Flutemakers Guild – History

For those interested about Flutemakers Guild, here’s a PR blurb from them (circa 1986)

The Flutemakers Guild was founded in 1961 as the result of a number of craftsmen breaking away from a very famous flutemaking firm that was being absorbed by a larger organization. It was felt that the individuality needed to produce a handmade flute of the highest quality would be lost when the heavy hand of “big business” took over.

Contact was made with the Lord Mayor of London (who had played flute as a young man) and he suggested the owner of a gold and silversmithing company, Mr. C. S. Padgett, might be able to help with premises and finance, this he did and became, and still is, our director. These first premises were at 48 Broadwick Street, London, W. 1. where we stayed until 1974 when these premises were sold and the move was made to our present address, 10 Shacklewell Road, London, N. 16.

The Guild was formed to carry on the tradition of making flutes in the ways that had produced the fine British flutes of earlier years, this we like to think we are still doing! Of the original seven craftsmen who started regrettably we are now down to two, various people having been trained and gone on to other flute firms, but we are still going and producing handmade instruments. The remaining two members are Chris Bouckley, trained by us and with us for nine years and Harry Seeley, founder member and flutemaker for thirty six years – maybe one day we will train some more flutemakers, who can say!

Because of the way we work we are able to produce, to order, any instrument of the flute family from piccolo to C Bass in any of the precious metals. Wood flutes and piccolos are also available, one of these being the Thinned Wood flute, the body of which is about half the thickness of a normal wood flute, the tone holes being left raised out of the wood instead of being cut in. This instrument may seem an oddity in this age of mass production but it illustrates that the skills to make them are still available.

In the last few years much talk in the flute world has been about “modern scales” which we have tried to keep in line with, our type of manufacture lends us very easily to accommodate anyone who has the desire for a scale of his or her own design. We like to think that in these times of the “hard sell” and “in built obsolescence,” players can come to us to order a handmade flute that really is made by hand and will last a lifetime.

9 comments on “Flutemakers Guild – History”

        1. Dear Giovani

          Have just seen your reply!
          My FMG 223 is silver and still available.
          Best wishes
          John Mosesson BA ARCM

  1. I just came across and purchased FMG #200, 14K solid through out- Stamped with 585 (58.5%) throughout the flute. The craftmem ship with engraved head joint and keys are unmatched by today’s engrave quality. This was originally made at 48 Broadwick St. London. W.1.

  2. I have for sale one of 2 “Demonstration model” flutes made by Harry Sealey, open hole, in line, c-foot, heavy wall, soldered tone holes, FMG silver headjoint is fully and heavily gold plated. Date is fuzzy , never thought I’d sell, but I acquired the instrument when the shop in London was shut down, around 2000.

    Flute has been in its case, in a Cavallero bag since 2009 when I completed my music degree/recital. As such, there is a significant amount of tarnish, on the body and keys.

    Instrument plays well as is but of course would benefit from a COA. I decided to sell as is, not cleaning beforehand, because tarnish is on the keys as well so would need to be taken apart completely to clean well.

    Case is solid and closes well, but the inside pieces have come unglued, easy to fix.

    Will provide photos and recordings for sound samples to interested parties..

    Asking 3,000 for the flute and gold plated headjoint.

  3. I have a Trevor James Masters series #77608 flute that someone suggested may have been made by someone at FMG. Is there a way to find out? The Masters series flutes are no longer made and I’d like to learn more information about it.

  4. Hello

    My name is Jean-Paul Wright and I’m the Managing Director of Worldwind Music (home of TJ instruments). We purchased FluteMakers Guild of London (FMG) and all of it’s tooling when Harry retired and closed the business in the early 1990’s. The original handwritten book which Harry used to fill out with each serial number, flute specs, name of individual maker along with who it was made for is currently in the process of being rebound and preserved.

    This book has details of instruments from #1 to #639. Flutes from #229 to #406 do not have a specific maker assigned to the instruments. Whilst the book details instruments up to #639 there is an odd extra addition casually written at the top of one of the final pages written by Harry ‘#666 – silver G alto with Cooper head – Andras Adoran’.

    This book will be scanned in the coming weeks and will be up online as a reference point in the early summer. In the meantime, if anybody has any urgent need to get any information on an FMG instrument, then feel free to send me the serial number and I’ll come back to you.

    Best wishes
    Jean-Paul
    jpwright@worldwind.co.uk

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Shares