D flat Flute?

Flute History and Instrument Purchase

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czaucer
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2012 3:26 pm

D flat Flute?

Post by czaucer »

I have an old Db flute that I would like to learn more about. It was made by Selmer in Elkhart, apparently for use by the military--"U.S." is engraved on the flute and stamped on the outside of the case. "S-452" is engraved below "Selmer"--I'm not sure if this is a model# or serial#. There are no other numbers where you would normally expect to find a serial#. It is also marked "Db" and is about an inch and a half shorter than a C flute. It appears to be very well built, with rolled tone holes, and I'm reasonably sure it's solid silver. And it plays very nicely.

I'm a repairman who has been working on flutes for well over 30 years, and I don't remember ever seeing a Db. Nor have I had any luck finding anything on the internet. Does anyone have any information on this strange beast, or know where I might find same? Thanks.

fluteguy18
Posts: 2311
Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2006 3:11 pm

Re: D flat Flute?

Post by fluteguy18 »

I've heard of Db piccolos and Eb flutes, but not a Db flute. Hmmmm.....

czaucer
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2012 3:26 pm

Re: D flat Flute?

Post by czaucer »

Exactly. I've worked on many Db piccolos over the tears--you don't see them as much anymore, but the good ones seem to have an especially bright high end for some reason, as does this flute. And, while more rare, I've also worked on Eb flutes. This is neither of those. And the fact that no one on this forum, as yet, seems to have heard of this Db leads me to believe that it really is a strange beast. Is there some good flute history site out there that I haven't found?

tedlewis13
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2016 7:50 am

Re: D flat Flute?

Post by tedlewis13 »

Sorry to bring up a old post, but I'm looking to purchase a D-flat flute for an upcoming concert. If you'd be interested in letting this go, please contact me. Thanks!

czaucer
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2012 3:26 pm

Re: D flat Flute?

Post by czaucer »

I actually just posted this flute on ebay for sale. Search "Db flute" and you should find it.

BuckeyeFlute
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2017 6:35 pm

Re: D flat Flute?

Post by BuckeyeFlute »

Hello,

I just purchased a D-flat piccolo. It is off having the spa treatment. It is a Phillipe Marcil. He worked for Haynes and tried unsuccessfully to make it on his own. He then worked for Selmer, in NY and then Elkhart. Below is the link to the Ancestry search. If it loads for you in the same way, the 5th entry is his portrait. The 6th entry is a letter from the Smithsonian discussing his career, and the 8th entry is a page from the Smithsonian catalog, listing the flutes he made in their collection. The catalog page is so blurry, it can't be read, and I couldn't find anything about them on the Smithsonian website. Piccolo is too general a term, and Marcil piccolo had no results. In 1985, they received a donation of 35 flutes from James Swain, and as of 1991, the date on the letter, the collection contained several of his flutes. I'm going to contact the Smithsonian, and see if they can send me a copy of the catalog page, and if they have any other info. Selmer might also have some info.

I assume your flute is one that he produced during his time with Selmer.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q ... fQQTLk4zDQ

Longwll
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2019 9:03 pm

Re: D flat Flute?

Post by Longwll »

I just unknowingly bought one of these on Ebay. I'm not upset 'cause I paid less than silver value. I discovered somewhere on the web that U.S. military "high pitch" was A=457 so I downloaded a frequency analyzer and pulled out the headjoint (5/16") till the "A" was 457 and behold, the other notes were right in tune for a Db flute. Pretty cool. Will be fun transposing or just playing the tunes I know in the "wrong" key.

Anybody find a serial number guide for these? This one is S-448.

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