This rare instrument, combining a transverse flute and an oboe in the form of a walking stick, is made of narwhal tusk, a precious material once valued higher than gold and believed to be from the horn of the mythological unicorn. Georg Henrich Scherer was the last and most important member of a well-known eighteenth-century family of German woodwind makers. Among his clients was Frederick the Great, who played and owned a small collection of flutes. The king pursued a scientific interest in testing the acoustical attributes of different materials, which may account in part for the use of narwhal tusk. This instrument is said to have been a gift from Frederick to his finance minister. Scherer made a similar instrument, now in the Landesmuseum, Darmstadt. Walking-stick instruments became fashionable in the first half of the nineteenth century, but were usually conceived as a single instrument, be it a recorder, a fiddle, or a flute.