It is a remarkable matter to find and play an early silver Bonneville flute. Bonneville is known for their tin (silver plated or maillechort) flutes. Their solid silver counterpart is seldom seen in the market place, especially one from an early period. There is not much information on Auguste Bonneville. His workshop was founded in 1876 – one year before Rive established himself as an independent flutemaker and Villette took over the firm of Louis Lot. These three flutemakers, along with Godfroy, were the pillars of French flutemaking in the last quarter of the19th century. Extrapolating from information in “Das goldene Zeitalter der Flöte” by Lensky and Ventzke, one would date Bonneville #1274 to around 1884. (A somewhat later date may also be valid when dated by assumed yearly production figures.)
Bonneville flute #1274: Solid silver, French model, C-foot, seamed tube of 0.013-.014” thickness, Bb shake, one-piece rib, needle steel springs, original pad retainers, small left hand cups, pinned footjoint, tear drop D# key. This flute is in very good playing condition and produces a wonderful sound with a full palette of colors. The headjoint has been shortened slightly and the guard ring moved up. The lipplate is not original but one from a Louis Lot stamped with the boar’s head hallmark and the H#V maker’s lozenge. The embouchure hole is original to the Louis Lot lipplate and it is unaltered, nicely shaped and quite small. There is some sloppy solder repair around the G and F# tone holes, some small dings on the headjoint. The flute is a touch tarnish from use. The crown is original but seems to have some sort of decorative element added to the top. Pitch A=438, works at 440. The flute comes in a 1950’s SML case in good condition.
Maker’s marks are on both the headjoint and the body. Serial number on body only. Engraving is good to excellent.
MARK: AB (monogram)/Ate/BONNEVILLE/Paris (gothic)/serial number.
The embouchure hole measures at 10.06 x 11.94 mm.
Headjoint length is 8-3/4”.
The flute weighs 382 grams.
Sounding length is 598 mm.
It comes in a 1950’s SML case.
Please see detailed photos below.
Price is $5,750 with free USA shipping only..
For more information please email Alan Weiss at firstname.lastname@example.org