William Henry Potter 6-Keyed Flute

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Description (Brief)
This flute was made by William Henry Potter in London, England around 1809 to 1814. It is a 6-keyed flute, made of boxwood with ivory ferrules, an ivory crown cap, and silver keys. This flute is stamped:

6 [/] POTTER [/] JOHNSON'S COURT [/] FLEET STREET [/] LONDON [//] PATENT [/] WILLM HENY [/] POTTER

William Henry Potter (1760-1848) was granted British Patent #3136 on May 28, 1808 for “Improvements in German flutes and other musical instruments.” The patent specification indicates:

“These consist in giving a sliding motion to the valves by which the holes of German flutes and other wind musical instruments, usually stopped by keys with valves, are stopped and opened. The valve is kept close by a spring across the instrument to a flat metal plate let into the flute, and having a hole through it to admit the wind. The spring is shown attached to various parts of the keys of a German flute, but the same or a similar description is stated as applicable to all other wind musical instruments.”
Location
Currently not on view
Date made
1808-1810
date made
1809-1814
maker
Potter, William Henry
Potter, William Henry
place made
United Kingdom: England, London
Physical Description
boxwood (overall material)
silver (overall material)
ivory (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 26 3/8 in x 1 1/2 in; 66.9925 cm x 3.81 cm
overall: 26 1/2 in x 1 1/2 in x 1 1/2 in; 67.31 cm x 3.81 cm x 3.81 cm
ID Number
1985.0016.31
accession number
1985.0016
catalog number
1985.0016.31
patent number
3,136
Credit Line
Gift of James M. Swain
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Musical Instruments
Music & Musical Instruments
Flutes
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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