Muzio Clementi & Co. 8-Keyed Flute

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Description (Brief)
This flute was made by Muzio Clementi & Co. in London, England around 1802 to 1821. It is an 8-keyed flute made of rosewood with silver ferrules and keys. The flute is stamped:

274 [/] CLEMENTI & Co [/] LONDON [/] C.NICHOLSON'S [/] IMPROVED

The “Nicholson’s Improved” flute refers to British composer and flute player, Charles Nicholson (1795-1837) and his influence on flute design. Nicholson enlarged the embouchure hole and the tone-holes of his flutes, resulting in a stronger overall sound. He licensed a number of London flute makers, including Clementi & Co., to produce his “Nicholson’s Improved” flutes.

This flute was previously owned by American portrait painter, Thomas Sully. It was played by Sully as a member of a quartet comprised of Benjamin Carr, Benjamin Cross, Charles Hupfeld, and Thomas Sully. Sully, Carr, and Cross founded one of the oldest musical societies in the United States in 1820.
Location
Currently not on view
Date made
1802-1821
unspecified
Huckel, Earl W.
user
Sully, Thomas
maker
Clementi & Co., Muzio
Muzio Clementi & Co.
place made
United Kingdom: England, London
Physical Description
rosewood (overall material)
silver (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 66.7 cm; x 26 1/4 in
overall: 26 1/2 in x 1 1/2 in; 67.31 cm x 3.81 cm
ID Number
MI.015991
catalog number
015991
accession number
99933
Credit Line
Gift of Earle W. Huckel
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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