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Clair Godfroy, ain�


Paris, France

Stamp: Stamped: (lion's head)/(in oval cartouche)Clair/Godfroy, ain�/A Paris(end of cartouche)/(monogram) "C" over "G", on head, body, and foot. Additionally on head and body, BREVET�. On headjoint alone the serial number "1393".


Manufacture Date: Made c. 1855, assuming a steady output of about 75 of these flutes per year.


Comments: The Godfroy ring key flutes with the back clutch mechanism are far easier to play than the earlier flutes with vaulted clutches. This sweet flute is a fine instrument for players wanting the warm and wonderful tone of the conical bore, the lightness of the D foot, and the flexibility of the Boehm system. Although leaking at this moment, it is still clear that this flute has an excellent tone, quick response, and seems for all the world to play in tune right at A=440.

Material: Made of a beautifully grained cocus or palisander wood (called "Grenadille ou Eb�ne"), with Maillechort keys and trim. Embouchure has an oval surrounding Maillechort plate.

System: This is the number 14 in the Godfroy price list, but with D foot (not offered on the 1878 price list), namely a ring-keyed conical Boehm flute with Maillechort keys and trim, and a D foot. The 1878 price list gives this model, with C foot, at F 210. In the same price list an 8 keyed flute with silver keys costs F300. The key work is basically a modification of their cylinder flute mechanism, with five rings instead of perforated holes. The G# is Dorus, the thumb a full Briccialdi, with two holes. The trill is to the thumb key. There is a full backclutch, yet the rings make it unnecessary to decouple the reverse motion (as it is on the cylinder flutes). Thus the RH1 Bb closes all the rings but the Dorus A.

Condition: This flute has been well used, yet also well cared for. There is no damage to the mechanism, yet there are signs of use, wear, and the hands of technicians. The original finish is long gone. The headjoint sports a few socket cracks, one of which has been pinned. The embouchure was either unusually cut, or has had some minor internal adjustments.

Pitch: Pitched A=435-440.

Sounding Length: Sounding length 540 mm.


Weight: 324 g.

Case: In old, possibly original case. The case is worn, and the hinges are missing, but it is fitted for this flute, and includes the little key.

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