Oddities and Clearance

Constitution Wood Fifes.

Back around 1989/90, as a member of the historical ceremonial unit for the USS Constitution and museum – The US Marine Detachment, 1797 – it was resolved to take some of the material associated with the ship and manufacture items as a fundraiser.  As it was explained to us by the director of the museum at that time, all materials taken off of the USS Constitution during repairs and refits belong to the museum; the oldest is held in the basement while later examples were held on the grounds in old railway boxcars.  So in company with Bill Moss – the commander of the unit at that time – we went down into the basement of the museum and selected material we thought was sufficiently sound to make into fifes for presentation models.  I brought the project to Cooperman Fife and Drum Co where I worked under Pat Cooperman, and he agreed that we could take on the project.  I made some 3 dozen fifes out of the oak that was pulled out of the basement and had in former years been part of the ship (the director thought from a refit in the late 1800s), and many were presented to dignitaries with museum documents of authenticity.  When Bill Moss passed away, it was clear that he had owned some of the fifes and he made his own certificates printed up and notarized.  I specifically recognize these fifes, having made them, and here they are offered for sale, each with one of Bill’s certificates.  Meant to be sold individually, if you wish to purchase the lot, please reach out and inquire with me.  Priced based on the source of the material and an example of my earlier work.

Constitution Wood Fife – Bb





Ralph Sweet Baroque Flute

Ralph had ventured into replicating the flute in D of the Baroque era from some originals that he had measured.  At some point, he had decided that these were weak in tone and needed more of that iconic “Irish sound”, and so enlarged the embouchure.  This gave Ralph’s Baroque flutes a poor reputation among purists, and after some time, Ralph borrowed some original, historic flutes to adjust his own to.  The end result was that his earliest and his last batch were essentially the same, while the middle years were not his best examples.  Still, there are some performers who like the flutes from the earliest years and of the last set.  The Baroque flute maker’s world has proven to be somewhat “cut-throat” and only someone devoted to this design can make it beyond selling but a few.

Here is a flute from one of Ralph’s earlier sets, before the “Irish adjustment” period.  It was in Ralph’s collection and the A=440 section was unfinished.  I have completed it, cleaned up the pieces from knocking about in one of Ralph’s bench drawers, and I offer it here.  It has BOTH upper-middle sections for “modern pitch” (A=440) and for “Baroque pitch” (A-415).  Maple wood, single silver key.

Sweetheart Flute Co Baroque Flute



School for the Flute – by C. Nicholson (facsimile of the 1836 edition)

Comprehensive self-tutor for the flute but equally applicable exercises for the fife.  Volumes 1 and 2 combined. Was 25$… NOW 15$ each.


Complete Music for Fife & Drum – by Walter Sweet

Parts for fife and for drum, selections of the more well known tunes utilized in the New England fife&drum sub-culture, a few not so well known, and in some cases simple harmonies and chords are included.  Instead of an accompanying CD, a link for access to MP3 audio is provided, free with the purchase of the book.  Was 35$… NOW 25$ each.