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Artley flute

Flute History and Instrument Purchase

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dmfosterhartnett
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Artley flute

Postby dmfosterhartnett » Thu Jan 14, 2010 6:55 am

I have what I think is a "Wilkins" model Artley 38-0 silver flute with a B-foot. It was made in 1979 and I really enjoyed it for the 7+ years I studied flute and played in high school band. However, in the past 30 years, as my attention has turned to piano, singing, kids and work, I haven't played the flute much. I am picking it up now to play in orchestra with my son, but it does not play well. It needs a new set of pads and a complete cleaning, which will cost me 300 Euros. (We have moved from the US to Belgium.) The music store here says that my flute is a student model and not worth more than 300 Euros. I was under the impressions that this was a solid-silver better-than-entry-level flute.

Should I have it repaired?

Thanks!

fluteguy18
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Postby fluteguy18 » Thu Jan 14, 2010 11:45 am

Well... you have to understand that solid silver does not necessarily mean quality. A solid silver "ebay-junk" flute that cost you $200 will not be nearly as good as a silver plated muramatsu that you bought used for $1000.

And for the time when it was made, you are right. At the time it was better than student level. But, with modern advances in flute-making, many student model flutes play better than the professional high end flutes made 40 years ago. So, because of its age, the kind of flute that it is (the maker), and its state of repair... it probably isn't worth much more than that.

You could probably spend a little more money and get what is now labeled as a "student" flute, and it would probably be a considerable upgrade in terms of how it plays. It would be silver plated, yes, but in terms of design and playability, it could quite possibly be a better deal.

You could still get it repaired though. If it has sentimental value, then by all means... it's worth the 300 euros to get it in good working order.

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pied_piper
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Postby pied_piper » Thu Jan 14, 2010 3:32 pm

I have a slightly different opinion than fluteguy. He's right that you can buy a more modern flute that probably is easier to play in tune than than a lot of older "pro" flutes. However, at the time, the Artley Wilkins was the top end flute made by Artley. The quality was very good and was often considered to be on par with Haynes and Powell flutes of the same era. It actually was designed to be a direct competitor for Haynes, so it is NOT your typical student-level Artley.

If your Artley Wilkins flute were restored to a good playing condition, I think it is probably worth a lot more than 300 euros. On Usedflutes.com, an Artley Wilkins sold this month for $1200 USD. Others were listed in $700-1100 range. Right now on eBay there is one currently bid at $306 and two more with buy-it-now at $6000 (or best offer - definitely overpriced). As with anything though, a flute is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. See these pages for prices that some have sold for:

http://search.freefind.com/find.html?id ... ey+wilkins
http://shop.ebay.com/?_from=R40&_trksid ... Categories
http://www.oberloh.com/sales/clarinets.htm

The bottom line is: If you like the instrument and were happy with it, it is probably worth getting repadded - unless it has had some major damage. You might check around for a repad quote from another shop in Belgium. Prices can vary...
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

fluteguy18
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Postby fluteguy18 » Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:00 pm

Huh. I didn't know that Artley had ever produced an instrument of that caliber. I've only ever heard them as being associated with student model flutes.

Forgive my inaccuracy then. :oops:

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pied_piper
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Postby pied_piper » Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:09 pm

The Artley Wilkins flute was produced in small quantities, so it's understandable that most folks are not familiar with them. They also produced the Artley Symphony model which had a sterling head added to the usual Artley body, but it was not of the same caliber as the Wilkins.

They also made a very small run of high quality bass flutes called the Artley Ogilvie bass. Henry Mancini used them in his orchestra.

--ADDED--
Here's a link to a history of Artley flutes. Prior to being acquired by Conn-Selmer in 1969, Artley flutes, even the student line, were not bad instruments and they enjoyed a pretty good reputation. It was only after Conn-Selmer moved Artley production to Nogales, Arizona that the quality began to decline.

http://www.ehow.com/about_5087515_histo ... lutes.html

p.s. My first flute was a run-of-the-mill student-level Artley, but it was a pre-Conn-Selmer instrument. It served me well as a starter flute.
Last edited by pied_piper on Mon Jan 18, 2010 9:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

fluttiegurl
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Postby fluttiegurl » Mon Jan 18, 2010 8:15 am

I was digging around in all of my flute stuff (I recently moved and am still pretty much living in boxes) and I found an old Artley Wilkins flute. Now that I think about it, I remember where it came from. It was actually given to me for a class that I teach. I did not need it at the time and it needs a little work, so I stored it away with some flute parts and cases.

After looking it over, I realize that it is a pretty good flute with lots of potential. I am looking into having it overhauled soon.

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atoriphile
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Postby atoriphile » Tue Jan 19, 2010 3:08 pm

Pied_piper:

What's your take on the quality of the Artley Eb flutes? I have one that I have been trying to sell on craigslist, but had no takers. I was thinking of trying Flute World next.

When I got it, I was unhappy with the sound, which was fuzzy. I took it to my tech and he undercut the headjoint a little bit, which made a huge difference. It now sounds great, though not as good as my Armstrong Eb flute (which just so happens to have a solid silver headjoint). That's why I'm selling it.

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jmdewey60
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Re: Artley flute

Postby jmdewey60 » Wed Oct 27, 2010 10:56 pm

I bought a flute on EBay a month ago that from the looks of it was
never used and from the condition of the tenon end of the head,
of the mating surface, was never even put together, after it left
the factory. It had the original instruction manual inside the case,
with the serial number on the flute stamped onto the page.
I suspect that the tear-off card had been mailed off for the
warranty. Looking up the serial number gives a manufacture date
of 1963. I scanned it and below is a small version,
follow the link to a larger version.
Image
http://i222.photobucket.com/albums/dd56 ... ndback.jpg
Here is a photo to show what I mean about the condition.
Click on link below this thumb for larger version.
Image
http://i222.photobucket.com/albums/dd56 ... ic/923.jpg
Last edited by jmdewey60 on Wed Oct 27, 2010 11:10 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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cflutist
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Re: Artley flute

Postby cflutist » Wed Oct 27, 2010 11:04 pm

Cool !!!

I remember Artley when I was a student in the late 60s. The "Wilkins" model was equivalent to the Armstrong "Heritage" model. Those were their top of the line flutes at the time.

I had a student Armstrong as my first flute.

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jmdewey60
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Re: Artley flute

Postby jmdewey60 » Wed Oct 27, 2010 11:35 pm

The one I was posting about above is not a Wilkins.
I realize that this is what the thread was originally about,
but I thought it might be a good general Artley discussion
area.
Here's what a Wilkins looks like:
Image
It is distinct by having "Artley" written cross-wise on the
main body neck, and also on the head joint.
Mine is probably a normal flute but with a solid head joint,
which I think makes it sound superior to, for example, my
Yamaha 281 which has the nickle or whatever metal head.
btw: it was designed to be made that way, which I assume from
how each section, including the head, have matching ser. #'s.
I should add that the Artley is considerably heavier and,
that combined with the duller silver, probably has a deadening
affect, which would negate the buzziness that the Yamaha has.
So, this may be what I perceive as "superior" which is a cleaner
sound, at least to my ears.

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pied_piper
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Re: Artley flute

Postby pied_piper » Thu Oct 28, 2010 11:56 am

@jmdewey60 - In the photo of your eBay flute, I see it has a silver head. You may have an Artley Symphony model 77-0 flute. The Artley Symphony flute was sort of an intermediate model that had a silver head and plated body/keys.
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

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jmdewey60
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Re: Artley flute

Postby jmdewey60 » Thu Oct 28, 2010 1:29 pm

Thanks for the suggestion.
I don't know what it is. It does not have a model number.
Buying it on EBay was a no-brainer because it was obviously
in perfect condition. I like the idea of having the older flute
before they moved to Arizona to save labor costs, and the
included brochure propaganda was actually true.
The silver head I guessed correctly would give it a nice sound.
Soon I should be able to compare it to an Armstrong of the
same era, with silver head, body and foot. That's being shipped
off as I write this. A little anxious and excited at the prospect.
Old clunky stuff? Hardly! Solid reliable quality, if you are lucky
enough to find pieces in good condition.

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jmdewey60
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Re: Artley flute

Postby jmdewey60 » Sun Oct 31, 2010 5:18 am

There is a Symphony on EBay.
Image
Here's a photo of it in the case.
I think EBay is a good resource for studying flutes because
people are going to take good photos generally, so you can
get a pretty good idea of what they look like. I am starting to
archive some for reference on different flutes.

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jmdewey60
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Re: Artley flute

Postby jmdewey60 » Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:53 pm

Here is another Artley flute like the one I bought five weeks ago.
Image
This one sold on EBay on Nov 10 for $152.50. It was in Poland. I have a Pearl 501
flute coming from Spain that I bought, being sent registered airmail. It has a tracking
number but so far it is not really telling me anything.
There were a bunch of large photos of it in the listing. I can not see how it is any
different from the one I have other than possibly the serial number. Mine is 115XXX
and this one has a serial number 186xxx. So, there is a jump from 11 to 18 between
the flutes but other wise are identical (between the one that is the topic of this post,
and the one I brought up in a previous post), as far as I can tell.
I'll add another crop to have a visual description of what this is:
Image
Image
If someone is interested in an Artley, I can recommend this particular model, if I can
call it that, or production run may be a better way to describe it.
Last edited by jmdewey60 on Wed Nov 10, 2010 9:50 am, edited 6 times in total.

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jmdewey60
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Re: Artley flute

Postby jmdewey60 » Mon Nov 08, 2010 9:12 pm

I found another vintage Artley today on EBay with some good photos.
This is older with a five digit serial number.
Image
click on link below for larger image.
http://i222.photobucket.com/albums/dd56 ... 1-crop.jpg
The seller says that according to the Conn chart, this would date to
1958, having the serial number 46320.
Here's one that the seller pegs to 1959 with a ser.# 56164
Image
It seems to me that for at least 13 years Artley was making basically
one design for a flute, this would be while they were in Elkhart.
Sometime in 1972, I believe, their flute making enterprise moved to Nogales.
Below is the earliest serial number I could find on a Nogales made flute. (298XXX)
Image
Another way that an Artley can be found is with the stamp "USA".
Image
The earliest of this type I have found has a number 589XXX.
This is not comprehensive but a starting place and known serial numbers
can be added as they are found.
Last edited by jmdewey60 on Sat Nov 13, 2010 10:39 am, edited 2 times in total.


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