Debey (no first name known) was a Franco/Flemish maker who flourished in the early 18th century.  Only three instruments have survived, 1 alto recorder and oboes.  The alto recorder is now owned by the collection of the Gemeentemeuseum in The Hague and has been on loan to the University of Utrecht for quite a  while. The instrument is made of stained boxwood and has the very remarkable pitch of A415 Hz.  The turning work is of excellent quality. This recorder is an all round instrument which has a warmer and more melancholic tone than another instrument also originally at A415, the Jacob Denner alto, which has been described as more extrovert in tone quality. This warm tone is especially useful for French baroque music (like Hotteterre, Marais, or  Philidor), but because of its good playing characteristics it is also used for German and Italian chamber music.

The reason Debey is so widely copied today is because it is one of the best preserved original instruments and did not require scaling when made at A415. The first modern maker to copy the Debey was Fred Morgan, and it was trying his Debey copy (purchased by Anneke Boeke in 1972) that convinced me he was a really excellent maker and that good copies of historical instruments are generally superior to modern designs.  Currently, Debey copies are being produced by Sorel, Klemisch, van der Poel, Boudreau and the Morgan workshop in conjunction with Nicolaj Ronimus, Jacqueline Sorel, and others.


MakerRecorder ModelRecorder SizePitchMaterialPieces




List Price


Jacqueline SorelDebey
Alto415BoxwoodThreeDoubleEnglish Used Excellent Condition!- Very Clear Tone. Smooth High Notes!$1850 $1775
Jacqueline SorelDebey
Alto392BoxwoodThreeDoubleEnglish New - Debey scaled down to A392, French Opera Pitch. Perfectly dark toned for Lully, Hotteterre, and Bach Cantata 106 $1850 Sold to the gentleman in Ann Arbor
Jacqueline SorelDebey  Alto415BoxwoodThreeDoubleEnglishNew - Very Clear Tone. Smooth High Notes!$1850 Sold to the gentleman in France


Peter van der Poel Debey
Alto415BoxwoodThreeDoubleEnglish New - Very smooth high notes and firm low range, perfect for Handel, Corelli, and Telemann$1850

10/08/2006 to the gentleman in

Alto415Boxwood w/artificial ivory thumb bushingThreeDoubleEnglishNew - Body reamed and turned by Morgan's assistant Dieter, with original Morgan design, and tuned and voiced by Nikolaj Ronimus$3250

10/15/2005 to the gentleman in Fukuoka

Guido KlemischDebey (X)

Alto415Stained BoxwoodThreeDoubleEnglishNew - Beautiful dark tone.$1950 SOLD to another gentleman in Japan
Guido KlemischDebey (X)

Alto415Stained BoxwoodThreeDoubleEnglishNew - Beautiful dark tone.$1950 SOLD to the gentleman in Japan
Jean-Luc BoudreauDebey (X)

Alto415Stained BoxwoodThreeDoubleEnglishUsed - Sensuous tone for French music. Chipped artificial ivory ring on center tenon.$1650 SOLD to the Collegium Director in North Carolina 12/15/2004 
Jean-Luc BoudreauDebey
Alto440Boxwood w/artificial ivory ringsThreeDoubleEnglishNew - Outstanding instrument for A440!$1650 SOLD to recorder player in New Mexico 12/13/2003
Margaret LoebnerDebey
Alto415Boxwood w/artificial  ivory ringsThreeDoubleEnglishNew - Nice round tone.  Revoiced by Herb Myers$1525 SOLD to the lady in  Vancouver