Claude Laurent (1774-1849), a Parisian watchmaker, patented an instrument that captivated musicians and aristocrats alike throughout Europe: a flute of crystal and silver, occasionally with jewel incrustations, which delighted even Napoleon Bonaparte and the Czar of Russia Alexander I.
The genius of his flute was not limited to the material used to make it, however, but also involved the fact that, in order to integrate the mechanism within the glass, Laurent devised a system for attaching the keys which is still used today in the making of wind instruments.
Collecting the PhD special prize award for my dissertation on Claude Laurent Crystal flutes at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. I hope this serves to make known one of the great flute makers of the XIX century and his wonderful instruments.
MUSEU DE LA MÚSICA DE BARCELONA
MUSÉE DE LA MUSIQUE. PARIS
HORNIMAN MUSEUM LONDON
ROYAL COLLEGE OF MUSIC LONDON
BATE COLLECTION OXFORD UNIVERSITY
VICTORIA & ALBERT MUSEUM. LONDON