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2005/173/11 Fife, 5 key, wood / metal, [designed by Victor McMahon], Boosey & Hawkes, England, 1940-1960.. Click to enlarge.

Fife possibly made by Victor McMahon and Boosey & Hawkes

Made by Boosey & Hawkes in England, 1940-1960.

Victor McMahon was one of Australia’s leading flautists and educators during the twentieth century. A contemporary of Leslie Barklamb of Melbourne, McMahon’s focus was on New South Wales. Born in Ballarat in 1903 he came to Sydney in 1923 and in 1924 became a member of the Prince Edward Theatre Orchestra, remaining with them until 1938. He was appointed Professor of Flute at the NSW Conservatorium of Music in 1932 replacing Albert Arlom and continued there initially until 1944. During this time ...


Object No.


Object Statement

Fife, 5 key, wood / metal, [designed by Victor McMahon], Boosey & Hawkes, England, 1940-1960.

Physical Description

Fife, 5 key, wood / metal, probably made by Victor McMahon / Boosey & Hawkes, England, 1940-1960.

Wooden fife in two sections (head joint and body) with metal keys and rings. Five keys and six unkeyed open holes. Headjoint is not metal lined.

Without case.


No marks.



Possibly designed by Victor McMahon and produced by Boosey and Hawkes and sold through Palings in Australia. These style school flutes were also later made by Rudall Carte and Besson.


Boosey & Hawkes England 1940-1960



Owned by Clewin Harcourt and inherited by the donor from him. It is unknown when Harcourt acquired this instrument.


Harcourt, Clewin Europe 1913-1960


Credit Line

Donated through the Australian Government Cultural Gifts Program by Nicola Coles (nee Wilson) in memory of Clewin Harcourt (1870-1965), 2005

Acquisition Date

6 July 2005

Cite this Object


Fife possibly made by Victor McMahon and Boosey & Hawkes 2018, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 20 March 2019, <>


{{cite web |url= |title=Fife possibly made by Victor McMahon and Boosey & Hawkes |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=20 March 2019 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}


This object record is currently incomplete. Other information may exist in a non-digital form. The Museum continues to update and add new research to collection records.

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