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.
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.
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.