This blog is dedicated to the sublime instruments called nose flutes and which produce the most divine sound ever. We have chosen to discard all the native models from S. Pacific and Asia, for they need fingering to be played. We'll concentrate on "buccal cavity driven" nose flutes : the well patented and trademarked metal or plastic ones, plus, by a condemnable indulgence, some wooden craft or home-made productions.

Jul 5, 2012

About the "Swan logo"... Part I

The second most produced nose flute in the world, just after the plastic Humanatone, is indoubtedly this german two color plastic Nasenflöte. Weird : we don't even know its name! It wears a trade-mark logo with a swan, and thus, it is used to be called "swan logo" among noseflutists. Who designed it? Which factory produces it? What is its history? Has it been the same from its beginnings until now? When did the production started? Many questions, and very few answers...

According to Piet Visser, the Swan was issued in 1958 [edit : actually in 1955], produced by a german factory. It could have had the Simmy nose flute as an ancestor, but there is no evidence on that point (we even do not know if the Simmy really is german...) [check this and this posts on this topic].

Is that all? First, let's make a tour, a sightseeing tour. We all know the current production of bright two colored Swans, one for the body, and another for the airway cover. But there are some rare samples, denying this too simple statement.

Look at this beautiful vintage "mustard and rust" colored one, traded from Bernard Visser collection. Not really flashy colors, aren't they? When does it date from? :

Stranger, those translucent body models :

And the weirdest, but probably most beautiful, this marbleized sample from Maikel Mel collection :

So, we can see that the Swan Nasenflöte is not so simple it could have appeared at first glance.

Mr. Mei, who was used to ask for and buy nose flutes in dutch music shops in the 90s, and who took the time to call distributors, has been able to trace the large lines of a Swan history.

- The Simmy was released in 1952 (Piet Visser)
- The Swan was released in 1958 (Piet Visser), in 1955 (check this post) produced in Germany.
- The production stopped around 1985 (M. Mei's contacts with distributors)
- The production restarted in 1997-98 ... in China! (M. Mei's contacts). 
  (This is also the date when Mr. Mei bought his translucent nose flute,
    but the second model was bought in Germany in 2011...)

As incredible as it is, the current Swan, stamped with "Made in Germany" has been a chinese product since 1997 !

                                          Read Part II >>


On the same topic :

- About the "Swan logo"... Part I
- About the "Swan logo"... Part II
- About the "Swan logo"... Part III
- "Swan logo"... Identity revealed!
- Much more about the Swan!
- Schwan Special Colors
- Vintage Schwan - Forensics and Dating


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