A cylindrical grenadilla flute made during the Paul Evette and Ernest Schaeffer ownership of the Buffet firm (1885 – 1929).

Mostly known for their clarinets, Buffet produced a handful of other superb instruments in the latter part of the 19th. century.

*** A fine Buffet-Crampon flute, serial number P181L (1900 - 1901). ***

French hallmarks and maker’s mark are found on each key. The workmanship is of high quality.

French open keywork to low C, inline G.

Embouchure measures 10.4 X 12.1 mm.

Sounding length is 608 mm. The flute plays well at A = 435 or a shade below.

Original spike and washer pad retainers.

Case is well-worn and original.

Total weight is 460 grams.

This one was acquired by me more than a decade ago, purchased for my own use.

Several years ago it was sold to an overseas buyer who asked us to send it to a contact in Illinois. The plan was for his friend to hand-carry it to Germany and thereby avoid paying taxes and import duty.

Before the task could be accomplished, the flute was stored for several weeks in a cold and dry room. Alas, the socket crack to the head increased in length and the buyer, to whom it was eventually delivered, complained.

Without a compromise in sight, we refunded the purchase price and that was that.

Cracks to woodwood instruments are not uncommon so we next needed to come up with a proper repair. Closing the crack with steel pins is, we’ve found, not the answer: stress to the wood is only transferred to the other side of the joint and it cracks again.

In the early days of our workshop, we often repaired cracked clarinets with the so-called “flush-band method”.

Easy to do, we simply shrank a silver band to the joint, thereby closing the fissure forever. We’ve customers from half a century back who are still playing clarinets which we have so repaired.

Today a crack, if it’s substantial, is flush-banded with carbon fiber. We’ve done dozens, have yet to have a fissure return. The repair is permanent and (almost) invisible.

And so we have done with our Buffet flute. Photos show the repairs, the work from our shop, almost two years ago.

The crack has not opened and the flute now plays very well again, pitched a bit below 435 and with a wonderful dark and masculine voice. It is not for sissies.