Clare BeesleyHistorical flautistmenu


Boosey & Co.

A relative found this Boosey and Co instrument when clearing out the attic! Who played it or in which musical setting it was used is unknown, but it's a beautful flute. It's an R. S. Pratten's Perfected model, serial number 8819 9754, crafted in the Boosey workshop at 24 Holles Street, London. According to Langwill, this address was in use from 1864-1874.

It was first inspected, cleaned and pads were removed by Karl Pfretzschner and some years later repadded by Stephen Wessel. Arthur Haswell has also helped with adjustments to the key work.

It plays at Old Philharmonic Pitch (A=c.452).

Rudall Carte

My search for a characterful wooden Boehm instrument at (almost!) modern pitch led me to the Penrith workshop of Arthur Haswell and to his lovingly restored flutes. This 1925 cocus wood Rudall Carte with silver keys, (number 6729), boasts a delightful Brosser F sharp, whilst the headjoint has an ebonite lip-plate thought to enhance articulation clarity. Robert Bigio generously supplied further information about the flute's origins from the Rudall Carte company ledgers. Catalogued on 7th March 1925 and recorded as "low pitch" (i.e New Philharmonic Pitch  A=439Hz, as opposed to Old Philharmonic Pitch of A=452Hz), it took over a year to sell, purchased on 18th August 1926 for £36 by J. Davies of Liverpool.