Rudall Carte & Co., Ltd
Stamp: On upper body: (crown) / RUDALL / CARTE & Co Ltd / 23 BERNERS STREET / OXFORD STREET / LONDON / 7585
Marks: No marks visible under keys.
Manufacture Date: Made by Fred Handke June 27, 1932, per Carte record books (ledger info via Robert Bigio at www.bigio.com).
Hallmarks: No hallmarks.
Comments: Robert Bigio comments on this flute: "7585. 27 June 1932. Thinned cocuswood Boehm, silver keys, shut G#, middle and foot in one, low pitch. Made by Handke. Sold 1 December 1932 to C.A. Allen. If this is your flute, it is very interesting indeed. A thinned-throughout flute was the most expensive instrument made by Rudall Carte, and Fred Handke, in my opinion, was the best craftsman ever to have made a flute. I have a few of his instruments, which I bring out every so often to show myself what great craftsmanship should look like. There are a couple of pictures of Fred Handke in my new book on Rudall Carte. See my website for details. You may be interested to know that Albert Cooper thought Handke was the best, too, as did all the Rudall Carte workers." We completely concur with Robert Bigio's comments. These thinned wood flutes have a bright, clear tone, fast articulation, comfortable hand position, and an aura of excellence which is highly inspiring. This is one of the finest playing and feeling of the great genre of Rudall Carte wooden flutes, including the later Flutemaker's guild instruments. In short, one of the finest wooden Boehm flutes ever made.
Material: Made of thinned cocuswood with silver keys and fittings. Headjoint lined with silver tube. Springs of blue steel. Pad washers French-type screw-on, probably white metal.
System: This is the rare and exquisite fully thinned flute with one-piece body and foot that was the highest quality instrument from Rudall and Carte. It is a standard Boehm, with offset G, closed G#, C foot, and B-C thumb trill. The headjoint is silver lined.
Condition: This flute is in exquisite, fully original condition. The headjoint has a lateral crack well below the embouchure (repaired here), ensuring that any future cracking will not threaten the blowhole. There are no other cracks, dings, repairs, or blemishes throughout this lovely instrument. There was a crutch holder, which has been removed and lost, however the original crutch remains.
Pitch: Pitched at c.A=440, which was probably actually A=439, the lowest of three pitches offered by Rudall Carte.
Sounding Length: Sounding length 599 mm.
Weight: 482 g.
Case: In modern one-piece case.