Rudall, Carte

early Rudall & Rose cover ca.1840
early cover
1880s cover
1922 cover



This firm published music in London from the 1850s until 1955, when it was bought by Boosey & Hawkes. The catalogue contained works for flute and a few for other wind instruments.

Rudall & Rose, later Rudall, Rose & Carte, and finally Rudall Carte, was the major manufacturer of flutes in the UK from about 1820 to 1950. George Rudall (1781-1871), a professional flautist and flute teacher, saw the potential market for flutes, and recruited John Mitchell Rose (1793-1866) of the firm Wood, Small & Co in Edinburgh, setting up a workshop in London in 1822 with the name Rudall & Rose. At first they made simple-system flutes, but Richard Carte (1808-1891), Rudall's student, persuaded Rudall to make Theobald Boehm’s early conical flutes. The firm then bought the British rights to make Boehm’s 1847 cylindrical flute, which has remained the standard to the present. Subsequently, from the early 1850s, Richard Carte brought his business skill to the firm and presided over a vast growth. For some details of their flutes see here.

It was at this time, under Richard Carte, that the firm moved into publishing. In addition to flute works, Rudall Carte published The Musical Directory, an annual guide to the music business in Britain. The instrument business also grew, with the acquisition of Thomas Key, a military musical instrument maker, and they started to sell brass and percussion instruments. The name Rudall, Carte & Company was adopted in 1872 and Carte became sole owner in 1878.
Times were harder after 1918, and the company was sold to Boosey & Hawkes in 1940. Finally in 1985 Boosey & Hawkes decided to close the company.
Incidentally, the oldest of Richard Carte's six children was Richard D'Oyly Carte (1844–1901), the impressario who brought Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan together for the Savoy operas (1875-96).

Imprints, Addresses, Agencies


  • Rudall, Carte & Co.


23 Berners St London

Plate Numbers

  • The letters R.C. & Co. Ltd. ### were usually included as part of the plate numbering scheme.
    Dates in italics are estimated.
Plate Composer Work Year
313 Macfarren Trio for Flute, Cello and Piano (sc & pts) 1880
Prout Flute Sonata, Op.17 1883
480 Duncan Quintet for Piano and Winds, Op.38 (sc & pts) 1898
446 Jadassohn Notturno, Op.133 1900
Dunhill Quintet, Op.3 (sc & pts) 1914
670 Revell 3 Pensées, Op.23 1923


Sources Consulted

  • HMB