Skip to main content


C. Rive

Serial #356

Paris, France

Stamp: (monogram) C over R/ C. Rive/Paris/356 on all joints. Box with monogram: GM.


Manufacture Date: Made c. 1883, assuming a production of 50 flutes per year, and a starting year of 1877.

Hallmarks: Hallmarked with the maker's diamond, L heart C (or G), on lipplate, on body just below name stamp, on foot just below name stamp, under G# touch, and a perfect one under the low C# touch. I believe that a mark on the side of the G# arm is the Parisian Boar's head of silver purity. This is the only incidence of this stamp on the flute. The maker's diamond is new to me, as are the curious placements of the stamp. Perhaps they are later additions?

Comments: Every Rive instrument comes a bit as a surprise, it seems. Rive occupies a space in the flute-tone somewhere just to the side of the plane created by Lot and Bonneville. There is something different about Rive which, unlike Bonneville, evokes the kind of endless voyage that Godfroy, and especially Lot, at their best, offered. Rive has become a cult flute-maker. Very few of his instruments are to be found; when they land in a player's hands who connects with Rive, they tend to stay there. If you play this flute, and do not think that you are entering an endless, beautiful and undiscovered forest path, you are unlikely to join the cult. If you connect with Rive, you will never forget the encounter. Happily, we have two early and lovely Rive flutes here at this moment, this silver one, and a plated one made just about a year later (we presume). Both instruments open doors to tones untouched, yet in very different ways.

Material: This lovely flute is made of silver, with steel springs. Five or six of the springs are new. The corkscrew is the modern metal rod type. The cork is silver(?) faced.

System: This flute is built in the French model Boehm System with open hole keys, closed G#, C foot, Bb trill. Louis Lot called this the Model 5.

Condition: This magnificent example of Rive's work was apparently a presentation instrument, and has been lovingly used. We cannot guess which of the possible GM's this flute was made for, but we do see that he was very careful. The instrument has come to us with just a few overhauls, a small shortening of the headjoint, and no substantial signs of wear, tear, or abuse. It appears as if this flute acquired a very heavy tarnish from long term storage, which has been hand cleaned. One of the overhauls included a soft solder drip at the G# tone hole, and there is an inexplicable splashlet of solder at the G hole. The lipplate is untouched, the mechanism is tight, the latest overhaul was done elsewhere and touched up here.

Pitch: This flute appears to play at A=440, or just a tad higher.

Sounding Length: Original sounding length 601 mm. Current minimum length 597 mm.


Weight: 398

Case: In possibly original case.

« Go back