This is a blog about music, photography, history, and culture.
These are photographs from my collection that tell a story about lost time and forgotten music.

Mike Brubaker
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A Gentleman Flutist

19 February 2011


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

7 comments:

Alan Burnett said...

The instrument must have been important to him for he has abandoned the usual props of the photographers' studio.(I am assuming that it isn't a prop itself - I would imagine that you can tell from the way he is holding it that he is a player)

Karen S. said...

wow I bet he played a marvelous tune...I still find the facial hair on some of the olden day pictures so very odd, and quite glad that we've changed things for men and their facial hair quite a bit!

sEAN bENTLEY said...

Very impressive fellow! Great unibrow, which I imagine went through some fascinating writhings while he played.

Howard said...

Lovely photo. I think his eyebrows perfectly match the handlebars on the bicycles on the Sepia Saturday picture.

Pat transplanted to MN said...

well I'd have said family eyebrow as it looks like one large stroke of brow. Interesting photo to match the information

Bob Scotney said...

Eyebrow? I thought his hairline had moved south. Mine's gone the other way.

Tattered and Lost said...

The man with the flute who travelled, perhaps by stage coach or steam train. Would he play for his fellow travelers? One night stops through towns trying to pick up enough change to get to a larger town, perhaps New York?

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