Saturday, January 10, 2015

The "Original Crown"

This week, we met with Powell sales associate Daniel Sharp to talk about crowns.  In his travels to flute fairs, he has been asked if Powell still makes the "original crown" or "old crown." So, what exactly is the design of the "original" or "old" crown? We discovered it was quite different than many flutists may be picturing...

Daniel shared that Verne Q. Powell modeled his earliest flute crowns after the Louis Lot crown.  In the photo below, we see the crown from Louis Lot #6412, made in 1898:

Photo courtesy of National Music Museum.

Taking a look at Powell #4, we can see the similarity:

However, many flutists are familiar with a style of Powell crowns with two knurled rings, as shown in the photo below with Toshiko Kohno, former principal flutist of the National Symphony Orchestra.  Her flute was made in 1969.

Although we do not have an exact date for when Powell began using this two-ringed design, we can tell that the design dates at least as far back as 1938.  In the photo below on the far left, we see a headjoint from 1938 with a lip plate engraved by Verne Q. Powell.  To the right of this headjoint are two recently made Powell Signature headjoints.  This two-ringed design is currently used on all Powell Signature headjoint crowns.  It is the design that most people are familiar with and consider to be the "original" or "old" crown.

However, in the photo below, we see a Powell silver crown that is currently made for Powell Custom headjoints.

The final photo below shows the current silver Custom crown next to a current Signature crown (on the headjoint).  You'll notice the difference in the two crowns.  The current silver Custom crown resembles the earliest Powell crowns, and the Signature crown resembles the crown with two rings that many people recognize and consider to be the original design.  So, the answer is clearly, "yes!"  We still make the "original" style crown...

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