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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…

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Houston, James Henry

Piano maker. (fl.1790-1799) Trading at “corner of Edward Street and 95 Wardour Street, Soho” as Houston & Co, and later as James Henry Houston. Became bankrupt in 1797 but continued to trade in agreement with his creditors until 1799. Bought…

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Buntebart, Gabriel Gottlieb

Piano maker and music seller at 7 Princess Street, Hanover Square.  He had a partnership with Johannes Zumpe from 1769 to 1778.  Traded as Gabriel Buntebart before partnership with Christopher Seivers about 1788 when the firm became Buntebart & Seivers. …

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Broderip, Francis Fane

Francis Broderip is linked to the piano trade by marriage.   He married Ann Longman, daughter of John Longman and was taken into the business of Longman, Lukey & Co. in 1774.  After the death of Charles Lukey in 1775, the…

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Bates, Thomas

Piano maker and music seller. He acquired the business of George Garcka in January 1793 at the corner of Edward Street and Wardour Street. Trading as Bates & Company in 1793. The business only survived for about 12 months. James…

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Ball, James

Piano maker and music seller.  (fl. c1788-1819)  1 Duke Street, Grosvenor Square and later at 26 Duke Street. He patented a grand piano style music desk for the square piano in 1790. He was in partnership with the composer Domenico…

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Veg-tanned Hair Sheep

Hammer Covering and Leather

The leather used by piano makers in the late 18th and early 19th centuries for covering hammers is no longer available. Therefore, if it is necessary to replace, an alternative needs to be found that has similar properties to the…

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Geib, John Lawrence

Piano maker.  (fl. Before 1777 to 1798) in 1798 Geib emigrated from London to New York where continued to make pianos. While in London his workshop was in the vicinity of Tottenham Court Road.  Geib is best known for his…

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Culliford, Thomas

Piano and harpsichord maker. He was born in Somerset in 1745. He may have been apprenticed to John Hitchcock, harpsichord and spinet maker. Culliford married Mary Goldsworth in 1770. From 1779 he lived and worked at 16 Fountain Court, Cheapside.…

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Barrow, Charles

Charles Barrow is linked to the piano trade through marriage. He married Elizabeth Culliford, daughter of Thomas Culliford on 27th January 1788 and was taken into partnership with Thomas Culliford.  Elizabeth, the daughter of Charles Barrow, married John Dickens and…

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