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United Kingdom guitar distributor

Rosetti logo

Like Selmer, Bell or Rose Morris, Rosetti is one of the very well known British musical instrument distributors of the 20th Century. The company was formed by Arthur Rosetti in the 1920s, but in the period on which this site focuses, was run by Czech-Canadian Michael Hunka who had married into the family.

1966 Rosetti (UK) Epiphone guitar catalogue 1965 Rosetti Lucky Seven guitar/

During this period, Rosetti sold entry-level guitars built by Egmond in the Netherlands. Some with their own Rosetti branding, others branded Egmond. These were hugely popular; many of the guitar icons of the 1960s and 70s, started out on these instruments; both Keith Richards and George Harrison got new Rosetti acoustics in 1958, with Paul McCartney buying a Solid 7 in 1960. Other guitars included the Lucky 7, Airstream, Bass 7 and Bass 8.

Rosetti also sold guitars by other UK manufacturers such as Fenton Weill. But during the 1960s Rosetti were also the main UK distributors for a number of important imported brands, most notably Epiphone from around 1963, and Hagstrom circa 1969.

1981 Rosetti (UK) Gibson guitar catalogue

In the late 1970s Hunka sold the business to EMI, and in mid 1981, they became, albeit briefly, the UK distributors of Gibson guitars, producing a number of catalogues (see the 1981 Gibson catalogue, right), and promoting the brand widely at trade shows - this relationship, however, ended when Norlin sold Gibson in January 1986.

In 1985 Rosetti sold to it's present owners, employees Doug Ellis and Barry Warner. Today it still distributes a number of top brands including Hagstrom.


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There are 4 comments on this article so far. Add your comment
Pete Comment left 16th January 2017 03:03:46
My first guitar was a Rossetti Bass 8 from the Littlewoods catalogue in 1964. It was really hard to play, but it sounded great with all the buttons pushed in at once!I can send a pic if you like.
Joaquin Reyes Comment left 14th March 2018 23:11:16
¡Excelente Artículo...por los datos históricos de la Instrumentación guitarristica de Europa y América...¡Mis respetos y bendiciones!...
Ágnes Kertész Comment left 2nd June 2018 06:06:00
Rory Gallagher's first electric guitar was also a Rosetti Solid 7. He bought it at the age of 13 on a hire purchase but later changed the contract to a second-hand Fender Stratocaster.
Lyndon Comment left 21st August 2019 22:10:16
I still have my Rosetti f-hole acoustic that I got for my 11th birthday in 1963. The guitar was bought third-hand. Wonderful guitar.

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