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Rudall Carte Upright Bass Flute in C


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All our pre-owned, ex-demo and ex-display instruments are checked, set up or serviced in our workshop prior to sale*.

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Representative Example

  • Purchase price: £2,995.00
  • Deposit: £299.50
  • Amount of credit: £2,695.50
  • 12 monthly payments of: £247.49
  • Total repayable: £3,269.41
  • Duration of agreement: 12 months
  • Rate of interest (fixed): 19.9%
  • Representative APR: 19.9%

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Our Description

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so either you are immediately smitten with the sculptural form of this instrument or you may think the maker had partaken of a few too many the night before.

This flute was made in 1933 by Mr Charlton and sold in 1934 to an F J Whitehead of Bude, Cornwall.

Once the flute is balanced in the hands it is very comfortable to play.  We think this particular flute was a special order as we have never seen another like it. The instrument is designed to be played at a jaunty angle just off vertical and has a special right hand thumb hook and knee rest arrangement for when playing in a sitting position and a ring  for a neck strap when standing. Once you have acclimatised the flute is comfortable with play, It has quite a good scale for its day and a reasonable three octave range.  

There are various signs of wear of course but metal work wise the flute is in pretty good condition. We do not think the instrument has been played for the past 15/20 years. However, with an overhaul, strip down clean and oil this promises to be a very interesting and individual flute.

The case is functional but heavily worn.

The flute currently has a pickup in the headjoint crown assembly which according to the owner was working the last time he used the flute but by the look of it will need some retiring and attention. The original crown is present and in the case.

General Condition

This instrument is in very good condition for its age. The silver plating is tarnished, and there are two very small minor dents in the headjoint. These are purley aesthetic, and the instrument plays well, though it could benefit from a complete overhaul.

This item is sold “as seen”. It has not been checked in our workshop prior to sale, and this is reflected in the selling price.

About Rudall, Carte & Co

The British company Rudall Carte was among the most famous and well-regarded names in the music  industry of the 19th and 20th centuries. Founded as Rudall & Rose in 1822, Richard Carte (father of Richard D'Oyly Carte, of later Gilbert and Sullivan fame) joined the firm around 1850, and the company  of Rudall, Rose, Carte & Co then became Rudall, Carte and Company in 1874.

Up until its acquition by Boosey & Hawkes in 1955, Rudall Carte were producing high-quality flutes in a range of materials - primarily cocus wood, but also silver, ebonite and gold - at varying price points. In addition, many famous names in flute history honed their trade at Rudall Carte, including Albert Cooper, Ewen McDougall and Harry Seeley (the last two of whom, along with five other Carte workers, went on to set up Flutemakers Guild).

Rudall Carte cocus wood flutes in particular are rightly still held in high esteem today: beautifully engineered and well ahead of their time, a restored, well cared-for Rudall Carte can be a pleasure to play. Many players like to match a modern British headjoint (such as Robert Bigio or Peter Worrell) to get the most out of these instruments, although there are some notable players who find the warmth and charm of the original headjoint preferable.

Rudall Carte today are known primarily only in the flute world, yet they were hugely successful and highly influential: as well as selling other instruments, the firm published books and music, and were also concert promoters. We highly recommend Robert Bigio's excellent book Rudall, Rose & Carte: The Art of the Flute in Britain for a greater insight into this historic company's production and legacy.


Item Details

Item number: C124005 (Please quote this Item Number if you contact us about this item)
Serial number: 764***
Manufacturer: Rudall, Carte & Co - Rudall, Carte & Co online
Category: Pre-Owned Alto, Bass and Harmony Flutes

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