Fife – JORDAN, James


Category Flutes
Maker JORDAN, James
Marks and inscriptions JORDAN/LIVERPOOL
Period 1830-1900
Place of origin Liverpool, England
Description Boxwood fife with brass ferrules
Materials Boxwood, brass
Dimensions Total length 380 mm
Sounding length 310 mm
Weight 92 g
Condition Working condition
Price (€) €390.00
Ref 1097


Fife – JORDAN, James

For sale is a nice boxwood fife made by James JORDAN (1807/8-1852). James Jordan was born in Ireland. At some point, he travelled to Liverpool. He started a new life in England. He was listed as a musical instrument maker and woodwind dealer from around 1830. James Jordan was also an inventor. In 1851, he exhibited five brass instruments at the Crystal Palace Exhibition in London. They included ‘newly-invented’ instruments: euphonic serpenteleide, euphonic horn, tenor-valve ophicleide and cornopeans.

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James Jordan was married to Alice Walmsley. In 1852, James Jordan died of ‘consumption’ – a historical name for tuberculosis. His wife Alice continued on the business with her sons and workers. The company would be renamed A. Jordan & Co. and was in business for several years to come.

According to the literature, only a couple of instruments by James Jordan have survived. That was the case until now!

Here we have a boxwood fife by James Jordan in excellent condition. There are no cracks or warping. This boxwood C fife has a nominal pitch of B-flat. It plays at around a=427 Hz. It can be dated to around 1840. The instrument has been cleaned and is playable. Fifes are loud and piercing, but also very light, small and portable. Perhaps its new owner should know that it is said that military fifes can be heard up to a distance of 5 kilometres away, even over artillery fire…

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