Three-part Naust

This model is the earliest Baroque flute that I copy. It is made in three parts, in the style of the so-called "Hotteterre" flute. The original, found in the Musikinstrumenten Museum in Berlin, is one of four surviving three-part Naust flutes, the other three of which are found in museums in St. Petersburg, in Paris and in Vermillion, SD. This rare original is in excellent condition and is inspiring both musically and visually. It has an older type embouchure, which is oval and has the longest dimension in the blowing direction (much like the embouchure of a renaissance flute).
This type of instrument is ideal for playing French repertoire of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries: Lully, Charpentier, Hotteterre, Marais, de la Barre and others.

The Naust flute is available in boxwood at the original pitch (A=398Hz) or at A=392Hz.
 

Four-part Naust 1710 ("the missing link")

I came across this unusual original in a private collection in Boston, MA. It is possibly the earliest surviving four-part baroque flute, and although it is made in four parts it shows some elements that are typical of earlier, three-part instruments, such as the long cap, the massive ivory ornament in the headjoint socket, and the foot profile with its extra little ornamental ring below the key flap. The division between the left and right hand joints is also unusual, with the socket found at the bottom of the left hand joint.
There is no ivory ring on this socket, possibly in order to hide the fact that this flute is made in four rather than three parts.

In many ways this is an instrument that is experimental and seems to be the “missing link” between three- and four-part baroque flutes. Made in an exotic wood, probably lignum vitae, the original plays wonderfully at A=398Hz.
 
Listen to Anna Besson play this model here.

Four-part Naust 1725

This interesting original comes from a private collection in Germany and dates from roughly the same period as other early four-part originals such as those made by Denner, Bressan and I.H. Rottenburg. The Naust workshop is unique in that it is one of the few workshops that made both the earlier three-part as well as the later four-part models. The transition from three to four parts probably took place between 1710 and 1720, but it is a bit of a mystery as to where it took place. A sales bill dating 1721, drawn for Sieur Dejardin, a flutist at the Paris opera, for a flute with three corps, or corps de rechange indicates that by that time the Naust workshop was producing the new four-part flutes. As Pierre Naust died in 1709, it is unlikely that this flute was made by him, but rather by either his widow, Barbe Pelletier, or by Antoine Delerablée, who became a partner in the workshop in 1722.
Both he and the widow Naust continued to make instruments using the "Naust" stamp (with the sign of a lion rampant) from Pierre's death in 1709 until the 1730s, when the shop was taken over by Thomas Lot.

This model has a full, round sound, with strong cross fingerings. It is extremely versatile, and works well for both early and high baroque repertoire; Couperin, Leclair, Blavet, Telemann and J.S. Bach. The four-part Naust flute is available in boxwood or ebony at the original pitch (A=398) with extra middle joints for A=392 or A=415.
 

T. Lot

The Thomas Lot model is a based on an original found in the collection of the Gemeente Museum, The Hague. Lot had a thriving workshop which was active in Paris from 1734 until his death in 1787. His instruments were sold all over Europe, and professional flutists, such as Blavet, Boismortier and Dejardin, played on his instruments. The original in The Hague can be dated to an early stage in Lot's career, probably around 1740. This model is available with interchangeable middle joints for A=398Hz and A=415Hz (as per the original in The Hague) as well as an A=392Hz joint after a similar original in the Bate collection in Oxford.
As Thomas Lot was a successor of the Naust workshop, one can see how this original is a continuation of the workshop’s earlier four-part instruments. The external dimensions and some parts of the bore are almost identical to the late Naust and Delerablé flutes, although they differ greatly with regards to voicing and undercutting.

See also my four-part Naust model.
 

T. Stanesby

My Stanesby copies are based on two instruments in a private collection in Frankfurt, made by the English maker Thomas Stanesby Junior. Stanesby Junior was active in London from before 1713 until his death at the age of 62 in 1754. He started his career in his father's workshop (Thomas Stanesby Senior) and soon become an independent maker of all types of woodwinds: recorders, flutes, oboes and bassoons. The famous contra-bassoons used for the London performance of Handel's Water Music were made by him. His trade card of 1728 reads: "Stanesby Jun. In the Temple Exchange Fleet Street, London. Makes to the greatest Perfection, all sorts of musical instruments. In Ivory or fine wood; Plain, after a very neat manner or curiously Adorn 'd with Gold, Silver, Ivory &c. Necessary to preserve them; approv'd and recommended by the best masters in Europe. Sold as above and no where else."
As advertised, Stanesby Junior's surviving instruments do indeed display masterful craftsmanship and ingenious design. Of the two instruments on which I based my copy, one is in ivory with very elegantly turned silver rings, the other is made of Lignum Vitea or Violet wood with beautifully turned wide ivory rings.

This model is available at A=415 in grenadille, lignum vitae and other exotic woods.
 

J.-J. Tortochot

Not a lot is known about Jean-Jaques Tortochot. He is listed at the address of “Rue de four, fauxbourg S. Germain”in the 1782 Almanach Musicale, as well as in the 1785 Tablet renomée as one of Paris’ woodwind makers. He is survived by a handful of instruments including three flutes and two clarinets.

The idea behind this unusual model was to make a French classical flute. French flutists like Devienne and Delusse had a distinct virtuosic style that was highly influential and was passed on through their students and followers well into the nineteenth century. The type of instruments that they played, made by Delusse, Prudent or Tortochot, went hand in hand with this style. They needed to be agile, elegant, yet quick to respond in order to allow the musical gymnastics performed by these virtuosos.
The embouchures tend to be fairly small and quite oval, which gives these French flutes a very sweet sound, and unparalleled flexibility.

I was lucky enough to have access to all three surviving Tortochot originals, two in private collections in Montréal and one in New Jersey. My model is based on the original in New Jersey.

This model is available at A=415 in ebony, grenadille, lignum vitae and other exotic woods, as well as in boxwood.
 

A. Grenser

The Grenser copy is based an original in the Gemeente museum, The Hague, made by the German maker August Grenser and stamped 1796. Grenser was active between 1744 and 1798 in Dresden, during this period the design of the flutes made in his workshop evolved, passing though several phases. This particular original, dating from a late period in his life, is of his last models, and continued to be used by his nephew, Heinrich Grenser, who took over the workshop when August died. Heinrich Grenser added from four to eight keys to his uncle's basic design.
This model is perfect for playing the music of Mozart and Haydn, although its full tone and the quality of its low register will also allow you to play Baroque music, especially when playing with an orchestra or in big halls. It is available in pitches A= 415, 417, 422, 430, 434 and 440.

An alternative 'look' for this model with horn rings.
 

Van Heerde flute d'amour

This model is made after an original found in the Gemeente Museum in The Hague. The original is made of ebony, and plays at a pitch of A=415 as an instrument in B natural. It is stamped 'VAN HEERDE' and can probably be attributed to Jan van Heerde, an Amsterdam flute maker active in the second quarter of the eighteenth century. The van Heerde family were active as woodwind instrument makers in Amsterdam for three generations beginning around 1670. The style of ornamental turning used on the flute, as well as the fact that Jan van Heerde died in 1750, leads one to believe that this instrument was made between 1730 and 1750.
The proportions of the division of this flute's parts, as well as the only other surviving van Heerde traverso (a standard one, in d) are similar to other early four-part flutes such as J. Denner and I.H. Rottenburg. In comparison with later four-part traversos, all of these flutes have a relatively long headjoint. This unusual division probably stems from an earlier, three-part design of the Baroque traverso.
 
Watch Grégoire Jay play this model here  

Learn more about the baroque flute d'amour and its repertoire (pdf).
 

T. Lot bass

The baroque bass flute is based on a rare original in the collection of the Music and Theatre museum in St. Petersburg. It is made by the Paris maker Thomas Lot, around 1750, and is one of about half a dozen surviving baroque basses. It is pitched a whole octave below a regular flute in D and has four open standing keys for holes 1,3,4 and 6. It also has a brass crook, or elbow, much like the one found on modern bass flutes, dividing the headjoint in two.
The original is made in plum, which is highly suitable for such a large instrument because of its lightness and good acoustical qualities. All these features make it relatively easy to play, especially for an instrument of its size. The bass flute plays the full range of two and a half octaves, with regular baroque fingerings. It is extremely usefull as a bass instrument in a flute ensemble, and can even be used to play some solo repertoire.
 
Available at A=398Hz.
 

I.H. Rottenburg piccolo

This three part piccolo is modeled after a boxwood original in the Musikinstrumenten Museum in Berlin. Piccolos from the first half of the 18th century are quite rare, although we know from several sources that they did indeed exist. This original is probably one of earliest surviving ones, dating from before 1750. They are regularly called for in French opera music, especially in the works of Rameau and Rebel.
The original has a relatively small embouchure, which I copy. This takes some time to get used to, but once one finds the “sweet spot” it allows great control of intonation, and gives the instrument a sweet, round sound that blends well with strings and winds.