Astor, George

Woodwind instrument maker, piano merchant and music seller. (fl. 1779-1813) He Traded as George Astor & Co initially at Holywell Street in 1779 as a woodwind instrument maker moving to 26 Wych Street and from 1796 at 79 Cornhill.  Astor referred to himself in the 1790’s as “manufacturer of grand and small piano fortes” but […]

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 Motta in 1794 trading as Motta & Ball.  The first entry for James Ball in […]

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 one of their children was Charles Dickens. Thomas Culliford made pianos for Longman & Broderip […]

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 Henry Houston also traded at the same address. Nine square pianos inscribed Bates & Co. […]

Beck, Arnold Frederick

Piano maker. (fl. C1772-1798) 4 Broad Street Soho and from 1785 at 10 Broad Street Soho. The nameboard inscriptions of his pianos give “Frederick Beck”. In 1779 Beck married Rose Ann Shudi, daughter of Joshua Shudi, the harpsichord maker (nephew of Burkat Shudi the elder). Thomas Beck, pianoforte maker was also at the same address. […]

Beyer, Adam

Piano, organ maker, and music seller at 44 Compton Street, Soho. (fl. before 1770-1798) It is believed that Adam Beyer may have been making square pianos for other makers or dealers before 1770.  The Westminster Rate Books show that he occupied the house in Compton Street from 1766 the same year as the earliest surviving Zumpe square […]

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 company became Longman & Broderip.  The company became bankrupt in 1796 and Broderip continued business […]

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.  Seivers died in 1793 and Buntebart traded alone until his death in 1794.  Thomas Henry […]

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. He was contracted to Longman & Broderip to make a large number of square pianos […]

Ganer, Christopher

Piano maker, inlayer, music publisher and seller initially at 22 Broad Street moving to 47 Broad Street, Soho and also at 48 Broad Street from the early 1780’s. From 1779, Ganer made very elegant inlaid square pianos on a “French” frame stand as well as plain examples. Although, the French frame stand was used as […]

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 […]

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 1786 patent for improvements in the pianoforte and harpsichord, particularly the square piano double action.  […]

Henry Hartz

It is not known whether Henry Hartz was a piano maker or provided the financial investment for piano making. He was in business with Thomas Henry Schrader, the foreman to Gabriel Buntebart trading as Schrader and Hartz.  There are extant instruments made after 1794 with their name.

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 out with partners Lewis and Hyde the music publishing business of John Bland and traded […]

John Preston

Music publisher and seller, musical instrument maker but it is doubtful whether he made pianos.  He was probably a piano dealer.  Started business in 1774 at Banbury Court, Long Acre but soon moved to the Strand.  He was at 97 The Strand from 1778   His son, Thomas joined the business in 1787 and the firm […]

Southwell, William

Piano maker in Dublin from 1783 and opened a business in Lad Lane London in 1794. Southwell was a prolific inventor.  He filed for several patents including improvements to the pianoforte in 1794. This patent was for improved dampers (known as the “Irish” or “dolly” dampers), extension of keyboard compass from 5 to 5 ½ […]

Trute, Charles

Harpsichord and piano maker. 7 Broad Street, (fl. c1760 to 1807)  He emigrated from London to Philadelphia, United States in the early 1790’s. Trute is known to have made tangent action square pianos as well as instruments with the usual English single action.  

Vietor, Harman Bernard

Keyboard instrument maker, Musical instrument seller and organist. C1760 to 1771 in London.  Porter Street, Newport Market. Vietor emigrated from London to United States about 1771 and continued making harpsichords and pianos. An advertisement that appeared in the Public Advertiser on 1st February 1768 was: “To the virtuess (sic) and admirers of music. To be […]

William Rolfe

Piano maker and music publisher. Rolfe was a partner with Thomas Culliford making square pianos for Longman & Broderip until the firm became bankrupt in 1796.  He continued in business with Culliford but left the business in 1798 to trade alone at 112 Cheapside.  His early square pianos are noted for their floral painted nameboard […]

Zumpe, Johannes (John Christopher)

Harpsichord and square piano maker,  Active in London c1760 to 1783 and also active before 1760 in Saxony. He may have worked for Silbermann before coming to London.  When he arrived in London he started to make English guitars but soon turned his attention to making small pianos. We associate the name of  Zumpe with […]