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925

V. Q. Powell

Boston, USA

Stamp: On head and upper body: (triangle with VQP) / VERNE Q. POWELL / BOSTON. Additionally on body: 180.

Comments: This is a lovely, sweet sounding flute, without any of the harshness up top, and a rich, lowing bass. Powell truly carried the tone of Lot into the 20th century, and this instrument, even with the replaced embouchure, is a player's treasure.

Material: This exquisite flute is made of silver with gold springs. The current lipplate is of gold with gold riser (the flute was originally fitted with a silver lipplate).

System: Powell 180 is a French model handmade flute with low B, operated by the left hand pinkie. The left hand B was a popular feature on the Louis Lot flutes, and gives complete independence for the low B key. The lipplate has been changed to a gold one, with very modest overcutting.

Condition: The condition of this flute is excellent. There is some wear from use, and the pad job is getting old. The instrument is fine for neighborhood use as she lies, but would probably need a full overhaul for the long run.

Pitch: This flute is pitched at A=440.

Sounding Length: Sounding length 634 mm.

Measurements: Scale length 226 mm. Embouchure 12.18 x 10.26. Chimney 5.11 x 5.20 (lower to higher edges).

Weight: 428 g.

Case: In possibly the original case, which is worn but functional.

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Photographs (click to enlarge):

Powell #180 was made in 1932 for M. Shapiro, of whom we have been unable to find any information.  This was Powell's sixth year since leaving the Haynes shop.
Powell #180 was made in 1932 for M. Shapiro, of whom we have been unable to find any information. This was Powell's sixth year since leaving the Haynes shop.
Powell's right hand mechanism shows precision and grace; like all great flutemakers he had both in abundance.
Powell's right hand mechanism shows precision and grace; like all great flutemakers he had both in abundance.
While the keys are beautiful, the flight of these touches for G# and low B is birdlike.  Their delicacy is enhanced by the risk of straying too far from home.
While the keys are beautiful, the flight of these touches for G# and low B is birdlike. Their delicacy is enhanced by the risk of straying too far from home.
The left hand mechanism is a touch more prosaic, yet continuing in quiet excellence.
The left hand mechanism is a touch more prosaic, yet continuing in quiet excellence.
Powell's footjoint touches, based almost entirely on Louis Lot, include the vaulted D# arm, since the low B pad is closed by the left hand pinkie.  The C touch closes the C# as well, via a little plate soldered in the elbow of the C# arm.
Powell's footjoint touches, based almost entirely on Louis Lot, include the vaulted D# arm, since the low B pad is closed by the left hand pinkie. The C touch closes the C# as well, via a little plate soldered in the elbow of the C# arm.
Powell's thumb key is wonderful, with a sensuous, perfectly executed lip on the thumb touch, and a lovely yet subdued teardrop for the Bb.
Powell's thumb key is wonderful, with a sensuous, perfectly executed lip on the thumb touch, and a lovely yet subdued teardrop for the Bb.
The gold lipplate was added later, possibly by a relative novice.  Apparently a hole was burned through the plate, which has been plugged with a gold bar from below (see photo below).  This lip is very modestly overcut on the edges, and plays beautifully.
The gold lipplate was added later, possibly by a relative novice. Apparently a hole was burned through the plate, which has been plugged with a gold bar from below (see photo below). This lip is very modestly overcut on the edges, and plays beautifully.