivory headjoint, E trill, alternative touch for Bb, and B foot. This instrument differs from the Viennese flutes more in the style of construction than the particulars of keys and placements; the long wooden shoulders and the unadorned keywork being the main external differences. The piccolo is 6 keyed with a D foot.
Condition: This flute (and the accompanying piccolo) have seen many good times in the hands of Mr. L. J. Dean of Peterborough, N.H. (U.S.A.). Evidence of this is seen in the repaired headjoint cracks, the mark of a long fingernail on the C# hole, a small socket crack on the lower joint, and the wear of usage on the tone holes (especially on the piccolo). Nonetheless the flute itself is in fine usable condition. The piccolo is so heavily worn from use at the tone holes that one suspects Mr. Dean's piccolo technique to have been very well rehearsed. The accompanying tune book of 16 manuscript contra dance tunes, marked "Piccolo/L. J. Dean", with the heavily worn piccolo, show not only that the instrumentation at the contra dances has not changed to this day, but the traditional tunes are still in use today. The dances of New England are one of the few venues that have not changed over the years; here in Maine (in 1980) we enjoy one player using an 1832 system Badger, one playing a Meachum of Albany 4 keyed flute, several with English romantic 8 keyed flutes, and keyed piccolos of various nationalities.
Pitch: Pitched at A440. The piccolo plays at A=440.
Sounding Length: Sounding length of flute: 61.9 cm.; of piccolo: 26 cm.
Case: The flute and piccolo are housed in a massive leather covered case, with a compartment in the lid for music, in which sit L. J. Dean's tune book, and another compartment with Dean's original clothes pin for holding the music.
Photographs (click to enlarge):
EULER/FRANKFURT/a/M stamped on all joints. This headjoint is made of ivory, which was a very popular upgrade on flutes in the late 19th and early 20th century, especially thanks to the the German makers.
There is a robust, yet gentle quality about this flute. I especially like the fingernail mark Mr. Dean has left under the upper tone hole.
The simple G# key on the bottom is dwarfed by the elegant cluster of touches for C, Bb, and an E trill.
On the rear of the upper joint we see the Bb key with the extra touch for the right hand. The C key has a sweet wooden pillar, just visible under the key, which controls the opening distance of the touch.
Mr. Louis J. Dean was a shoemaker in Peterborough, N.H. from Oct. 1881. His manuscript tune book includes 16 contra-dance tunes, including Money Musk in A, Hulls Victory in F, College Hornpipe in Bb, and Widow Bedott Reel in E. Clearly Mr. Dean was an accomplished piccoloist, and the wear on the tone holes of his piccolo attest to this.
The F natural and low B touches extend beyond the heartpiece socket. The long and bold shoulders are classic Euler/German, while the metal lining is sign of a better quality instrument. The Meyer system flutes were made with pillars instead of shoulders.
The footjoint is built with the "horseman's" levers, resembling the bowlegged cowboy stance. The low B lever extends down past the C key, on the right.
Piccolo stamped: (crown)/(curved)H. F. MEYER/(curved)HANNOVER/C -stamped on ivory head only. This is the mark of the original H. F. Meyer workshop. From the looks of the wear on this piccolo L. J. Dean played for a lot of dances!
This classic 6 key piccolo, made of very hard wood, is more worn from finger movement than any other flute or piccolo we have seen. The wear around the toneholes is not symetrical, strongly suggesting that it was caused by finger movement while playing hours of contra-dance tunes in Peterborough, NH during the 1880's and 90's. Dean's manuscript tune book is found in the cover of the flute case.