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1906 - 4-key conical flute by Rudall & Rose #860 and 0404 - 4-key conical flute by John Willis

As with other manufactories, Rudall & Rose would provide whatever their customers wanted, so they occasionally produced​ quite 'down-market' models such as #860, a 4-key boxwood and ivory instrument with silver keys. Here the flute is juxtaposed with a similar model from John Willis. In each case the uppermost joint is the Rudall. The Willis is an early instrument (for him), produced at his 3, Angel Court, Strand workshop, and stamped accordingly. The Rudall & Rose is from the period when their business address was 15 Piazza, Covent Garden. An earlier owner has cut away the key bed of the D# key on the Willis, exposing the silver reinforcing pin with which Willis habitually reinforced his blocks. This was presumably an ill-advised attempt at retuning a slightly flat footjoint. At present this necessitates using an extraordinarily thick pad. The flute, which has been heavily used, will be restored shortly. 


The Rudall has stamps (RR) under some of the keys, suggesting that they might have been made in-house. It's just as likely, however, that the keys could have been stamped thus by a supplier, to indicate who they were for. Rudall & Rose, as with many other manufactories, bought in keys from specialist makers, as documented in an Old Bailey trial (t18350615-1530 - 17 June 1835) at which a Mr Jenkinson testifies to being 'in the employ of Mrs Cook of Vauxhall' who 'makes silver keys for the prosecutor' [Rose].

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