Bellissent 6-key

Instrument: 6-key flute in Cocus? with silver rings and silver keys, c. 1830

Maker: Bellissent, Jacques Eléonore, Paris -  active 1813-1842


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Notes: Bellissent was one of the very top flute makers in the first quarter of the 19thC. He was in direct competition with Godfroy. The two batteled for the “top spot,” for instance, who would be the official maker for the Paris Conservatory. Bellissent held that position and then lost it to Godfroy. He was know as being the flute maker for both Tulou and Guillou. At the time Guillou was the main flute flute professor at the Paris Conservatoire and Tulou was first flute in the Opera. The two highest flute positions in France at that time. Later, I guess Tulou was in favor of Godfroy’s flutes which caused considerable acrimony. He made a number of inventions for the flute including one that let the player adjust the tuning slide while playing. He received an honorable mention at the 1823 Paris Exhibition for inventing “a wooden flute of grenadilla covered in silver, of which the keys are of a new kind and the springs hidden in the interiorof the keys.” This was the first double-walled flute.

Demonstration recordings:

Bellissent 6-key 9
Bellissent 6-key 10
Bellissent 6-key 1
Bellissent 6-key 2
Bellissent 6-key 3
Bellissent 6-key 4
Bellissent 6-key 5
Bellissent 6-key 6
Bellissent 6-key 8

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