...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 Wilkins Model
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.
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.
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".