Meen, Hanau

Instrument: 6-key flute, ebony with ivory rings and coin silver keys

Maker: Meen or Mlln (maybe an abbreviated last name?) - Hanau, Germany

Date: guessing c.1815

Pitch: A=425-435

Sounding Length:

Total Length:

Embouchure size

Restorer: Jon Cornia

Notes: A very interesting flute. I can find no information on the maker Meen (or Mlln) and no-one with a similar name is listed for Hanau. The keywork is interesting being on metal surface mounts somewhat similar to Laurent. It has 3 tiny ornamental ivory allignment dots, 2 on the head and one on the body. The shape of the C key and long-F also seem distinctive - see the last photo below for the original design concept.  The body is in excellent condition with all the mechanisms in good shape and it is now fully restored.

As part of the restoration a new barrel was made and the keys are now silver plated over the coin silver. The coin silver tarished extremely quickly and you can see that they look like in the pre-restoration photos.

The flute has some interesting playing characteristics. The bottom hole is very low on the flute. This was done, most typically, on Viennese flutes to make the E low enough that one could use the key with it, giving a more open sound. In this case the E is on the high side (slightly) even without the key. The F is also strange in that the pitch difference between E and F is too small, as if the F hole isn’t large enough. The cross fingered F is better than with the key. At the same time the F# is actually fine without using the F key and adding the F key to the F# has almost no effect. C in the second octave requires the use of the C key as the normal fingering (without key) is flat. I have also experienced this on Vienesse flutes. Overall though, it plays quite well with a rather baroque sound. It is a fairly heavy and low pitched flute which doesn’t feel lighter and brighter as is often the case with Romantic flutes.

I am interested in other observations about this flute as it is different from any others I have had and the maker appears to be unknown with the exception of 1 other flute in a private collection.

Demonstration recordings:

https://soundcloud.com/mloberlin/mlln-hanau-6-key-flute-haydn

https://soundcloud.com/mloberlin/mlln-hanau-germany-6-key-flute-dressler


Mlln restored 1.jpg
Mlln restored 2.jpg
Mlln restored 3.jpg
Mlln restored 4.jpg
Mlln restored 5.jpg
Mlln restored 6.jpg
Mlln restored 7.jpg
Mlln restored 8.jpg
Mlln restored 9.jpg
Mlln restored 14.jpg
Mlln restored 15.jpg

Pre-restoration

Meen 4.jpg
Meen 7.jpg
Meen 11.jpg
Meen 15.jpg

 


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