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Introduction

This Directory gives useful information about piano makers, merchants, and people in allied trades who were involved in piano manufacturing and marketing in London between 1760 and 1800.  The maker’s name given on the piano nameboard during this period was not always that of the actual maker and many instruments gave the name of the retail merchant.   During the latter part of the 18th century the popularity of the piano grew rapidly and this gave significant business opportunities for those who could take advantage.  Varied business arrangements formed between piano makers, musical supply warehouses and people in allied trades whereby the name given on the nameboard was not of the actual maker.  Often it is possible to identify the actual maker by the design characteristics of the instrument.

There are three levels of information. The top level gives a list of names in alphabetical order.  From each name, there is a drop-down table of standard data (including birth and death dates, business activity, business names and addresses together with associated dates).  Where the piano maker’s or merchant’s business continued into the 19th century this information is also given but shown in italics.   More detailed information is available for some makers and merchants from a link in the table.  (This may include biographical, business management, piano design or details of surviving instruments). 

The scope of this directory is to include information about the people whose name has been given on the nameboard of pianos made in London during this period but it also includes the name of others who played an important role in the piano industry.

Any comments or additional information is welcome.

George ASTOR

Photo of George ASTOR
Biography

(1752-1813)

Business activity:   Woodwind instrument maker and music seller.  Piano merchant from the 1790’s possibly initially reselling square pianos made by John Geib and/or Thomas Culliford.

Trading as, employed by or contracted to:   George Astor 1774-1798, George Astor & Co. 1798-1814, Astor & Horwood 1814-1821, C. Gerock, Astor and Co. 1821-1828, Christopher Gerock & Co. 1828-1835

Business Address:   26 Wynch Street 1774-1803, 79 Cornhill & 27 Tottenham Street, Fitzroy Square 1797-1814, 79 Cornhill 1814-1835, 76 Bishopsgate Street, 7 Gracechurch Street

More information about GEORGE ASTOR

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