Powell s/n 57

A Legendary 2-Digit Old Powell

Verne Q. Powell flute #57, made in December, 1928. Solid silver, handmade French model, inline G, C-foot, Bb shake, soldered tone holes, gold springs, 0.014” tubing, A=440Hz. Recent complete overhaul by David Chu.

The roster of Powell’s first 100 customers is filled with names of important flutists and flute royalties such as William Kincaid, John Wummer, Arthur Lora and so many others. It was the beginning of a new era when American made French flutes took the spotlight from the many aging and defunct French families of once celebrated flutemakers. The champion for Verne Q. Powell was William Kincaid, student of Georges Barrère. Kincaid’s students and grand-students, in turn, occupied an exceptionally high number of orchestral chairs in the United States during Powell’s life time; most of them played Powell flutes. Verne Q. Powell’s early success could be attributed to his 13-year tenure at Haynes. He was a man of 40 when he left Haynes to start his own tiny workshop across the street from the New England Conservatory, a block from Symphony Hall.

Powell # 57 was made during Powell’s 2nd year honeymoon. Verne Q. Powell doubled his sales and production from 1927 to 1928, and produced his first 100 flutes by 1929. The 3-year elation period came to an abrupt awakening when the stock market crashed in October 1929. Powell’s sales suffered a sharp 4-year decline, and it took another 13 years before the company’s annual production exceeded that of 1929’s. The first 100 Powell flutes are very special and their serendipity occupied a unique space in flute history.

Our subject here is in absolute mint condition and completely original. Light, easy, responsive, it has all the characteristics one would expect in a rare vintage 2-digit Powell. Verne Q. Powell himself admitted these early flutes were his own interpretation of  Louis Lot at modern pitch with a sweet round tone, balanced registers, and elegant refined reliable mechanism. This flute has very sharp edges and no signs of over buffing. It comes in a custom-designed long case which holds the center and foot joint as one piece, and comes with a fleece-lined case cover as well. Two-digit Powell flutes are very scare and rarely come up for sale. Powell #57 needs no work and is ready to play. This one is reasonably priced at $12,500 USD with free shipping within the USA. International shipping by FEDEX $300.

Maker’s mark on body and headjoint, serial number on body.

The embouchure hole measures 10.26 x 12.24 mm.

Sounding length is 598 mm.

Headjoint length is 8-3/4”.

The flute weighs 398 grams.

Please see detailed photos below.

Price is $12,500 with free USA shipping only.

















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For more information please email Alan Weiss at alan@vintagefluteshop.com