Clair Godfroy aine


Paris, France

Stamp: Stamped on head and body: (head of Medusa) / (in oval cartouche) CLAIR / (script) Godfroy aine / A PARIS / (monogram) CG. Additionally on headjoint: 751


Manufacture Date: This professionally-played 1832 system ring keyed flute was made c. 1847, assuming 73 of this model per year since 1837 (the average if #950 was made c. 1850, as we assume.) The footjoint and key clutches show no influence from the cylinder flutes.


Comments: This flute will surely be among the finest of playing examples for this system once restored and repadded.

Material: This beautiful flute is made of "Portuguese Grenadilla", we presume, with Maillechort keys and silver trim. The needle springs (all but the Dorus G# after-market) are of steel. The original flat springs are of brass. Some replacement flat springs are steel. The cork screw arrangement is of threaded wood. The three exquisitely made tuning rings are a sandwich of silver and wood.

System: This lovely 1832 system was called "Flute Boehm a anneau" by Godfroy and Lot. This is the ring keyed 1832 system of Boehm, of course with the Godfroy shop's development of this system. This instrument was made at the high-point of the conical Boehm, just as the cylinder bore was being introduced. The footjoint and clutches are all made without the influence of the mechanism Godfroy and Lot designed for the cylinder flute, thus ensuring that this instrument was made before 1850 at the latest. Thus we have a conical bore ring keyed 1832 system flute with C foot and Dorus G#. Trill key to thumb for B-C trill.

Condition: This flute has been carefully played by a professional flutist for many years. Furthermore, he was a fairly big man, moderate in his habits, probably with a nasty cough in his later years. We can tell this because there is so much wear in specific places that only a large hand would reach, the flute has been used enough to generate this wear yet is in nearly perfect mechanical condition, and the metal is stained yellow, probably from playing for years in a smoke-filled room. No one has ever sat on this flute, no repairman has butchered it, and no handmade repairs were done late at night by a drunken musician, making this flute somewhat unusual. The embouchure is also worn but unaltered. The principle wear is seen on the hinge tubing by the F key (first finger right hand). The metal is actually worn through, exposing the steel rod inside. Thanks to constant use and expert maintenance, almost all of the flat brass springs have been replaced very nicely with steel needle springs. The headjoint has two very minor cracks at the socket, and there is a silver repair on the A hole rim.

Pitch: This flute was made at A=448, and plays very nicely with the tuning rings to a tad below A=440.

Sounding Length: Sounding length without rings: 585.mm; with all three rings: 594 mm. Rings actually measure 7.3 mm in total.


Weight: 334 g.

Case: In apparently original case.

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