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Transverse flute (Swiss pipe)

17th century (?), Manufacturer: anonym



Transverse flute (Swiss pipe)

Traverse flutes - also known as Schweizerpfeifen (Swiss pipes) - had a place both in concert and military music. This flute comes from Altenklingen Castle in Switzerland and belonged to members of the Zollikofer family, as can be seen from the coat-of-arms inscribed on the case. The flute is made of yew and has a cylindrical bore. To protect the very fragile ends of the tube, these were fitted with cylindrical rings made of bone or ivory (here reconstructed). Traverse flutes were made in various sizes and transported in a matching case. The case on display is designed to hold four flutes in three different sizes. Bearing in mind that the flutes were used in military situations, it is not surprising that very few of these instruments and cases have survived. (rh)

Lit.: Rudolf Hopfner: Masterpieces from the Collection of Historic Musical Instruments. A Short Guide through the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna, Vol. 1, Vienna 2019.

Location: Neue Burg, Sammlung alter Musikinstrumente Saal 11

Object data

Object Name

Transverse flute (Swiss pipe)


Germany, Nuremberg (?)


17th century (?)


Dimensions Cover size is a museum or exhibition-specific information. It does not specify the real dimensions of the musical instrument.

495 mm x 15 mm x 15 mm

Image rights

Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Sammlung alter Musikinstrumente

Inv. No.

Sammlung alter Musikinstrumente, 1028

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