According to the information published in the Auction catalog (Sotheby's London, 10/8/05, lot 389), the instrument was owned by King Frederick the Great of Prussia and was given to his finance minister, Julius Friedrich Freiherr von der Horst. The instrument was handed down in the Horst family to the present time. Frederic was an accomplished flute player and composer, and owned about 22-28 flutes. When Frederic stopped playing around 1780, he presented friends and dignitaries with the instruments. It is not known if there is any written statement to support this provenance.