Flute in D, glass, silver mounts, blue glass inset in end cap. Six finger holes, five silver keys (not including foot keys), round, flat (but shaped to circumference of tube), mounted in pillars on saddles. Two alternative left-hand (upper) joints. Sounding length (embouchure to foot) is 55.5 cm. In fitted wooden case. Stamped: 'Laurent Á Paris'. Dated 1814.

Glass was used for the body of this flute to avoid the cracking and warping to which wood and ivory were prone. The use of glass necessitated the design of innovative metal pillars to mount the keys. The flute was one of the few wind instruments thought to be acceptable for the early 19th-century gentleman amateur to play. The jewel-like appearance of Laurent's glass flutes would have heightened their appeal and status as aristocratic accoutrements. The fluted surface of this instrument enhances its appearance but also helps to make it lighter.

Collection Information

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