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 23, 2012


Froby is a rare perspex nose flute from the Piet Visser's collection. It has a very futuristic look, with its fluo color and its pair of long wings. Mr. Mei, who had the luck to test it, wrote in his article: « The 'Froby' certainly attracts attention by the way it looks and sounds! », lauding its pure tone with a frank attack.

(Photos by Maikel Mei)
Last November, before to know whether the flute had been commercialized, I found the patent (ES1004918) corresponding to Froby. So, I can state that the perspex flute is Spanish-Basque, and date from 1988, designed by Uriarte Urbina and Antonia Maria, as assignors to Papelaria Informal S.A., Donostia-San Sebastián, Guipúzcoa, in the autonomous community of the Basque Country.

One can easily see that the shape has evolved between the design for the patent and the model that was commercialized. The "nose wings" have faily grown, have been narrowed, and got 2 ledges in order to retrieve the level of the mouth shield.


  1. Very interesting to see the patent and the product next to each other. I do hope that the pictures come across well enough, as the properties of the material actually make it quite hard to photograph!

    The extended upright 'wings' to me seem to have been made for purpose of appearance: this way parts of the instrument stick out bothe under and above the hand that holds it. The 'wings' also prevent the hand from covering the instrument from the side.

    Together with the fluorescent transparent material it really stands out that way! To me, it is the most wonderful nose flute I have ever seen and played.

    1. Piet Visser actually told me that he bought this particular flute in 1988, in an Antwerp shop that sold about anything. At the time that shop had a whole batch of these nose flutes lying around, for sale in various other fluorescent colours, such as violet, green and orange.

      When Mr Visser visited the same shop some years later, they had all gone and couldn't be ordered anymore. This one really is a bit of a mystery...
      However, Piet Visser will be on the look-out and
      regularly visits fairs where they just might pop up!

      Luis, thank you so much for looking up for the address.

  2. It does look like a fine nose flute.

    Using your info and patent number, I found a full street address:

    Calle de Secundino Esnaola, 8
    20001 Donostia-San Sebastián, Spain

    However, a Google search for this address brings up several business: shoes, perfume, furniture... but no papelería (stationery).

    I found the street view in Google maps, lots of shops but again, no papelería.


    1. Yes, I tried to reach them in November..; and got no answers...