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Transverse Flutes once owned by Friedrich II

The Prussian king Friedrich II was an enthusiastic music lover and a skilled player of the transverse flute. Long before his accession to the throne, he had already surrounded himself with musicians in Ruppin and Rheinsberg who instructed him and played music with him: Carl Heinrich Graun, his later director of music, Franz Benda, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, and especially Johann Joachim Quantz. The latter not only acted as Friedrich’s flute instructor and participated in the nightly chamber music; he also supervised the Prussian flute making.

The museum owns several transverse flutes, among them one made out of ebony and one out of a walrus tooth, both once owned by Friedrich II. This is proven by a handwritten sign (FR=Fredericus Rex) and written evidence from around 1800. Two of these instruments are likely made exactly in line with the ideas of Quantz.
Another two transverse flutes with cases by I. Scherer from Butzbach (Hesse) from the 2nd half of the 18th century were also once owned by the Prussian king.

A fingering chart for Friedrich’s transverse flute (the ownership is proven by a notation at the left bottom of the page: »Frederici a Berlin ce Janivier 1753«) was probably written by Quantz.

Transverse Flute, Cat.-No. 5076 (Flash)