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C. Rive


Paris, France

Stamp: (monogram) CR/ C. RIVE/ PARIS/ 396 on head and body. (monogram) CR/ 396 on foot.

Marks: No marks visible elsewhere on flute.

Manufacture Date: Made c. 1883? Claude Rive established his own flutemaking business in 1877 (Langwill). He had been working in the flutemaking trade for Godfroy at least since 1869, we presume, since both he and A. Bonneville are listed as jewelers who owe the estate about F90 apiece (Giannini). Perhaps Godfroy was keeping track of how much of his wine they drank at lunch (Giannini). At any event, Both Bonneville and Rive opened up their own ateliers soon after Louis Lot retired in 1876. The patent had been open since 1862, we presume (15 years after 1847), yet few makers in Paris had taken up the challenge. These two, Bonneville and Rive, students of V. H. Godfroy (who died in 1868), remain the most famous and desirable flutemakers of the second generation after the original masters. We date this flute on the premise that Rive probably made around 50 flutes per year.

Hallmarks: No hallmarks.

Comments: There is a lot of love in this flute. There is nothing flashy here, just competence and quality; not even a quality of finishing like Godfroy had, but rather the quality of putting soul into a flute. This instrument would make a wonderful companion. It is not so perfect that you are afraid to touch it, yet there are wonderful visual surprises here and there, and a rich, compelling tone, with depths it will take years to plumb, and one's life may well change in the process.

Material: This flute is made of plated metal, vermeil, with steel springs. The plating is of the highest quality.

System: This flute is the standard Louis Lot Model 7, plated metal flute with foot to C. The trill is to Bb.

Condition: The condition of this flute is fantastic, notwithstanding a few insults. Most obviously, the E hole key has lost more of it's plating than other keys. There is a bit of plating gone from fingertip wear here and there, but something else happened here. It looks for all the world as though some idiot repair person buffed this key first, only then realizing what a mistake that was. Thank goodness this doesn't happen nowadays. As well, a little ding in the tube near the F# hole, and another one on the headjoint, show that this was a used flute, especially since the case appears original. All in all, this very nice flute is in excellent, modestly used condition. The headjoint (including the beautiful crown), other than a tiny dent, is perfect. The embouchure is seductive.

Pitch: Appears to be pitched at c.A=440.

Sounding Length:



Case: In apparently original case. marked, "C. Rive 93 Rue du Temple Paris". This was Rive's address until he sold the business to Robert in 1895.

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