Flute – BETTONEY, Harry


Category Flutes
Maker BETTONEY, Harry
Marks and inscriptions H. BETTONEY / CB Co / BOSTON / USA / STERLING
Period 1900-present
Place of origin USA
Description Three-part silver flute with C-foot by Harry BETTONEY
Materials Sterling silver
Dimensions Total length 666 mm
Sounding length 591 mm
Weight 457 g
Weight with case 833 g
Condition Working condition
Special features Two tenon protectors, gold springs
Accessories Case
Price (€) €780.00
Ref 1136


Flute – BETTONEY, Harry

This sterling silver three-part flute with C-foot was made by Henry (Harry) BETTONEY (1867-1953). Harry Bettoney was born in Oadby in Leicestershire, England. He studied flute and clarinet in London before he emigrated to Boston in the USA in 1893.

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In 1897, Harry began working for a fellow expatriate by the name of William H CUNDY (1868-1914) and they would set up the Cundy Bettoney Company. In addition to importing instruments, they manufactured flutes, saxophones and clarinets, eventually employing between 130 and 150 people. When Cundy retired, Harry Bettoney took over the company. Among their products were the ‘Bettoney Boehm flute’ or the ‘Silva-Bet’ metal clarinet. They also produced the material ‘Bettonite’, which was a type of ebonite for making instruments. The company was eventually sold in 1960.

Here we have a sterling silver flute, although the head joint is possibly not sterling silver. It has drawn tone holes. The springs are gold and the flute plays at a pitch of a=450 Hz. The flute was altered to have an open G-sharp key . The thumb lever for B-flat was also changed. These changes can of course be reversed by its new owner. 

Overall, this flute is in good condition and is playable. It has a very bright and shiny sound. It’s a typical instrument from the USA in the mid-forties. A nice item for any American flute collection.

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