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756

A. G. Badger

New York

Stamp: Headjoint engraved on gold oval, surrounded by exquisite silver engravings: (florid) A. G. Badger/ NEW YORK.

Comments: This flute was owned, and probably first purchased by, G.W.F. Price, as imprinted in gilt letters on the case. Only one person by this name is listed in the US census records, namely the Rev. Dr. Geo. W. F. Price, President of Nashville College for Young Ladies, the Tuskegee Female College, and the Huntsville Female College. Dr. Price was born c. 1830 in Alabama, and by 1870 owned $50,000.00 worth of real estate; a perfect customer for the good Alfred G. Badger. Details of Dr. Price's life exist, but as of yet no mention of his new flute has been discovered. This would be very handy in dating these Badger instruments. Dr. Price was evidently an enthusiastic amateur player, based on the original cost, the modest wear, and expensive repair on this instrument.

Material: Made of silver, with wood-core barrel embouchure. Cork screw of threaded wood. Springs of steel. Soldered tube.

System: This flute is a full, professional quality flute with the assurance of having completed the experimental stages. This flute is a perfectly built in-line, closed hole, closed G#, standard thumb, B trill flute with a foot to B, right pinkie operated. A lovely "tail" to the G# lever gives a trill touch for the right hand. The open footjoint keys are fitted with Badger's wonderful height adjuster. This flute is quite high pitched, possibly at Steinway's 1879 pitch of A=457.

Condition: Although this flute looks perfect, and plays with a strong and secure tone, it has nonetheless a few hidden repair jobs. A section of the rib, just over an inch long, has been replaced at the upper C touch, for some reason unknown. The little stem for the post elevating the trill rod is broken off, yet is preserved in the case ready to be resoldered. The most curious element of this flute is the completely flat tone holes for the main body keys. Perhaps this work was done at Meinnell's, since his calling card was inserted into the top of the grease container!

Pitch: Seems pitched quite high, at around A=457.

Sounding Length: Sounding length 620 mm.

Measurements: Scale 218 mm. Emb. to C# 8 7/8". Embouchure oval 12x10 mm.

Weight: Weight 455 g.

Case: In beautiful original case, inscribed on top, "G. W. F. Price". With screwdriver, key, two replacement pads, and a turned wooden grease container, half full. Surprisingly, tucked into the top of the grease container was an advertisement for Wm. R. Meinnell, at 64 Nassau Street! Meinnell was at this address from 1876 to 1897 (Berdhal).

Sold. 10/15/2006

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Photographs (click to enlarge):

Gold shield with Badger's stamp of 1868-c.1880 (Simpson).
Gold shield with Badger's stamp of 1868-c.1880 (Simpson).
Badger's distinctive right hand, using Lot's shoulder clutches, with extra long arms and posts for high rising.
Badger's distinctive right hand, using Lot's shoulder clutches, with extra long arms and posts for high rising.
The closed G# lever swings under and emerges as a trill key.
The closed G# lever swings under and emerges as a trill key.
Badger's lovely thumb is also patterned after Lot.
Badger's lovely thumb is also patterned after Lot.
Side view of thumb, showing elegant workmanship, and the original tone hole rim.
Side view of thumb, showing elegant workmanship, and the original tone hole rim.
Front view of main toneholes, showing flat surface (strange but true).  This was possibly done at Meinnell's, who may have made a major overhaul of this flute.
Front view of main toneholes, showing flat surface (strange but true). This was possibly done at Meinnell's, who may have made a major overhaul of this flute.
Classic Badger footjoint, with screw adjuster for key height.
Classic Badger footjoint, with screw adjuster for key height.
Badger must have been a lanky fellow; look at his long arms on this very fine left hand mechanism.
Badger must have been a lanky fellow; look at his long arms on this very fine left hand mechanism.
G.W.F. Price was easy to track down, since he had so many initials.  He was a specialist in young women (see text).
G.W.F. Price was easy to track down, since he had so many initials. He was a specialist in young women (see text).
The original case is in fairly good condition, with a few scars, and a set of modern hinges.The original case is in fairly good condition, with a few scars, and a set of modern hinges.