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Lost and Stolen Flutes

Flutes are easily misplaced or made off with, and it happens far too often. If you're looking to buy a flute, keep an eye out for stolen instruments so they can be returned to the rightful owner.

Additional listings and descriptions of stolen instruments are available through the following sites (thanks to Tom Keays for providing these links):

Larry Krantz's Stolen Flute list

Donald Nichols' Stolen Concertinas list (not just for concertinas)

I will post descriptions of stolen simple-system flutes and related instruments on this page as I receive them.

When: August 16, 2008. Left in a rucksack on a train between London and Norwich, UK.

What: Wooden open-holed blackwood piccolo, six keys and tuning slide. Marked Boosey and Col, Longdon, serial number is 22011. Contact: Patrick Gillard +44 1865 353493; Mobile: +44 7968 169446.

When: April 28, 2005, approx 8:15 pm. The Main Train Station in Prague, Czech Republic.
What: Keyless Blackwood, Pratten-style flute by John Gallagher ('J. Gallagher' stamped on all four pieces, headjoint, barrell, midsection, and foot). Wider, engraved silver rings and blocks for four keys in a left-handed configuration.
Contact: Ryan Harmaning +1 (425) 591.3649 or ryan.harmaning-at-gmail.com

November, 2004. Stolen from 'the palace' car park in Levenshulme, Manchester, England, 18th October 2004: M+E Cronnelly flute, black, silver ringed, right handed (wedged mouth-piece), no keys, detachable various ways. Stored in black box, 3 channels, red velvet lining, panel missing on side, (box may have been disposed of). Contact Will Hulme on 01457 867923 or 07903 627456.

October, 2004. Eight-key blackwood flute by Michael Grinter. Lost on lower Haight Street in San Francisco on Sunday Oct. 10, 2004. The flute's case (a typical Grinter case) was a little beaten up, one of the hooks to close it was broken. The flute has one crack in one of the middle joints that was repaired. Bottom keys stick a little. Contact

July, 2004. A Chris Abell African blackwood whistle with silver mouthpiece and silver band around the bottom, with a little bell etched under the mouthpiece. It has a tiny nick in the mouthpiece which you would feel when you were playing. I lost it in Guernsey, Channel Islands U.K. Contact .

Note received August 12, 2003 by Brendan Mulholland of the band Craobh Rua:

Just after getting my house broke into and they took my flute case which consisted of three flutes. They were in a black and grey camera case which they probebly thought was something other than flutes.

The three flutes were,

6 keyed blackwood Sam Murray with a rose wood head ( d flute )

b flat keyless Le Hart flute in blackwood

f flute in rosewood by Ralph Sweet

They were stole from my house in Glenavy Co.Antrim N.Ireland on 11.8.03 so there is a good chance they could be in the Belfast area which is about 18 mile away. But who knows where they could end up so anybody who hears or sees anything I would be very very grateful. I can't begin to tell you how upset I am at the thought of some thief having my flutes (I can think of worse names to call them).

Having recently just started to play with the band Croabh Rua, not having these flutes will make things hard for a while, but sure if the great Matt Molloy had his flute stole from his pub I am sure I will just get on with it.

So if any of you guys see them contact me at brendanmulholland14@hotmail.com or, failing that, ring me at 02894453886.

Lost: Patrick Olwell keyless blackwood flute. 4 pieces, each stamped with 'OLWELL'. The head joint is redder, granier than the body, and is missing the cap. Stolen in a soft brown leather case, Toronto, March 28th 2002. Offering a reward and no questions asked for its return. Please contact nook88@sympatico.ca

A group of seven flutes stolen in Brittany, owned by Thomas Bocher of Paimpol.
* 1 flûte de Peter BERBETH en ré, six clefs, patte courte, bouchon d'Yvon LE COANT avec une boule à l'extrémité. Elle était dans une boîte noire YAMAHA pour flûte classique. (Six-key flute in D by Peter Berbeth, head joint by Yvon Le Coant, short foot joint, in a black Yamaha classical flute case)
* 1 flûte de Gilles LEHART en sol, sans clef, avec un bouchon en buis et une boule à l'extrémité. Elle était enroulée en 2 parties dans un chiffon rouge. (Keyless flute by Gilles Lehart in G, boxwood head joint, rolled in a red cloth)
* 5 flûtes indiennes en bambou de Harsh WARDAN de différentes tonalités. Elles étaient dans un étui en velours rouge-bordeaux. La tonalité des flûtes est: D#, C, C, E, D. Elles sont très différentes de celles fabriquées par Chris Dawson (qui sont de couleur foncée et comportent un noeud de bambou pour faire le bouchon de l'embouchure), de celles de Olwell ou Seligman. Elles sont de couleur claire, un peu rosé. Elles ont des ligatures de fil coloré (jaune ou orange ou un peu violet) aux deux extrémités (1 ŕ deux centimètres de large). Le bambou est assez fin. Le bouchon de liège est quasiment contre l'extrémité gauche du trou d'embouchure. La tonalité (que l'on obtient trois trous du haut bouché) est noté à droite du trou d'embouchure, avec la signature de Harsh WARDHAN. Longueur : environ 30 à 40 cm. Il y a 6 trous de jeu plus un trou pour l'auriculaire droit pour obtenir une note 1/2 ton plus bas. (Five bamboo bansuri by Harsh Wardan, in a burgundy velour case. Light-colored bamboo, not like the darker bamboo flutes of Chris Dawson, Patrick Olwell, etc.)
Tél: + ŕ Paimpol, ou le + Thomas BOCHER e-mail diboann@hotmail.com

Patrick Olwell flute, lost (possibly stolen) in Ennis, Co. Clare on Saturday, 7 August. Custom-made specifically for Aran Olwell (Patrick's son), the flute's headjoint and foot are made of blackwood, and the middle section is dark brown rosewood. Silver fittings, large fingerholes--and these finger holes are offset in a very odd manner, in such a way that the flute mightn't do another player much good anyhow! The flute has four keys, but no long F or Bb. It's stamped OLWELL. Patrick offers a reward for its return, no questions asked. In the U.S., call 804.277.9215; in Ireland, reach Aran at 065.6829591.

Patrick Olwell flute, owned by Matt Molloy. Stolen in Westport, Co. Mayo, late October 1999. Cocus wood, six keys and Sterling silver fittings. Fancy rings. Marked OLWELL. Contact Patrick Olwell in the U.S. at +1 804-277-9215.

H. Wylde 8-keyed simple system flute c.1835 marked "Fentum"and "H.Wylde fecit" on the foot joint. Stolen from the Royal Oak pub in February 1999. Contact Jimmy Young at jimmyden@paradise.net.nz

Sam Murray flute. Six keyed concert pitch flute made of grenadilla (african blackwood) with sterling silver tuning slide and keys. The silver lining in the headjoint only goes up half way through it, the way Sam Murray is making them now (he used to make them full lined in the past). The barrel has the typical cone shaped bump at the bottom all Murray flutes have, and is marked "Murray" on it. The keys are the flat type for use with leather pads, although I had put on them modified modern oboe pads (similar to Bohem flute pads but smaller). Tenons with red thread on them. The right hand joint (if you are right handed) has a hairline split that runs from the socket down to the middle hole that has been repaired, you can more or less notice it round the socket area. The bottom joint has all the wooden pillars for the C and C# keys carved in and ready to take them if wanted, (this I think is uncommon in six keyed modern replicas where you only have the pillars made if you actually have both keys put on). It was carried in a brown case with worn out red felt lining inside. I sold this flute to Mr. Michel Ballati from Albissola Marina, Italy in December 2000 . I sent the flute from Madrid, Spain on 12th Dec. 2000 via special postal service, and according to the Spanish Post Office, it arrived in Milan on 15th Dec., and left the same day for its destination. Nothing has been known about it ever since. Due to the special nature of the postal service I used it can only mean that someone who had access must have taken it either during transport or at Albissola Marina. Contact Gabriel at nickpope@retemail.es or phone 34-91-5272856 Madrid, Spain. You can also get in touch with , keeper of this page.

Olwell Flute. Lost in Paris: 6-key block-mounted blackwood and silver Patrick Olwell flute (name "Olwell" is stamped on it). This was the flute owned by the late Frankie Kennedy. Contact Patrick Olwell in the U.S. at +1 804 277 9215.

Patrick Olwell seven-key wooden flute, blackwood with silver rings and keys, made 1995. Slight crack in the headjoint. Plastic coating around the lower-lip half of the embouchure. Each section marked with the name "Olwell".Also four Chris Abell wooden whistles, A, B-flat, C and D, blackwood with silver rings and fipples. Each one has a thumb-hole in the back, unusual for pennywhistles. C whistle is unmarked, others are serial #003, and have a picture of a bell on them (get it?). Any and all information appreciated.Contact: Peter Barnes: iolair@gis.net 781-259-8442.