Antique Flutes and an Ivory Piccolo

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Column 23
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Antique Flutes and an Ivory Piccolo

Post by Column 23 » Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:42 pm

Hi Everyone - I have four beautiful 18th and 19th century wooden flutes that I want to sell - all marvelous old woods, some with the makers marks, and one is a rosewood flute in a rosewood box, and I also have one charming ivory piccolo for sale (c. 1850). I am wondering if anyone can suggest the best way to sell them, and how I can let interested flutists know about them.

Here is a link to photos of them.

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/sredir? ... feat=email

Thanks so much!

dogster
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Re: Antique Flutes and an Ivory Piccolo

Post by dogster » Sat Oct 20, 2012 9:04 am

i see no pictures ??

Column 23
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Re: Antique Flutes and an Ivory Piccolo

Post by Column 23 » Sat Oct 20, 2012 9:22 am

So sorry that the photos couldn't be accessed.

I will try posting the link again -

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/sredir? ... feat=email

I don't know how to make it live - you may have to copy and post it into a browser.

Is there a way to post photos here?

Thanks!

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Bo
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Re: Antique Flutes and an Ivory Piccolo

Post by Bo » Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:08 pm

You could try eBay, but be aware that if you start an auction you can be very lucky, but if not many are interested than a relatively low price could win. In other words, you cannot predict the results...

fluteguy18
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Re: Antique Flutes and an Ivory Piccolo

Post by fluteguy18 » Tue Oct 23, 2012 7:20 am

Truth be told these instruments don't hold a lot of value outside of sentimental value. I was talking to a guy at NFA who specializes in these and he recommended that you never spend more than $100-150 on an instrument like this if it is a true antique. His reasoning is that most have hidden problems that need repair, or are in a condition that they can never be restored. These for example will need to be disassembled, key work cleaned and oiled, headjoint cork replaced, and pads adjusted (or replaced) if they haven't been serviced in the last year. The cork in the joints probably needs work as well. Furthermore if they can be brought to a true playing condition, there's no telling whether or not it will actually be a good instrument. The ivory one for example (if it is real bone ivory), probably shouldn't ever be played again. It doesn't look cracked, but to introduce moisture and the rigors of playing would probably crack the bone considering its age.

On Ebay they're often listed from $300-3000. You never see them sell in that price range. The most I've seen one sell for is around $90USD.

Column 23
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Re: Antique Flutes and an Ivory Piccolo

Post by Column 23 » Tue Oct 23, 2012 7:55 am

Thanks for your info.

I have enjoyed living with these instruments for their beauty, and not just for playing. I know there are other collectors who feel as I do. I hope I can find that person who will now enjoy having them.

lianeandflute
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Re: Antique Flutes and an Ivory Piccolo

Post by lianeandflute » Mon Apr 01, 2013 9:47 am

I know this is a very late reply, but the best way to know the value is to try to find someone who is an expert in historical flutes and can accurately evaluate their worth. They actually could be worth a lot, or not too much at all…

Like FluteGuy18 was saying, it all depends on what condition they're in and how old they really are and the only way is to get someone who knows what they're talking about to have a look at them (in person)
"It's happening inside you; not in the flute!" - Emmanuel Pahud (At a masterclass in Sydney, Nov. 2010)

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flutego12
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Re: Antique Flutes and an Ivory Piccolo

Post by flutego12 » Mon Apr 01, 2013 8:14 pm

You've probably come to the right place for sounding out/ bouncing ideas. We do have wooden flute players here who have a wealth of info on these matters. Gordon I believe is one.

Further, if these are early instruments, try the early instrument ensemble clubs or specialty stores, depending where you are - they can probably tell straightaway what yr instruments are worth or perhaps sell on consignment depending on whether it's sought after or not.

http://www.earlymusicshop.com/uia/uistart.html
http://earlymusichicago.org/instruments_winds.htm
http://www.music-treasures.com/antflupi.htm
www.lazarsearlymusic.com

Or try your local university or conservatory, where the greatest concentration of flutists/ body of knowledge are, and they would surely be able to advise as appropriate.

Also, there might be some wood players in forum.saxontheweb.net/.
flutist with a screwdriver

Gordon
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Re: Antique Flutes and an Ivory Piccolo

Post by Gordon » Mon Apr 08, 2013 2:12 pm

Not really an expert, fluteguy18 - just familiar with wooden flutes in general, some antiques - better at care and handling advice than identifying rare or special flutes. These are interesting - One seems to be a Potter flute, from London (that'd be Henry, not Harry!), but I only looked at the posted photos briefly. I could guess a bit, but I'd rather hear what someone more qualified says about them. I suggest Column 23 post them on Chiff and Fipple's flute forum (chiffandfipple.com)) - there are far more qualified experts there - restorers and players/collectors alike - who live to discuss and research such flutes and could give a better idea what C23's got before trying to sell them.

fluteguy18
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Re: Antique Flutes and an Ivory Piccolo

Post by fluteguy18 » Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:02 pm

I agree. You do on occasion find unique or rare instruments and they're worthy of restoration. I myself am not an expert on antique flutes either but having worked in a flute shop I've had the opportunity to discuss these kind of flutes with some actual specialists out there and I was merely relaying the general advice I had been given.

Gordon
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Re: Antique Flutes and an Ivory Piccolo

Post by Gordon » Tue Apr 09, 2013 6:29 am

fluteguy18 wrote:I agree. You do on occasion find unique or rare instruments and they're worthy of restoration. I myself am not an expert on antique flutes either but having worked in a flute shop I've had the opportunity to discuss these kind of flutes with some actual specialists out there and I was merely relaying the general advice I had been given.
I should've said I also suggest the C&F flute forum - your advice was spot on regarding other places to seek advice. Another place to ask/look is a Yahoo group called Earlyflute, which specializes in, well, early flutes (as opposed to Earlyflute.com, which is Simon Polak's website - a brilliant Dutch flute maker of Dutch Baroque replicas).

The value of these sorts of flutes are mostly subjective, but usually based on a number of things - the flute's provenance (who made it and when - since these flutes seem to provide their makers' stamp, provenance is easily found); what condition the flute is in; was it modified (points off for collectors, possibly a plus for players); its sounding length (what pitch, and whether the flute can be played with other instruments) - basically all the same things that would apply to an antique "modern" flute apply here, but to a slightly different crowd.

Oh - re: the ivory piccolo; Ivory trade, even on antique items, sometimes falls into shady legal areas, particularly/especially if sold or transported across borders. Something to keep in mind, anyway....

fluteguy18
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Re: Antique Flutes and an Ivory Piccolo

Post by fluteguy18 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:10 pm

Chiff and Fipple is an awesome group. Good points about ivory trade. It is my understanding in the US that as long as the ivory comes through legal channels or through legal means, it's fine to purchase and to sell. Old ivory (harvested before law rendered the slaughter of animals for ivory) is fine I think. New ivory can only be bought or sold through specific sanctioned channels that can verify that the material was harvested from an animal that died of natural causes under certain specific conditions.

This at least is what I remember when I looked up information pertaining to the ivory on the piano I purchased for my wife a few years ago. It's a victorian upright grand with ivory keys and I needed to know if a: it was legal to purchase, and b: how to care, maintain, and replace it should it get damaged.

Gordon
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Re: Antique Flutes and an Ivory Piccolo

Post by Gordon » Fri Apr 12, 2013 5:07 am

You're right - within the US (and most other countries), antique ivory is safe to buy and post. I was thinking in terms of crossing international borders via post - I've heard horror stories of antique flutes held up and/or confiscated when passing into other country (or the other way 'round), even when sent overseas for repairs.

That said, the anti-ivory laws are a good thing - lots of unscrupulous people out there trying to pass off new ivory as old, and some buyers simply don't care where the ivory came from. And there are significant improvements in faux ivory plastics that work just as well or better than the real thing for replacement piano keys, flute rings or replacement antique heads - looks real, is far less brittle, and no dead pachyderms ;).

Piccolator
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Re: Antique Flutes and an Ivory Piccolo

Post by Piccolator » Wed Sep 25, 2013 8:26 pm

Did you ever manage to sell these flutes and that piccolo?

Piccolator
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Re: Antique Flutes and an Ivory Piccolo

Post by Piccolator » Fri Jan 10, 2014 8:24 pm

did you manage to sell any of these five flutes? the piccolo is of some interest to me, in case that you haven't sold it.

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