After collecting and restoring vintage French flutes for a couple decades, I realized that a good original case is just as difficult to come by as a good original flute. Most old cases have sacrificed themselves to protect the flute. Wood, fabric and leather tend to disintegrate and provide places for mold to grow. The whiff of antiquity so often associated with antique store is the odor of mold. There is no easy way to restore an old case or rid it of its smell. Yet, they are so beautiful to look at, and no matter how worn the case is, one can still touch the old school craftsmanship with one’s hands.
My cases are made in the style of some Louis Lot, Godfroy and Buffet cases I came across over the years – veneered, curved top profile extending to the bottom, straight sides, metal hinges, and a drawn pin locking system that was used on Joseph Rampal’s Louis Lot case. The lining is a suede material, often blue or purple. The blocks are set up in the same way as in many vintage French cases. When the case closes, the top blocks rest gently on the flute tube to keep it from moving around. The headjoint is placed facing the same direction as the body.
These cases are made one at a time in any configuration – C-foot, B-foot, wood flute, conical flute, combination flute and piccolo, flute with two headjoints, baroque flute, alto flute, etc. Customization is welcome. The choice of veneer is limited to current market supply. The pin locking system can be tricky to operate and requires some dexterity and patience.
The wood veneer of above cases, from top to bottom, are Pomelle Sapeli, curly Maple, and Indian Rosewood.
A case for a B-foot instrument featuring a purple interior and optional compartment for small objects.
A case for a wood flute with space for a grease pot.
The starting price of a case is $750, and delivery time is about 2 months.
For more information please e-mail david at sideblown dot com