This instrument is of historical importance in that it is one of two flutes that were regularly played in a the Edward Elgar ‘Shed Quintets’ with the composer himself on Bassoon.
Missing keywork has been replicated in Nickel Silver and a fusiform mounting grafted into the body in Rosewood to replace that damaged and broken away.
The flute is now in playing condition and is believed to be used to make a recording of the above quintets by the present owner. The photograph dates from circa 1848 and shows the composer Edward Elgar holding his bassoon and the customers Grandfather and his brother holding the flutes, the one to the right it is believed being the flute depicted here.
This is a Heckel Contrabassoon serial number 93 dating from approx. 1865.
From Heckels website it appears to pre-date the oldest instrument depicted there by some considerable margin and may indeed be the oldest known Heckel Contra in Playable condition.
The instrument was modified and extended by Timothy Weir of London in 1973.
This was a full overhaul , re-lacquer in Selmer original Gold tint and all rebound and touch corking and felting was replaced. All springs replaced, bearings re-finished and guarding mount screws re finished and lacquered.
The instrument was re-padded throughout in Pisoni premium deluxe pads with convex Nickel resonators.