Flute – UEBEL, Gerhard Rudolf


Category Flutes
Maker UEBEL, Gerhard Rudolf
Marks and inscriptions Original / G. Rudolf / +Uebel+ / Wohlhausen / (Vogtland)/6034
Period 1900-present
Place of origin Germany
Description Aluminium Boehm flute by Gerhard Rudolf Uebel
Materials Aluminium, metal
Dimensions Total length 639 mm
Sounding length 590 mm
Weight 541 g
Condition Working condition
Special features Made of aluminium. No foot joint. Screws rather than pins.
Price (€) €890.00
Ref 1101


Flute – UEBEL, Gerhard Rudolf

This amazing Boehm-system vintage aluminium flute was manufactured by Gerhard Rudolf UEBEL (1915-1991) in Eastern Germany (GDR) in the 1960s. He was the grandson of the founder of the UEBEL company, Friedrich Gustav UEBEL (1855-1915) in Saxony, Germany.

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Gerhard Rudolf Uebel experimented with new materials and mechanical construction techniques and this flute is a fine example of his innovation work.

The body of the flute is made from one single rod of aluminium – silver grey anodised. There is no separate foot joint. It is therefore made in a similar way to a wooden flute rather than a modern metal flute. The flute is tapered at both ends so it looks a bit like a cigar, which is where its nickname ‘cigar flute’ originates. The head joint and deep-cup, undercut keys are made of silver-plated German silver. The head joint itself is simply inserted directly into the body without a tenon socket. There is no head joint cork assembly. The aluminium crown is fixed in place. It has a black plastic reform lip-plate. Tiny screws rather than pins are used to connect the rods of the keys. The posts have set screws which enable the pivot screws to be finely adjusted. It is a closed G-sharp flute.

Production of these flutes lasted from 1959 for around ten years. Unlike other examples to be found in museums, this particular Uebel aluminium flute only has a four-digit serial number: 6034. This means that it was possibly made in 1960, just after production had started. A couple of famous jazz players are known to have played the Uebel aluminium flute – Hermeto Pascoal and Bobbie Humphry.

The flute is in good condition. The flute is playable down to low C; however, to be played professionally, it needs an overhaul. The lip-plate has a hairline crack, which does not affect the sound.

With a pitch of a=441 Hz, this flute has a bright and colourful sound. It is powerful and focused with a nice warm roundness.

There’s no time like the present to treat yourself and buy this rare, vintage aluminium flute. 

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