681 A. G. Badger
No serial number.
Made c.1868-c.1880 (Simpson, p.345).
Silver, with barrel headjoint (embouchure chimney silver lined), gold name plaque, steel springs. Cork screw devise of threaded cocus wood.
Full American model, with Bb foot (left finger operated Bb), D & D# trill keys only.
Seems to play at A=442, or a bit lower than most Badgers.
Engraved on scallopped-edged gold shield laterally on headjoint: (gothic)A. G. Badger/ (script) New York
No marks visible under keys.
Although the mechanism is neither worn nor abused, the body of this flute has numerous dents, even a small hole by the thumb key. The footjoint is stuck on, as though the flute hadn't been used in years. The headjoint appears to have been repaired, possibly including the seam, and the repairman appears to have offset the barrel when putting it all back together. The pads are old and the mechanism sticky, yet the flute sounds down to Bb.
Sounding length 67.2 cm.
In original one-piece case.
This is really a remarkable flute, and demonstrates once again the extraordinary capabilities of A. G. Badger. The touchpieces are elegant, the keys are sturdy yet look and feel light as air.
Alas, it looks to me as though the original owner was frustrated in love, as well as in music. From the dents and hole in this flute, as well as the repair on the head and the stuck foot, it is clear that some well-to-do young man (this was an expensive flute) went wooing with his flute one night sometime back in the 1870's. The father of his intended was clearly offended, and chased the young man off with birdshot. Three pellets hit the flute (one penetrated it), then the young man tripped and fell on the headjoint. By the stuck foot it is clear that he set the flute up and never played it again. Fairly recent repair of the headjoint was almost completely successful, except for the lining up of the embouchure with the tube.
Flute needs overhaul for full playability (story needs overhaul for full believability).