Dushkin Recorders

I've picked up a trio of Dushkin recorders over the past year.  Soprano, alto and tenor.  I haven't been able to find out a lot of information about them.  It seems David Dushkin started making recorders around 1934.  And he was the first American recorder maker.  He started out in the Chicago area, then moved to Vermont.  Other than he and his wife opening two music schools, there's very little information available.  And the is virtually nothing about his recorders.
Dushkin's wood of choice seems to have been walnut.  Although the tenor I recently received looks like rosewood, with a little walnut on the beak.  He also made his headjoints overly complicated.  Most recorder headjoints are comprised of two parts, the headjoint body plus a "block" insert.  Dushkin's headjoints have four components; the headjoint body, the block, a plastic sleeve that goes around that first two things, and then a wooden sleeve that goes around the plastic sleeve.
They all play very differently, but fairly well.  The soprano has a very "reedy" quality.  Intonation is a little wonky, but not horrible.  The alto has a beautiful tone, but it's super quiet.  And you need to blow extremely hard.  The (keyless) tenor plays great.  The tone is a little reedy like the soprano, but the intonation is really good.  The tenor looks to be a later model than the soprano and alto.  Overall, they all play really well.  I couldn't find any information online about how Dushkins played, but was pleasantly surprised.  
Photos below:
Soprano, alto and tenor
Dushkin stamp on the soprano and alto
Dushkin stamp on the tenor
Complicated headjoint components

2 thoughts on “Dushkin Recorders

  1. We just received a Dushkin alto recorder in a box from a family member. It looks like beautiful craftsmanship but I can’t find any information about what it might be worth. Where did you find yours/can you comment on the value if we decide not to keep ours?

    1. Hello Heather! Dushkin recorders are interesting “historical” instruments. So many improvements have been made to recorders in the past couple of decades, that vintage instruments don’t hold much value except to collectors. I think a fair value would be less than $100 (I don’t think I paid more than $60 for any of mine). Thanks for checking out my site. 🙂

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