Recorder, alto (treble), wood, maker unknown, probably England, 1880-1900
This recorder is of interest in terms of its design and construction and because of the time in which it was made. It's proportions are different to most recorders, having a much narrower in profile. The timber it is constructed from is uncertain but it is different to more commonly used recorder woods such as boxwood, tulip wood, maple or various fruit woods. Compared to professionally made recorders it is more crudely constructed suggesting it was either made by a competent amateur maker or at least by a maker adept in another timber trade using wood turning. According to its provenance it is likely the recorder was made in the second half of the nineteenth century, at a time when recorders had gone out of widespread use. This may help to explain its more unusual design as examples to copy would have been rare.
Today the recorder is widely taught in schools and also used in Early Music. However, by the nineteenth century its place in music making had been taken over by the flute. It was not until the late nineteenth century that early music enthusiasts such as Arnold Dolmetsch, with his interest in reviving early music, that the recorder again began to be known although it is likely that recorders and various pitched whistles were still used in folk music.
Edgar Hunt; The Recorder and its Music. (Revised and enlarged. Eulenburg, London. Reprinted by Peacock Press, Hebden Bridge, 2002).
Nicholas S Lander; The Recorder Home Page, http://www.recorderhomepage.net/
Curator, music & musical instruments
Probably made by a non-professional recorder maker in England during the the late nineteenth century.
Said to have been in the one family in the United Kingdom for many years prior to donor's ownership. Played by original owner's father and grandfather. Then sold to another person around the year 2000 who passed it on to the current donor.
It has also been suggested that this is also possibly modelled on a Norwegian "seaflute" or sjofloyta.