0807 - 1832-system conical Boehm flute by Rudall & Rose

This was the flute which caused such consternation in the London flute world of the late 1830s and early1840s, particularly among makers who didn't have such an instrument on their books. This particular instrument, stamped [clover]/RUDALL & ROSE/No.1 TAVISTOCK ST/ COVENT GARDEN/ LONDON/[clover]/209 probably dates from around 1843. It has the C-foot joint design which I regard as still one of the most elegant solutions to such an instrument, and a Dorus G#, which is more of a mixed blessing, the double-springing involved in its design always feeling slightly unintuitive and impermanent, however well-adjusted. For a player previously unused to technical interventions of any kind between finger and hole it must, initially at least, have felt as revolutionary as it was conceptually. Sonically the surprise is how little difference the technical structure makes to the basic sound when compared with a well-made 8-key flute. It's a similar engine, but driving something with more even sound between pitches, and better tuning.