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770

Louis Lot

Paris, France

Stamp: L.L./LOUIS LOT/PARIS/3314/BREVETÉ engraved on head; L.L./LOUIS LOT/PARIS/BREVETÉ, engraved on body. No mark on foot. Monogram "IP" engraved on headjoint (and gold-stamped on case).

Comments: This flute came from the estate of a professional French flautist, we are told. It appears not to have been played for quite a few years, so it was not this player's professional instrument. He may have had it repadded when he first acquired the flute, but it looks more like he simply kept it for occasional amusement, until the pads went bad, and he just let it sit. Now the mechanism is sticky as well. We are selling this instrument as-is, but this flute would be a great pleasure to restore. It is in perfect original and unharmed mechanical condition. Even the adjustment screws are clean. As it happens, the headjoint fits into other French flutes here now, and probably made at roughly the same time as this Lot. The Lot's embouchure is so perfect and unworn it speaks with great precision and ease, yet with a surprising richness for such dexterity.

Material: Lipplate of sterling silver. Tubes and keys made of plated nickel silver. Springs of steel, and appear all original. Corkscrew a beautiful, virginal metal screw. Cork faced on both sides with bevel-edged plated metal. Pad washers white metal and all appear original and unscratched, as new. Pads are puffy old style.

System: Full French model Boehm flute, with closed G#, and foot to C. Bb trill. This flute is built in what we have called for years the "Villette" system. Shortly after Louis Lot retired in 1876, Villette redesigned the flute. He split the strap, or rib, at the trill keys, and he changed the clutches to include adjustment screws. Looking at this today, next to a flute by Boehm and Mendler, I see that Villette actually took the German clutch with a two-piece back-clutch and adapted this to Lot's improved "armpit" clutch, now actually a "hanging T", adding Boehm's love of adjusting screws and removing Lotfroy's old F# connection at the back-clutch. Aesthetically, I have never approved of this system, and I was glad to see it dropped from the repertoire shortly after Debonneetbeau took over. However, this flute here is in the most perfect condition I have seen of this model. The set screws are all clean and unused, and the instrument looks and feels wonderful. I have recently heard raves about this model from Eldred Spell and others, so we are delighted this flute has come in. I think the proper term for this mechanism is Villette's Munich Model.

Condition: In near mint condition; a presentation piece that was rarely used. The pads may well be original; certainly everything else is.

Pitch: Seems to be pitched at A=437.

Sounding Length: Sounding length 606mm.

Measurements: Embouchure 11.9 x 10. Scale length 228 mm.

Weight: 370

Case: In original case with gold-stamped initials, "IP". The case is worn at the corners

Sold.

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Photographs (click to enlarge):

Lot 3314, engraved
Lot 3314, engraved "I.P."
Everything about this flute is in mint condition.  Here we see the silver lipplate and I. P.'s monogram.
Everything about this flute is in mint condition. Here we see the silver lipplate and I. P.'s monogram.
There is an elegant flow from the Bb trill touch through to the curvaceous G#.
There is an elegant flow from the Bb trill touch through to the curvaceous G#.
The beautiful left hand mechanism, with Villette's split strap at the trill keys.
The beautiful left hand mechanism, with Villette's split strap at the trill keys.
The classic Louis Lot teardrop D#.  Perhaps Villette fills his D# touch a bit more than Lot, sort of like adding a bit more water to a hanging balloon.
The classic Louis Lot teardrop D#. Perhaps Villette fills his D# touch a bit more than Lot, sort of like adding a bit more water to a hanging balloon.
This flute is so clean even the steel screws are free of clumsy screw-driver action!
This flute is so clean even the steel screws are free of clumsy screw-driver action!
Villette dramatically redesigned the Louis Lot mechanism shortly after Lot retired in 1876.  In the clutches of the right hand we see the addition of set screws above and below the
Villette dramatically redesigned the Louis Lot mechanism shortly after Lot retired in 1876. In the clutches of the right hand we see the addition of set screws above and below the "hanging T" of Lot.
Here we see the heart of Villette's system.  He eliminated the central spade of the backclutch (actually the tail of the F# cup), and rounded the overspade to include a set screw.  This is the design of Boehm and Mendler, adapted for the French flutes.
Here we see the heart of Villette's system. He eliminated the central spade of the backclutch (actually the tail of the F# cup), and rounded the overspade to include a set screw. This is the design of Boehm and Mendler, adapted for the French flutes.
The Bb trill renders access to the bottom of the thumb key unnecessary, so Godfroy's lovely ball is long gone on this design.
The Bb trill renders access to the bottom of the thumb key unnecessary, so Godfroy's lovely ball is long gone on this design.
Eliminating Lotfroy's lovely backclutch on the foot allowed this rod around the C# to create a pinless footjoint.Eliminating Lotfroy's lovely backclutch on the foot allowed this rod around the C# to create a pinless footjoint.