Flute, Pratten model, low pitch. Model number A171. Serial number 17007. Cocuswood with German silver keys, mounts and ferules. Head and body joint are also metal lined. Cylindrical bore. Eight keys. Two rings and cover-plate for left hand; cover-plate for right hand and two large covered holes. Body in one piece. In fitted wooden case with cleaning rod and grease-box.
In the early 19th century, a key system was developed for the flute by Theobald Boehm that gave the instrument an even tone and improved its tuning. However, it also required a change in fingering technique, which many players found off-putting. The key arrangement on this flute was developed by the flautist Sidney Pratten in order to improve the earlier system so that players could take advantage of the new technology without having to adopt the Boehm fingerings. In 1856, Boosey & Co. began producing 'Pratten's Perfected' model flutes. They sold well, and Boosey continued to manufacture Pratten flutes well into the 20th century.