This fully restored complete Fentum 4-Key Wooden English Concert D Flute is approximately 172 years old. It is made of fine figured cocuswood, with original German silver rings and keys and original reconditioned leather pads. I has new cork and original bone cork indicator screw. All parts stamped Fentum, London / Fentum, 29 Queens Row, Walworth, London. The four keys are Eb, short F, G# and Bb keys.
Langwill's Index indicates Francis Fentum's flute workshop at this address from 1844-45. This flute is a strong player and can be pushed. Solid hard low D and easy second octaves. Compares equally to it's contemporary medium holed Rudall. The short foot allows for easy fill and volume and it's light with a narrow cross section. Smaller hands will find it a joy. Feels like an Eb and plays like a race car. Comes with lacquered, green felt lined birchwood box. This flute is ready to go. Needs to be loved and played. Perfect for Irish Trad.
Jon Cornia fixed a crack in the head. It's stable and does not affect playability. This particular Fentum is rare in that we can pinpoint nearly the exact year it was made. The workshop was only at that location for perhaps not much more than a year. We know it was sold from Francis Fentum's workshop. An interesting aside is that Fentum and Rudall flutes from this time tend to be remarkably similar to Wylde flutes. Thanks to Jon C. I've been lucky to have had a go at quite a number of good examples of each. Jon C has a theory that many of these flute were, in fact, by the hand of Henry Wylde. There is no way to prove it though. However by cross comparison in bore measurements, block shape, tone hole placement and embouchure cuts it's hard not to conclude there is some relationship. The biggest thing for me is how they all play. This flute would be one of those.