Arthur Haswell Flute Repairs
Modern pitch A=440 concert flute by Rudall Carte. Ebonite with German silver keywork. Closed G sharp, thinned headjoint. Excellent condition. Overhauled ready for sale.
Handmade in March 1931 by Edwin Friggins, this fine flute was bought by a customer in South Africa, where ebonite was appreciated for its resistance to cracking. The keywork is tight and works easily under the fingers. The thinned headjoint gives a full sound with quick response.
Ebonite Cartes were no less expensive than their wooden siblings, and shared the same high standards of manufacture. Derived from rubber, ebonite has physical and sonic charcteristics that were highly regarded. It could be turned and milled to fine tolerances, and would take the thread of strap screws and posts. Unlike wood it is not affected by changes in climate. This makes it ideal for use today in our double-glazed, centrally-heated, air-conditioned homes, rehearsal rooms, and concert halls, where air humidity is often dangerously low.
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The sound of an ebonite headjoint is direct and strong, qualities that have been highly regarded by many players. This headjoint is particularly good. But as an experiment we fitted one of our blackwood headjoints. We were excited to find the combination excellent, adding richness and depth to the ebonite body’s qualities. Additionally, the modern embouchure hole makes the flute more playable and opens up the sound.
We think this represents an exciting possibility for modern players. For this reason we are offering a fitted Haswell Special Edition headjoint, together with a collar, as an optional extra at a keen price.
We have completely overhauled this flute. That is to say, the keywork has been disassembled and cleaned. The flute does not seem to have much use, but we tightened where necessary, and replaced the thumb key tubing with genuine Carte tube. Then we fitted all new pads, felts, corks, cork tenons and head cork, and finished the job by oiling and regulating the mechanism.
The flute comes in its original case, with turned wood grease pot. Edwin Friggins was an excellent maker, and this flute, at what we think is a fair price, represents amazing value in today's topsy-turvy market.