Third flute – HEIDEGGER, Georg


Category Flutes
Maker HEIDEGGER, Georg
Marks and inscriptions HEIDEGGER/PASSAU/F
(on middle joint)
Period 1830-1900
Place of origin Passau, Bavaria, Germany
Description Single-keyed third flute
Materials Stained and varnished fruit wood (?) bone, brass
Dimensions Total length 505 mm
Sounding length 438 mm
Weight 158 g
Condition Working condition
Price (€) €850.00
Ref 1069


Third flute – HEIDEGGER, Georg

For sale here is a four-part flute made by the Bavarian maker Georg HEIDEGGER (1815-1859). Georg Heidegger was the first of a family of instrument makers active in Passau, Bavaria, Germany and Linz, Austria from the nineteenth right up to the twentieth century.

It is third flute, which means that it is a third higher in pitch than a regular flute. It is marked with ‘F’ because when all the fingerholes are covered, the instrument plays an F.  Third flutes could be employed for wind music and were easily combined with brass instruments which are normally pitched in B-flat.

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 The flute is crafted in perhaps a fruit wood, which has a fine grain and is light. It looks like a dark wood only because it has been stained and varnished. The rings are made of bone (not ivory!), possibly from a cow, and present the typical porous surface of this material. On closer inspection the pores look like very small dots or holes that cover the surface of the bone.  

The instrument is finely turned and masterfully made. The turning profiles and the style of the instrument resemble English flutes of the beginning of the nineteenth century. We believe this flute was made around 1840.

The pitch of this flute is a=448 Hz, which was typical pitch in and around Munich and parts of Bavaria at that time.

Unfortunately, a four-legged friend (possibly a mouse) found it to be a bit tasty and gnawed a bit around the fingerholes. Now these bitemarks are part of the flute’s almost 200-year history! Fortunately, they don’t affect its playing condition

The flute was restored by a previous owner and overall, plays nicely and well in tune.

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