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Siegling, John
Place Made:
Charleston South Carolina United States of America
Date Made:
ivory and silver
LOA 27-1/2″ (approximate) __ __ __ __ __ __The length of the flute is variable depending on position of sliding head joint; bottom end of sliding head joint fits tightly on central section of flute and was not forced all the way on for measurement
Dimensions of case: LOA: 15-5/8″; WOA: 5-1/4″; HOA: 2-1/4″
Accession Number:
DESCRIPTION: Ivory flute in three sections with eight silver keys and decorative roll-stamped silver bands with rose and leaf decoration. Flute is in Morocco covered and lined wooden case (4313.2) with simple gold-tooled decoration.
The small symbol on the top of the case for the flute is the symbol of the Charleston Hibernian Society.

INSCRIPTION: Engraved “THOMAS PARKER” on a silver nameplate affixed to the flute’s sliding head joint with three fasteners.

MARK: Stamped into the ivory above the silver nameplate: “1 / SIEGLING / CHARLESTON” and stamped with ink on the interior of case: “JOHN SIEGLING / CHARLESTON SC” surrounding a harp in a circular mark.

MAKER: John Siegling was born in 1792 in Erput, Prussia and died in Charleston, SC in 1828. He was listed among the aliens admitted to South Carolina in 1824; however he was advertising as a musical instrument maker in the city as early as 1819. His notice of 4 Feburary 1820 reads:
“T. SIEGLING, [sic]/ Musical Instrument Maker, (from London,) No. 53, corner of Broad/ and King-streets,/ HAS for sale, a most excellent BARREL ORGAN, of Astor’s warrented,/ having ten barrels, amongst which is one apiral, playing the chorus/ in Judas Maccabeus, and the chorus in the Messiah; likewise the/ most choice Sacred and Martial Music, with a variety of favourite [sic]/ Songs, Airs and Waltzes, of the best authors-finished in a suitable/ manner for an elegant drawing room./ ALSO,/ A variety of Harps, Piano Fortes, Violins, Flutes (from one to/ eight keys,) fifes, and other Musical Instruments and appendages:/ likewise, Haro, Guitar, Violin, and Bass Strings, and a rare selection of all kinds of Music, for sale./ All sorts of Musical Instruments tuned and repaired in the best manner, on reasonable terms.”
A later advertisement in the Charleston Courier offered “PIANo FORTES, the the latest improvements, and properly/ contructed for warm climates–Prices $235 to $450.” See MESDA Craftsman Database entry for John Siegling (Craftsman ID 35424); online: (accessed 9 August 2017).

Thomas Parker Jr. (1793-1844), whose name is engraved on a silver plated affixed to the flute, served as treasurer of Charleston’s St. Cecilia Society between August 1817 and August 1822. Whether or not he performed at the society’s concerts (which ended in the spring of 1820) is unclear, as the names of the gentlemen amateurs were never published. See Nicholas Butler, archivist at the South Carolina Historical Society, dissertation research on music in early Charleston. Parker was the son of Thomas (1745-1802) and Mary Drayton Parker (1774-1826). He married Eleanor Legare Frost (1782-1843) in 1809 or 1810.
Credit Line:
MESDA Purchase Fund