A. G. Badger
No serial number.
Stamp: Headjoint engraved on gold oval, surrounded by exquisite silver engravings: (florid) A. G. Badger/ NEW YORK.
Marks: No marks visible under keys.
Manufacture Date: Made 1868-c.1880 (Simpson) Mary-Jean Simpson suggests in her 1982 dissertation, "Alfred G. Badger 1815-1892", that this label was in use during these 12 years.
Hallmarks: No hallmarks
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.
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).