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421.121.12

Flute. Seven-keyed Nicholson's Improved model (one key missing). African blackwood (granadilla) with silver plated brass keys, ferrules and end cap. Nickel silver-plated tuning slide on barrel. Keys are block mounted with saltspoon cups and stuffed fish skin pads. Conical bore. Five joints. String lapped tenons. Turned grooves on head joint and barrel. Knurled ring decoration on ferrules. Head joint stamped: IMPROVED; Upper joint stamped: CLEMENTI & Co./LONDON/C. NICHOLSON'S/IMPROVED; Lower joint and foot joint stamped: CLEMENTI & Co./LONDON

Transverse flute. African blackwood (grenadilla). Five joints. Silver plated brass keys, ferrules and end cap. Nickel silver-plated tuning slide on barrel. Seven-keyed Nicholson's Improved model (one key missing). Keys are block mounted with saltspoon cups and stuffed fish skin pads. Conical bore. String lapped tenons. Turned grooves on head joint and barrel. Knurled ring decoration on ferrules. Head joint stamped: IMPROVED; Upper joint stamped: CLEMENTI & Co./LONDON/C. NICHOLSON'S/IMPROVED; Lower joint and foot joint stamped: CLEMENTI & Co./LONDON

Flute. Seven-keyed Nicholson's Improved model (one key missing). African blackwood (granadilla) with silver plated brass keys, ferrules and end cap. Nickel silver-plated tuning slide on barrel. Keys are block mounted with saltspoon cups and stuffed fish skin pads. Conical bore. Five joints. String lapped tenons. Turned grooves on head joint and barrel. Knurled ring decoration on ferrules. Head joint stamped: IMPROVED; Upper joint stamped: CLEMENTI & Co./LONDON/C. NICHOLSON'S/IMPROVED; Lower joint and foot joint stamped: CLEMENTI & Co./LONDON

Flute. Seven-keyed Nicholson's Improved model (one key missing). African blackwood (granadilla) with silver plated brass keys, ferrules and end cap. Nickel silver-plated tuning slide on barrel. Keys are block mounted with saltspoon cups and stuffed fish skin pads. Conical bore. Five joints. String lapped tenons. Turned grooves on head joint and barrel. Knurled ring decoration on ferrules. Head joint stamped: IMPROVED; Upper joint stamped: CLEMENTI & Co./LONDON/C. NICHOLSON'S/IMPROVED; Lower joint and foot joint stamped: CLEMENTI & Co./LONDON

Charles Nicholson (1795-1837) was the leading British flute virtuoso of his day. He was famed for the power and the beauty of his tone, although some took issue with his liberal use of ornamentation, particularly the glissandos he often added between notes by gradually sliding his fingers off the holes. This flute demonstrates both aspects of his playing, in that it has very large tone holes. These improve the quality of the sound and also allow finger sliding effects.

Nicholson flutes were made by T. Prowse at their so-called 'Nicholson's Flute Manufactory' and sold by Clementi & Co., who went to great lengths to emphasise Nicholson's role in their manufacture. One Clementi advertisement claimed the flutes 'were finished under the immediate inspection of Mr. Nicholson, at the only Manufactory of his improved Instruments . . where he attends daily for the express purpose of trying each Flute, previous to its being sent out'.

London flute virtuoso and designer Charles Nicholson dazzled listeners with his powerful tone and his flutes attracted a wide following. Nicholson's playing inspired Theobald Boehm to design his own flute.

London flute virtuoso and designer Charles Nicholson dazzled listeners with his powerful tone and his flutes attracted a wide following. Nicholson's playing inspired Theobald Boehm to design his own flute.

Collection Information

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