Category Flutes
Marks and inscriptions Five-point star / Thibouville frères five-point star (on all five parts)
Period 1830-1900
Place of origin France
Description Four-part boxwood flute with one brass key, horn rings and tuning slide
Materials Boxwood, brass, horn
Dimensions Total length 610 mm
Sounding length 534 mm
Weight 235 g
Condition Working condition
Price (€) €1,200.00
Ref 1117



VM Collectables is now offering for sale this lovely boxwood flute made by THIBOUVILLE FRÈRES. 

The Thibouville family of instrument makers can be traced back to La Couture-Boussey in the department of Eure in Normandy in Northwestern France. The family members made many bassoons, clarinets, cors angalis, flutes, flageolets, musettes and oboes among other instruments between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries.

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The Thibouvilles were extremely important in terms of the number of different workshops and therefore different stamps. Researching the name is an odyssey in itself, for there is something new to discover with every different musical instrument brand… plus quite a headache!

Yet, we think we have managed to pin down the makers of this instrument to two brothers – Pierre Frédéric Thibouville (1830-1850) and his brother Jean-Baptiste Thibouville (1832-18970. They were born in La Couture-Boussey to Pierre Thibouville (1802-1858) and Marie Félicité HEROUARD (1807- after 1856).  The parents had founded the brand THIBOUVILLE-HEROUARD back in 1842. [We’ll be back with HEROUARD in the near future 😊.]

Jean-Baptiste Thibouville started up a business in Paris called THIBOUVILLE FRÈRES in 1857, which lasted until his brother Pierre’s death in 1860. He set up another company in 1864 with a certain Denis Beranger called THIBOUVILLE-BERANGER, but Denis died and the business ended in 1865. Two years later, he married Rose Leonie CABART (1846-after 1901), daughter of Jean Michel CABART. The rest is history… a different tale and another factory under the name THIBOUVILLE-CABART.

If you’ve managed to follow the story so far, you’re right in thinking that this instrument must have been made in the 1850s.

This flute is incredibly light! Made of beautiful boxwood, the flute is equipped with an elegant brass key and features horn rings. It has a metal-lined tuning slide. It plays at a=440 Hz with the tuning slide in and a=430 Hz pulled out.

Some restorations were performed under its previous owner and a crack in the barrel was repaired. It plays nicely in tune with a clear response. It has a bright, fine and utterly elegant sound… total French finesse!

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