A Gentleman Flutist
19 February 2011
Posted by Mike Brubaker
The flute is member of the woodwind family, but the modern flute is made in silver, gold or even platinum for the musician with good credit. But the early concert flutes were made in wood, usually the same African Blackwood or Grenadilla which is used in oboes and clarinets. The tone of the wooden flute is different from the metal instruments and continues to be popular in Celtic folk bands, but it seems to show up more often now with orchestral players too.
This anonymous well-dressed gentleman posed for the camera with his fine flute sometime after 1865 but probably not much after 1870. It is a plain carte de visite print with the corners cut off to fit in a photo album, but it offers no clues for photographer or place. Since it came from an antique dealer in Texas, we can guess it is from the American Southwest, but unless someone recognizes the family eyebrows, he will remain a mystery.
My contribution to Sepia Saturday