E. Riley 11-key

Instrument: 11-key flute with B foot. Wood appears to me to be dark, heavy focus wood but it is somewhat unusual. Silver keys? c. 1825-1830 ,,,

Maker: Edward Riley / 29 Chatham St/ N. York active (1819-1829) Marked “Patented.” Like many flute makers Edward Riley was active in many areas. He was also a music publisher, music engraver, teacher, singer, and dealer. Following his death in 1829 his sons carried one the business until it became J.F. Gould & Co. in 1851. He wrote a treatise on flute playing and a four-volume collection on music entitled “Riley’s Flute Melodies.” His two daughters married John Firth and William Hall, respectively.

Pitch: A=?

Sounding Length: 68cm

Total Length:

Embouchure size

Notes: missing RH b-flat touch. This flute is quite a bit more complex than what we usually see from Edward Riley. My first assumption was that this flute was imported from England and sold by Riley. This was a common practice among makers/dealers. After consulting with a number of English flute authorities and trying to match up characteristics of this flute to various English makers, I now think it was likely made by Riley himself. The instrument is made using salt-spoon keys with “elastic plugs” as pads. Two unusual features are an alternate LH thumb operated G# and the adjustment screws on the foot for C# and C. The adjustment screws control how far open the C and C# keys are open in their resting position. I suppose this was helpful as the size of elastic plugs could vary quite a bit, some being rather flat and other protruding into the hole.

Restorer: not yet restored

Demonstration recordings:


Riley - English 5

© Michael Lynn, 2014 - 2023 - some of these flutes are available for purchase - please contact me for further information