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Flutes

The flute is the oldest-known woodwind instrument. The earliest flutes date back about 43,000 years ago in Germany, and flutes found in China have been dated to 7000 B.C. Flutes appear in Greco-Roman artwork from about 200 B.C. Throughout history, many instruments have been referred to as flutes, with the common element of a round tube with finger holes and an embouchure hole on an instrument held horizontally while playing.

The modern-day flute was invented by Theobald Boehm, a watchmaker from Munich, Germany in 1832. Boehm continued to perfect his flute, and by 1847, had developed it into the instrument now used today. The Boehm fingering system is still used by musicians today.

Vintage flute collectors often specialize in collecting certain types of flutes. Some collectors may search for flutes from different eras, such as Renaissance, Baroque, or Classical-style flutes. Other collectors may focus on flutes from different countries, including France, Germany, or Austria. Individual flute makers may also be of interest to collectors, including Louis Lot, Auguste Buffet, and Eugene Thibouville.


Quick Facts

  • Flutes were not included in jazz pieces until the end of the '40s, when amplification through microphones had improved to the point that the flute's tones could be distinguished apart from the other instruments
  • The Dayton C. Miller Flute Collection is the largest collection of flutes and flute-related material in the world. It is housed in the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. and contains 1,650 flutes
  • In 1939, the Powell #365 exhibited at the New York World's Fair. Made of platinum with sterling silver keys and an engraving of the fair's logo, the last recorded sale price of this flute was $187,000 in 1987

Recommended Items at Auction

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Vintage Geimenhardt Brand Sterling Silver Flute Set
Dec 03, 9:00 AM MST
Vintage Geimenhardt Brand Sterling Silver Flute Set
by Billy The Kid Auction House
Est: $1,200- $1,800
$505 Bids
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HIGH SPIRITS FLUTES GOLDEN EAGLE "F" WALNUT FLUTE
Dec 03, 9:00 AM MST
HIGH SPIRITS FLUTES GOLDEN EAGLE "F" WALNUT FLUTE
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$554 Bids
Selmer Coin Silver Flute
Nov 27, 1:00 PM EST
Selmer Coin Silver Flute
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $375- $3,750
$3750 Bids
GEMEINHARDT FLUTE 2SP SILVER PLATED
Dec 07, 9:00 AM EST
GEMEINHARDT FLUTE 2SP SILVER PLATED
by Affiliated Auctions & Realty LLC
Est: $80- $120
$200 Bids
Transverse flute "Pearl" 500 ES
Dec 03, 10:00 AM CET
Transverse flute "Pearl" 500 ES
by Auktionshaus Wersching
Est: €0- €0
€1000 Bids
Lot 2 flute
Nov 27, 11:00 AM CET
Lot 2 flute
by Maison Jules Veilinghuis
Est: €160- €200
€1600 Bids
Lot 2 flute
Nov 27, 11:00 AM CET
Lot 2 flute
by Maison Jules Veilinghuis
Est: €160- €200
€1600 Bids
A LATE 18TH CENTURY BOXWOOD AND IVORY CLASSICAL FLUTE BY GOULDING
Dec 01, 9:30 AM GMT
A LATE 18TH CENTURY BOXWOOD AND IVORY CLASSICAL FLUTE BY GOULDING
by Hutchinson Scott Limited
Est: £80- £120
£400 Bids
AN EARLY 19TH CENTURY BAROQUE BOXWOOD AND IVORY FLUTE BY GOULDING, LONDON.
Dec 01, 9:30 AM GMT
AN EARLY 19TH CENTURY BAROQUE BOXWOOD AND IVORY FLUTE BY GOULDING, LONDON.
by Hutchinson Scott Limited
Est: £80- £120
£400 Bids
A LATE 18TH CENTURY CASED BOXWOOD AND IVORY FLUTE BY KUSDER
Dec 01, 9:30 AM GMT
A LATE 18TH CENTURY CASED BOXWOOD AND IVORY FLUTE BY KUSDER
by Hutchinson Scott Limited
Est: £200- £300
£1000 Bids
AN EARLY 19TH CENTURY ROSEWOOD AND IVORY FLUTE BY GUNTER KORDER
Dec 01, 9:30 AM GMT
AN EARLY 19TH CENTURY ROSEWOOD AND IVORY FLUTE BY GUNTER KORDER
by Hutchinson Scott Limited
Est: £80- £120
£400 Bids
AN EARLY 19TH CENTURY BOXWOOD AND IVORY FLUTE BY NORFOLK
Dec 01, 9:30 AM GMT
AN EARLY 19TH CENTURY BOXWOOD AND IVORY FLUTE BY NORFOLK
by Hutchinson Scott Limited
Est: £80- £120
£400 Bids
AN EARLY 19TH CENTURY BAROQUE BOXWOOD AND IVORY FLUTE BY GOULDING, LONDON
Dec 01, 9:30 AM GMT
AN EARLY 19TH CENTURY BAROQUE BOXWOOD AND IVORY FLUTE BY GOULDING, LONDON
by Hutchinson Scott Limited
Est: £80- £120
£400 Bids
A Military? Flute
Nov 27, 1:00 PM EST
A Military? Flute
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $45- $450
$450 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Flutes


Hutchinson Scott Limited

Hutchinson Scott Limited

Designer Homes of Central Florida

Designer Homes of Central Florida

Maison Jules Veilinghuis

Maison Jules Veilinghuis

Railtons

Railtons