S744   A. Bonneville  #2158

S744 A. Bonneville #2158

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744

A. Bonneville

Paris

Stamp: Engraved on head and body: (monogram) AB/ATE/BONNEVILLE/(Gothic)Paris/ (additionally on body) 2158.

Comments: This is a strong and powerful flute, yet the tone is immediately striking in its richness and depth. There is nothing shallow, or piercing, or barely even metallic in the sound. This flute is a long way away from the purity of tone that Lot sought, yet not "over the hill" in the way that aficionados of old flutes consider the "modern" instrument. Rather, this flute captures the perfect median between the intensely personal flute tone of the 19th century and the often strangely impersonal wall of volume possible with instruments today.

Material: Made of silver-plated metal. Springs of steel, pads of foam.

System: Naturally, this flute is a child of the flutes of Lot and Godfroy. She shows the advances of time in the Bb trill, the split strap, and "hanging T" clutch for the right hand. The footjoint remains true to Lot (Godfroy), save for Bonneville's unique flattening of the top of the teardrop D# touch (the G# touch as well).

Condition: The condition of this instrument is excellent, notwithstanding some wear from considerable, yet very careful, use. For example, a previous owner wiped his embouchure with a cloth so many times the plating is worn from the high edges, and the top of the chimney. I doubt that this affects playability at all, and is actually quite handsome. Furthermore, one can see that the chimney is unaltered. Some solder and scraping at the flange suggest the lipplate may have been resoldered, but if so it was a good job. Other apparently recent scrape marks are on the G hole key, almost as if an overzealous cleaner was let loose with a sharp object for a few seconds. There is some wear on the plating where it should be, namely on the key tops and thumb key,

Pitch: A=440, possibly a half a tad higher.

Sounding Length: Sounding length 601 mm. Body scale length 226 mm. Scale to C# 232 mm.

Measurements: Emb. 10x 12 mm.

Weight: 373 g. (13 1/8 oz).

Case: In modern case.

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Photographs (click to enlarge):

One can see the tip edge of the chimney; after years of careful wiping the plating has worn off.
One can see the tip edge of the chimney; after years of careful wiping the plating has worn off.
A close-up of the embouchure.
A close-up of the embouchure.
The beautiful engraving is badly served by this fuzzy picture.
The beautiful engraving is badly served by this fuzzy picture.
Bonneville flattened the top of his touches.
Bonneville flattened the top of his touches.
Bonneville was a jeweler, and made beautiful crowns.
Bonneville was a jeweler, and made beautiful crowns.
The thumb and trill keys, showing a split rib, and no B trill connection.
The thumb and trill keys, showing a split rib, and no B trill connection.
The heart of the flute.
The heart of the flute.
The right-hand mechanism, with added corks!
The right-hand mechanism, with added corks!
The back clutch is the first place to see if wear from buffing exists.  This one is very clean.
The back clutch is the first place to see if wear from buffing exists. This one is very clean.
Under the lipplate.Under the lipplate.