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Graham WalkerThis is the website of Graham Walker, Dorset, UK who has had an interest in the early piano for over 30 years. He has undertaken the restoration of instruments for private collection and has also carried out research on early pianos and their makers over this period. This has been done alongside a career in management consultancy and performance management. Early retirement in 2007 enabled him to become more involved and he commissioned a cloth manufacturer to produce an authentic keyboard cloth. This cloth is the nearest match to an early 19th century piano cloth that can be made within modern manufacturing processes. It was initially produced for his requirements but it soon came in demand by others.  Further types of cloth have been replicated by request from makers and restorers.  These cloths can be purchased from the online shop on this website.  He has also undertaken some research into the leather used in early English pianos and is currently working in liaison with the Institute of Creative Leather Technology, Northampton University, UK with the objective of determining specifications. He is involved in supporting interest in the early piano and is passionate about ensuring that our heritage of early pianos collections in the UK can be maintained for the future.

Garcka, George

Piano maker. He was born about 1750 in Schimmerwitz (now Siemirowice in Poland) and it is thought that he came to London in the 1760’s. He was making square pianos from 1778 or perhaps a little earlier until 1792. He traded at 16 Stephen Street, Rathbone Place, Tottenham Court Road from 1783 to 1791 and in 1792 his address was the corner of Edward Street and Wardour Street. (This is also the address of James Henry Houston, piano maker) In December 1787 he was declared bankrupt but was able to continue in business until 1792 when his business was acquired by John Bates and partners. A patent was taken out by Garcka in 1792 that positioned the wrest pins behind the nameboard with the strings running diagonally from this position to the right. Some of the early square pianos made by Garcka were elegant and inlaid similar to those made by Christopher Ganer.

1780 Garcka

The nameboard of a Garcka square piano 1780

 

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