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Artley flute

Flute History and Instrument Purchase

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redcat41
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:26 pm

Re: Artley flute

Postby redcat41 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 12:26 am

Hi there cgp, this is really strange...I am desperately looking for any information about either the same kind of flute or another two-piece Artley. Well, that seems extremely strange just writing it down. I recently bought a two-piece Artley that is marked as an Artley Dynatone, Elkhart-IND. I keep looking for a serial number but can't find one. I have no idea if it's in the original case. Nothing is written on the outside of the case, but the flute fits right in. It seems to need a few new pads and a bit of work, but I have to say that I'm in love with this flute! Now, if I could find some information about it!

Cathy

PS I've done an exhaustive "Google" search and have turned up with nothing. Grrrr...

cgp wrote:Does anyone know anything about the 1954 Artley two-piece flute? I have one from when I was a child and the serial number is 18749. It needs new pads, I think, and I'm trying to decide whether it's worth the trouble. Also have the original case.
Last edited by redcat41 on Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

reygbautista
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2011 6:31 am

Re: Artley flute

Postby reygbautista » Mon Mar 05, 2012 5:22 am

i would like just to share that i wanted to own a flute that is in the french tradition, in line g, open hole without spending an arm and a leg. the artley wilkins suits this description. i got it from ebay and though the tone was not crisp and brilliant, i still own a piece of history and a tone quality popular to the date it was manufactured.

stephwin
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 10:06 am

Re: Artley flute

Postby stephwin » Tue Apr 03, 2012 10:26 am

I recently stumbled upon my old flute in my closet and decided to do some research on it, which led me to this site. I have a few questions and I was hoping someone could help me answer them. The flute was given to me by my mother who received it around 1969-1971 while she was in high school. I really thought she said it was brand new, or not very old, but I’m not so sure anymore now that I have compared the serial number to some I’ve found online.

The body reads:
Artley
Elkhart, Ind.
The Wilkins Model
148xxx

Based on the serial listings I’ve seen, this would make this flute a 1965 right?

Also, I’ve seen a few pictures of the engravings of other Artley flutes but almost all of the ones I’ve seen have the engraving parallel to the flute. So if you set the flute down on a table, the engraving reads from left to right. On my flute, if you hold it vertically, the engraving is left to right (also the same on the head and foot joint). Did they change the direction of the engravings on the flutes at some point? The font also seems much smaller on my flute than the ones I’ve seen online, although that could just be my perception.

The flute is open hole, C-foot, inline G. My mom also told me she thought it was solid silver (not plated), but I’m not sure how to tell. Like a few others here, I really loved the sound of it and my instructor seemed to really like it as well despite that it was always a little on the flat side. From what I’ve read that is common.

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pied_piper
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Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 1:31 pm
Location: Virginia

Re: Artley flute

Postby pied_piper » Tue Apr 03, 2012 12:13 pm

stephwin wrote:...The flute was given to me by my mother who received it around 1969-1971 while she was in high school. I really thought she said it was brand new, or not very old, but I’m not so sure anymore now that I have compared the serial number to some I’ve found online.

Artley
Elkhart, Ind.
The Wilkins Model
148xxx

Based on the serial listings I’ve seen, this would make this flute a 1965 right?

Yes, you are correct. Even though it was apparently manufactured in 1965, it is very possible that it sat in a music store stockroom for several years before it was bought for your mother.

stephwin wrote:On my flute, if you hold it vertically, the engraving is left to right (also the same on the head and foot joint).

The style of engraving would change from time to time so that's not unusual. The Wilkins model was also being marketed as a professional flute and it was designed to be a competitor with Haynes and Powell. Both of those makers oriented their engraving radially around the flute rather than longitudinally like the other Artley models, so Artley probably changed the orientation so that it would appear more like other pro model flutes. That way it served as an indicator that it was not just another ordinary Artley student flute.

stephwin wrote:The flute is open hole, C-foot, inline G. My mom also told me she thought it was solid silver (not plated), but I’m not sure how to tell.

AFAIK, the Wilkins model was silver and not plated. Look around the body and headjoint. Normally, solid silver flutes will be stamped with the word "Silver" or "Sterling Silver".
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

redcat41
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:26 pm

Re: Artley flute

Postby redcat41 » Tue Apr 03, 2012 12:59 pm

I've put my recently purchased Artley away for awhile, I don't know what to do with it! It needs repairs to be played, but basically I'm not interested in playing it; I'm really interested in the history or this flute. I know that it's old. Believe me, as I write this with the flute nearby, I can smell how very musty the case is!

I first wrote about the flute being a Dynatone 2-piece flute, marked as such, and also marked 'Elkhart-Ind'. I wrote that I didn't think it had a serial number. Luckily I took another look and found the serial number - 7631. Yep, four digits. Anyone have any information? I would be incredibly thankful!

Cathy

stephwin
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 10:06 am

Re: Artley flute

Postby stephwin » Tue Apr 03, 2012 1:12 pm

Thanks for such a quick reply, pied_piper.

Anyone have any idea of what the value is on this flute? I’m not looking to sell it, just curious mostly. I would say it’s in good condition. It has one minor ding and a few scratches (all on the head joint I believe), but other than that it looks fine. It was really only played consistently for about 10 years total.

Also, do I need to do anything to it in order to store it properly? It’s been close to 10 years since I played it regularly. It could use a good cleaning (4 years of marching band) but the pads look decent. I probably won’t have them replaced anytime soon since I doubt I will be playing it. Is it okay to leave them as-is? I have it in a newish case since the velvet in the original case is in rough shape and I wanted a case with a few pockets so I could carry some supplies. Am I missing anything to make sure it stays in good shape? It’s in my house, so the temperature is controlled.

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pied_piper
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Location: Virginia

Re: Artley flute

Postby pied_piper » Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:12 pm

@redcat41 - I've recently seen a few inquiries about the Artley Dynatone but I've never seen anything that describes why or when it was produced. Since the "official" Artley serial number lists starts in 1952 with #10000, I'll guess it was made in the early 1950s or late 1940s. Here's a couple of references to the Artley company history. The last link is to a list of the various Artley flute models that have been documented, but unfortunately, there is no reference to the Dynatone model.

http://www.ehow.com/about_5087515_histo ... lutes.html
http://www.namm.org/category/tags/artley-flute-company
http://cderksen.home.xs4all.nl/ConnOModels.html

@stephwin - I saw a Wilkins model on UsedFlutes.com recently. That one had been overhauled and was supposedly in excellent condition. The asking price was $800. But, like anything people sell, any given item is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it...

http://www.usedflutes.com/2012.php?page=2

Regarding long term storage of the flute, make sure it is perfectly dry when you store it. That will help reduce the chance of mold or mildew. I would also suggest storing it in a plastic bag and sealing it shut with tape. I see a lot of old instruments where the pads have been eaten by "pad bugs". These are actually carpet beetle larvae and they love the wool in pads. They love dark enclosed spaces so instrument cases are very attractive to them. Sealing the flute in a bag can help keep them out.
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

reygbautista
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2011 6:31 am

Re: Artley flute

Postby reygbautista » Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:24 pm

i was told by my flute repairman that the way to determine whether a flute is solid silver or plated is to hold the headjoint by itself and hit the headjoint with your finger, ifit sounded like bright and crisp, it is plated. if it sounded as mellow or dark, it is solid silver.

stephwin wrote:I recently stumbled upon my old flute in my closet and decided to do some research on it, which led me to this site. I have a few questions and I was hoping someone could help me answer them. The flute was given to me by my mother who received it around 1969-1971 while she was in high school. I really thought she said it was brand new, or not very old, but I’m not so sure anymore now that I have compared the serial number to some I’ve found online.

The body reads:
Artley
Elkhart, Ind.
The Wilkins Model
148xxx

Based on the serial listings I’ve seen, this would make this flute a 1965 right?

Also, I’ve seen a few pictures of the engravings of other Artley flutes but almost all of the ones I’ve seen have the engraving parallel to the flute. So if you set the flute down on a table, the engraving reads from left to right. On my flute, if you hold it vertically, the engraving is left to right (also the same on the head and foot joint). Did they change the direction of the engravings on the flutes at some point? The font also seems much smaller on my flute than the ones I’ve seen online, although that could just be my perception.

The flute is open hole, C-foot, inline G. My mom also told me she thought it was solid silver (not plated), but I’m not sure how to tell. Like a few others here, I really loved the sound of it and my instructor seemed to really like it as well despite that it was always a little on the flat side. From what I’ve read that is common.

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pied_piper
Posts: 1353
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 1:31 pm
Location: Virginia

Re: Artley flute

Postby pied_piper » Tue Apr 03, 2012 6:55 pm

reygbautista wrote:i was told by my flute repairman that the way to determine whether a flute is solid silver or plated is to hold the headjoint by itself and hit the headjoint with your finger, ifit sounded like bright and crisp, it is plated. if it sounded as mellow or dark, it is solid silver.

Yes, that's correct. If you thump a silver headjoint with your finger, it will make what I describe as a "thunk". A plated headjoint makes more of a "ting" and is a bit of a bell like sound. However, that test only works on the headjoint. The keys and mechanism on the body will deaden the sound on both silver and plated bodies making the thump test inconclusive. Even if the thump test indicates the headjoint is silver, the body can still be plated.
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

saintd80
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2012 6:24 am

Re: Artley flute

Postby saintd80 » Sat Apr 14, 2012 6:40 am

My mom took her flute in to see if it could be repaired, and she got a strong impression that she would never see it again if she turned it over to him. :o That got her wondering if it's actually of any value. It's a 1965 Artley silver flute, serial number 141361, dunno if it matters, but Mom kept saying it's a professional (as opposed to a student). I believe my mom that it's solid silver but I honestly wouldn't know because my father won't allow me to touch it all of a sudden (even though it's the same instrument that I played all through middle and high school!) :roll: So my question: Does a flute like this have any value, as an antique or because of the silver? And regardless of whether it does or not, is there an honest and reliable person that could repair/restore this flute for it's sentimental value? We live in southeast Michigan, but are willing to ship the flute, if it will come back! Thanks for any info! :D

reygbautista
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2011 6:31 am

Re: Artley flute

Postby reygbautista » Sat Apr 14, 2012 8:06 am

i suggest you become a member of galway flute chat and there are so many american members who can help find a reliable flute repairman in america.//rey

saintd80 wrote:My mom took her flute in to see if it could be repaired, and she got a strong impression that she would never see it again if she turned it over to him. :o That got her wondering if it's actually of any value. It's a 1965 Artley silver flute, serial number 141361, dunno if it matters, but Mom kept saying it's a professional (as opposed to a student). I believe my mom that it's solid silver but I honestly wouldn't know because my father won't allow me to touch it all of a sudden (even though it's the same instrument that I played all through middle and high school!) :roll: So my question: Does a flute like this have any value, as an antique or because of the silver? And regardless of whether it does or not, is there an honest and reliable person that could repair/restore this flute for it's sentimental value? We live in southeast Michigan, but are willing to ship the flute, if it will come back! Thanks for any info! :D

crgrbrts
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2009 8:10 am

Re: Artley flute

Postby crgrbrts » Wed May 02, 2012 10:57 am

Returning to the flute after a hiatus not of years, but of decades, I recently acquired two examples -- an early (1920) Haynes closed hole, offset G, C-foot commercial model and an Artley Wilkins open hole model with inline G and a B foot.

The Haynes has been restored to museum quality status by a great tech and looks nearly new - honestly. I got it from an eBay seller as the only bidder for a ridiculously low price because it looked very shabby in the auction site photos. I noted, however, that under a thick coating of tarnish and grime, few if any dents or scratches were evident. Luckily, I was right. The beautiful instrument had just been sitting neglected on a closet shelf for, probably, 50 or 60 years.

I bought the Artley online also -- and also at a very reasonable price, even though it looked pristine. That's because few people know what a treasure this relatively little known model is. As has been stated elsewhere and many times, it was designed, built and marketed as an affordable alternative to the hard-to-obtain and mightily expensive Haynes and Powell commercial models of the time.

It failed in the marketplace but, for those of us lucky enough to own one of these beauties, Artley succeeded brilliantly. My Wilkins, though in unrestored (but very pretty) condition is much more responsive than my ancient but near mint condition Haynes. The Artley has a very full and sonorous low octave, whereas the Haynes is quite a bit thinner and weaker down there. Admittedly, the Haynes overall has a sweeter tone (probably because Verne Q. Powell himself most likely cut the headjoint) and its top octave is significantly more "musical" than the shrill, mechanical upper range of the Artley. But, that -- I am convinced -- can be rectified with some headjoint work on the Artley. I have obtained a new Armstrong headjoint for the Artley that a famed headjoint maker is going to experiment with and re-cut tomorrow with me looking over his shoulder. I have high hopes and will let you know how it goes. At any rate, if you'd like a seriously pro quality (if vintage sounding) flute at a bargain price, scarf up the next Artley Wilkins you see. You will NOT be sorry!

reygbautista
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2011 6:31 am

Re: Artley flute

Postby reygbautista » Sat May 05, 2012 5:22 am

i was able to buy an artley wilkins model at ebay at a very reasonable price. it has a b foot, in line g. i am happy with my wilkins model and i like the response of the mechanism and the tone quality. i was able to get a pro flute without losing an arm and a leg. i agree with crgrbrts!

crgrbrts
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2009 8:10 am

Artley Wilkins update

Postby crgrbrts » Wed May 09, 2012 12:56 pm

Famed headjoint manufacturer and flute tech Rodger Young now has custody of my newly eBay-acquired Wilkins.

I asked Rodger to fit my Armstrong headjoint to the Artley (my initial Teflon-taped installation proved the Armstrong to sound significantly better than the original Artley head). I also requested Rodger's overall inspection of the Artley. Well, he found several leaks, bad pinning, incorrect padding on trill keys and a wrong-sized steel, all -- he said -- the product of a quick 'n dirty "music store overhaul." He's putting it all right now and I should have my Artley back in a couple of days.

While the combined purchase price of the flute and the cost of the repairs have taken the Wilkins well out of the "bargain" category, I have high hopes that it will be an even better flute than I first imagined and worth the investment.

I may be going down the same road again in a few days with another flute. I just bought a Jack Moore era Armstrong Heritage -- again, inline G, closed hole, B-foot. It has not arrived yet. The acquisition price was decent, but the ultimate cost may skyrocket. We shall see.

Best,

Craig
Washington, D.C.

reygbautista
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2011 6:31 am

Re: Artley flute

Postby reygbautista » Wed May 09, 2012 5:13 pm

i am confident that your newly acquired artlet wilkins will be fine and good after all the repairs and repadding!


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