Rudall, Rose and Carte: The development of the flute in London, 1821-1939

Bigio, Robert. 2005. Rudall, Rose and Carte: The development of the flute in London, 1821-1939. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

Text (Rudall, Rose and Carte: The development of the flute in London, 1821-1939)
MUS_thesis_BigioR_2005.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives.

Download (34MB) | Preview

Abstract or Description

From their establishment in the 1820s Rudall & Rose dominated the large and lucrative market for flutes, at first with instruments of the highest quality but of little technological innovation. In the 1840s they were advised and later joined in partnership by Richard Carte, whose business acumen guided the firm to an association with Theobald Boehm that led to the successful commercial exploitation first of Boehm's 1832 model flute and later of his final, cylindrical model of 1847. Carte's skill at understanding the market led him to develop models of flutes that would permit a player to benefit from many of the acoustical advantages of the Boehm flute without learning a new fingering system, and his understanding of his instrument led him to develop first his 1851 and later his 1867 patent flutes, which it may be argued were mechanically superior to the standard Boehm and which enjoyed considerable success well into the twentieth century. Rudall, Rose & Carte, later Rudall, Carte & Company, continued to be innovative flute makers, producing the first gold flutes, the first platinum flutes and the first flutes in Monel metal, as well as flutes to the individual designs of a number of flute players. This thesis examines the social and business trends and the market pressures that inform the flute manufacturing business in the nineteenth century, with detailed technical discussion and illustration of the firm's instruments. The firm's parallel activities in publishing, retailing, military instrument manufacture and concert promotion (under the management of Carte's son, Richard D'Oyly Carte) are considered as contributing to their success.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):


Flute, Rudall, Rose, Carte, development of the flute, history of the flute, London, flute manufacturing

Departments, Centres and Research Units:




Item ID:


Date Deposited:

03 Jun 2020 10:54

Last Modified:

08 Sep 2022 12:31


View statistics for this item...

Edit Record Edit Record (login required)