- Phillip T. Young
Dutch woodwind makers. Hendrik Richters (b 1683; d Amsterdam, 20 Oct 1727) and Fredrik Richters (ii) (b 1694; d Amsterdam, 1770) were sons of Fredrik Richters (i) (1649–1726), a wheelwright originally from near Münster, Germany. The brothers made similar oboes, almost all of luxurious materials (ebony, ivory, silver), but do not seem to have operated as partners. In 1716 Fredrik (ii) appeared in a list of the leading turners of Amsterdam. Fredrik in 1729 married Maria Reringh; her uncle, the renowned Amsterdam silversmith Hildebrand van Flory (1657–1754), might have been responsible for the decorative silverwork on the Richters’ oboes (images engraved on the silver keys include rebuses and musicians). Fredrik took over Hendrik’s workshop on the latter’s death, apparently abandoning the one in which he had worked independently. In 1731 Fredrik Richters (iii), a son of Johannis Richters (brother of Hendrik and Fredrik (ii); not known as an instrument maker), was apprenticed to his uncle Fredrik for three years, to learn to make recorders and other instruments. Neither Hendrik nor Fredrik (ii) had children, and Fredrik (ii) bequeathed sums to Flory’s children. Hendrik’s probate inventory, which reveals him as a man of some wealth, includes ‘24 German flutes, 2 yellow oboes, a black painted oboe, 9 schalmeys, an ivory fourth flute, an old small oboe, a mother-of-pearl oboe, 2 flageolets, 5 old violins, 9 ivory recorders, 3 bass recorders, 3 old altos, an old bassoon, 3 new oboes, 2 German flutes, an unfinished bass recorder’ and many other related parts and materials, especially for string instruments. More than 24 surviving oboes, including one tenor, are signed by Hendrik, and four more by Fredrik (ii) (or possibly his nephew Fredrik). Several more in the same style have been attributed to the brothers. Both used a clover leaf as a trademark, Hendrik’s with the stem curling to the left and Fredrik’s with stem curling to the right....