Rudall Carte & Co., Ltd.
Stamp: Stamped on upper body: (crown) / RUDALL / CARTE & CO LTD / 23 BERNERS STREET / OXFORD STREET / LONDON / 543 / (upward curved script) (Radcliff's Model) Headjoint stamped: (crown) / RUDALL / CARTE & CO LTD / LONDON
Marks: No marks visible under keys (flute not disassembled).
Manufacture Date: Radcliff 543: 17 April 1912. Thinned cocuswood down to B natural. Middle and foot in one. Made by Bull. Sold on 21 January 1913 to A.A. Bohm of Adelaide. (from Robert Bigio, who has just published THE book, available from Tony Bingham http://www.oldmusicalinstruments.co.uk)
Hallmarks: No Hallmarks.
Comments: Although this flute plays at high pitch, she is a wonderful player. The old pads still seat nicely, although the mechanism is a bit sluggish, and needs to be cleaned and oiled. Nonetheless, the playing quality of the flute is very evident, and very fine.
Material: Made of beautiful reddish Cocus wood, with silver trim and keys. Entire flute appears completely original as from the shop, including pads and blue steel springs.
System: This is the Radcliff system, of the highest quality. The body is completely thinned, and made in one piece with the foot to B. The headjoint is also thinned, leaving a bold lipplate area with an oval embouchure. The cap and cork adjuster are threaded wood. The pitch is high, probably A=452. The Radcliff System was made famous through the recordings of John Amadio. These recordings are amazing, and his use of the flute is unreal. He was able to make these instruments talk, and he told a whole story with his pieces. It is hard to find someone who uses a flute this way anymore, except maybe Robert Dick, in his own way. Radcliff was looking a bit to the past, unlike Robert I think, and he designed his flute to retain his favorite characteristics of the old Nicholson flute. After the speaking tone, clearly, the F# fingering was the most important. To retain the first finger F#, Radcliff went to great lengths, including adding a simple doubled hole for F#, the key kept closed until used. This seemed too simple, so he levered the short F touch to include closing the Bb key, as the first finger does on the Boehm system. He also doubled the hole for C, and put the B hole under the thumb. The G# is a standard independent closed G#. Why this makes these flutes speak with such dexterity and variety I do not know.
Condition: The headjoint sports two hairline cracks, one from the bottom and one elsewhere from the top. Both are very clean and easily repaired. The embouchure is perfect and clean. There are a few scratches on the wood. Otherwise, this flute is in perfect, as new condition. The pads and everything look right out of the shop. The screw heads are all perfect. A small adjustment, possibly intentional, has been made at the long F touch, which looks to have left the only pliers mark on the flute. This flute, and the case, are in superb, completely original condition.
Pitch: Although this flute was made to play at A=452, I believe, she seems to come more into herself the further out you pull the headjoint. I would say she plays best at around A=446. The headjoint seems to fall off before the tuning does.
Sounding Length: Sounding length 626mm.
Weight: Weight 509 g.
Case: In a very beautiful original case, which was made for, and used to hold, a piccolo as well. The exterior is a reddish-brown leather. There is a silver plaque on the case, with "J. A. " engraved--whoops, just joking; the plaque is empty.