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Jaak Liivoja-Lorius

(fl Milan, c1737–63). Italian violin maker. His violins are roughly reminiscent of Giovanni Grancino’s model although without its symmetry. The craftsmanship rarely approaches any degree of refinement, though the tonal qualities invariably rise above these limitations, and authentic examples in good condition command respectable prices. The varnish on the better instruments is a reddish-brown, most of the others being a clear yellow-brown. Alberti took over Grancino’s shop, which is acknowledged on his printed labels: ‘Ferdinando Alberti in Contrada/Larga di Milano a Segno della/Corona F. l’Anno 17 –’ or ‘Ferdinando Alberti fece in Milano/nella Contrada del pesce al Segno/della Corona l’Anno 17–’. (R. Vannes: ...

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Laurence Libin

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Renato Meucci

( fl Milan, 1709–41). Italian woodwind instrument maker . His full name is known to us only from the mark on a double bassoon. His other surviving instruments, which are often made of ivory, include recorders and double recorders, oboes, a bass flute and, possibly, a flute. A search of the Milan archives has failed to reveal anyone by the name of Anciuti living in the city during the 18th century. However, it is possible that this maker was using a pseudonym: an appropriate one for a maker of reed (It.: ancia) instruments. This was an expedient sometimes used in the 18th century by makers who wished to evade the rigid rules of the guild. Alfredo Bernardini has noted that an oboe in the Museo degli antichi strumenti musicali, Rome marked beltrami/in milano has similar characteristics to oboes signed by Anciuti, and it is worth conjecturing that Joannes Maria could have been a member of the Beltrami family of wood-turners, active in Milan during the 18th century. The Lion of St Mark device appears on numerous examples of his work, suggesting a link with Venice, although this cannot yet be confirmed....

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Philip J. Kass

(b Füssen, Bavaria, May 10, 1712; d Naples, Feb 5, 1763). German violin maker. He moved to Naples early in his career. His violins closely resemble those of the Gagliano family, particularly Nicola, suggesting that he learnt his craft in that workshop. The relative scarcity of his work (only violins are known) is probably due to his short lifespan. His instruments are usually on the small side, in conformity with the Gaglianos’. His varnish is typically Neapolitan and ranges from deep red-orange to gold. He appears to have used the same printed label throughout his career, with his initials contained in a circle following the date. There is also at least one example branded on the button with the letters ‘G B N’ (his initials and city) enclosed in a shield....

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Charles Beare

(b ?Salisbury, July 14, 1727; d Salisbury, Feb 18, 1795). English violin maker and instrument dealer. He lived and worked in Salisbury and, with Forster, did much to raise the standard of English violin making in the second half of the 18th century. Banks possibly learnt his craft from a relative or in London, perhaps with Wamsley. His woodwork, using native sycamore for backs and sides and pine for tops, looks like that of Duke and Joseph Hill, but he had even more in common with William Forster (i), since both used a thick, dark red oil-varnish, previously unknown in England. Banks might have worked in London on his own for a time, but most of his instruments are labelled from Salisbury. Banks is, like Forster, particularly famous for the many cellos he made. His violas were of the small size fashionable at the time and are less appreciated now, but his violins, though rare, are very good instruments tonally and sometimes pass for Italian. Of the cellos, most are built on a reduced Amati pattern and are very similar to the work of the Forsters, both in appearance and tone. Occasionally, however, Banks made a cello with features of Stradivari, and these are excellent in every way. Bows were sometimes branded by him, though they were doubtless made for him, and he was careful to brand his instruments, sometimes in many places. Some of the later instruments were made for and branded by the London firm of Longman & Broderip, who also employed lesser makers....

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(fl Paris, c1716–42). French string instrument maker. He was particularly well known as a maker of viols and his instruments are highly valued as examples of French craftsmanship. The viol virtuoso Marin Marais is known to have owned an instrument by him. A lengthy description of his talent and skill survives in the correspondence of Jean-Baptiste Forqueray (1699–1782). Writing in 1767 or 1768, approximately 25 years after Barbey’s death, Forqueray praised him as ‘the greatest builder we had for the shape, thickness and correct dimensions’ of the viol, and also commended his choice of English wood. Forqueray stated that his father, Antoine, had owned two instruments by Barbey, one for solo playing and the other for accompaniment; he played them for 25 years until his death in 1745, when the younger Forqueray took them over and praised their continuing improvement with age.

At least four bass viols by Barbey survive, all dating from about ...

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Jeannie Campbell

(bap. Edinburgh, Scotland, Dec 5, 1680; d Edinburgh, Sept 1753). Highland Scottish turner, evidently a bagpipe maker. In 1712 he made billiard balls for the officer in charge of Edinburgh Castle. On all the birth records of children born to Barclay and his wife Elizabeth Arbuthnet in Edinburgh parish, 1712–24, he was described as a turner. He does not appear in any apprentice rolls or in the Edinburgh burgess rolls. In 1744 ‘Adam Barclay turner’ was listed with several other Edinburgh burgesses appointed as an assize for a trial. No instruments of his are known and nothing is known about his pipe making apart from the information contained in a receipt of 1748 found among the Clan Donald papers. This is a payment from Sir James McDonald to Adam Barclay of £3—3 on 19 Sept 1748 ‘To a sett of Hyland Pipes of cocawood mounted with ivory’.

J. Campbell...

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Anne Beetem Acker

(bap. London, England, Jan 1, 1685; d London, England, by 1735). English spinet and harpsichord maker. His father, also Thomas, was a butcher. He was apprenticed to Stephen Keene from 1 Aug 1699 for seven years and his initials (TB) appear in a Keene spinet of 1705. Barton became a freeman of the Joiners’ Company in Aug 1706 and moved to the neighbouring parish of St Martin Outwich in 1708, the same year in which he became the master of John Ladyman, and in which his first son, also Thomas, was born. With Cawton Aston he made a bentside spinet dated 1709, indicating at least a brief partnership. Barton spinets seem normally to have had a continuously curved tail instead of the common mitred tail. Styles of keyboards (ebony naturals with either solid ivory or skunktail accidentals) vary. Based on surviving examples (e.g. spinet of 1730, US.W.si), Barton was apparently one of the first spinet makers, along with Hitchcock, to expand the compass to five octaves (...

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G. Kaleschke

(b Germany, 1714; d Germany, 1794). German organ builder. Initially a carpenter, he began work as an organ builder about 1749 and was probably apprenticed to the Stumm brothers in Rhaunen-Sulzbach. His work was restricted to the Zweibrücken area, where he was respected as a capable organ builder and surveyor. His 12 or so surviving single-manual organs have colourful specifications with characteristic stops (Streicherstimmen, Cornett, Trompete Diskant); the most important is at Bad Bergzabern (formerly in the Schlosskirche). Of his children, only Konrad Isaac (b 1750; d 1787) and Matthias Christian (b Annweiler, Germany, April 29, 1740; d Zweibrücken, Germany, Jan 19, 1816) are noteworthy. The latter trained with his father and worked on the organ of the Karlskirche in Zweibrücken in 1758 and 1764. He was a citizen of Zweibrücken in 1766 and became organ builder to the duchy. Despite his extensive sphere of activity, only three organs can be attributed to him. He was also active as a piano maker; six of his square pianos survive, all with divided damper mechanisms. One of them (...

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Heike Fricke

(bc1708; d Vienna, Austria, July 17, 1775). Austrian woodwind maker. Variant spellings such as R. Paur, Rockobauer, Rockopauer, Ruckebauer, and Rochebaur presumably refer to the same person. In the parish books of St Michael’s Church in Vienna he is listed as a civic wind player (1741) and an oboist and violinist (1742–51), as well as an instrument maker (from 1753). After 1758 the family moved to Schoennbrunn am Neubau.

In 1762 Graf Philipp Karl zu Oettingen-Wallerstein instructed his Viennese court agent von Seeger to order from Baur four pairs of clarinets with cases and corps de rechange ‘as you sent to Mannheim’. Baur responded that the clarinets could be delivered with silver keys and ebony rings like the Mannheim clarinets, or with brass keys and horn rings, priced 25% less. The clarinets were delivered in January 1763, and the Graf ordered more wind instruments from him in ...

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Kenneth Sparr

(Sueno, Svenno )

(b Askersund, Sweden, 1717; d Stockholm, Sweden, 1763). Swedish luthier, active in Stockholm from 1736. He made bowed and plucked instruments and was inspired by Guersan and the old Parisian school, as was his apprentice Johan Öberg. Some of his instruments are stamped ‘S. BECKMAN’ and numbered. In 1736–41 Beckman was apprenticed to Johan Fredrik Weidemann, who had a violin factory. Beckman cared for the instruments of the Royal Court Orchestra in 1737–8 and was a journeyman in Königsberg about 1739. In 1741 he received his license as a musical instrument maker, and in 1756 he was appointed musical instrument maker at the Swedish court. One exceptional instrument by Beckman is a guitar-cittern, dated 1757 (now in GB.L.cm). Several bowed as well as a few plucked instruments are preserved elsewhere. His instruments seem to be of varying quality.

B. Nilsson: Svensk fiolbyggarkonst (Malmö, 1998), 11–14.

See also...

Article

Charles Beare

revised by Duane Rosengard

Italian family of instrument makers, primarily luthiers. They were active in Cremona in the 18th and 19th centuries.

(b Cremona, bap. Dec 21, 1683; d Cremona, Feb 9, 1747). The first of three generations of the family who made violins, he was one of the greatest Cremonese masters, overshadowed only by his contemporaries Antonio Stradivari and Giuseppe Guarneri ‘del Gesù’. The question of his early training has been a matter of speculation for two centuries. He was not born into a musical or artisan family: his father Michele was a successful flour miller and his mother, widowed in 1697, became an innkeeper. Early writers, including Count Cozio di Salabue, who had dealings with the Stradivari family, believed that Carlo Bergonzi was a pupil or assistant of one or more of the Stradivaris. However, more recent opinion has favoured Giuseppe Guarneri ‘filius Andreae’ as Bergonzi's possible teacher, though there is much evidence to suggest that Vincenzo Rugeri was his mentor during the early years of the 18th century. Whichever the case, Bergonzi had relationships with all three of these important families at different points in his life....

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Mary Cyr

(fl Paris, c1687; d cNov 10, 1725). French string instrument maker. He was one of the best and most prolific of French makers of string instruments and his viols are fine examples of 18th-century craftsmanship. He held the title faiseur d'instrumens ordinaire de la muzique du Roy. He built other instruments besides viols, including a kit (1689) in viol shape which is now in the Musée de la musique, Paris (illustration in Thibault, 1973). A posthumous inventory of the shop, which was at the corner of the rue Grenelle and the rue Pélican, shows that he possessed an extensive collection of both old and modern instruments. This included dozens of viols (some of them English), five cellos (‘violons de chelles’), several pardessus de violes, various parts for harpsichords and guitars, some bows (a few decorated with ivory), strings and a supply of several woods....

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Laurence Libin

(bc1730; d London, UK, Jan 2, 1804). English piano maker, possibly of German origin. During the 1750s he worked as an organ builder in St Pancras parish, London; he married in Soho in 1760. His workshop, established in 1768 on Compton Street, Soho (very near the premises of Frederick Neubauer, who advertised pianos for sale in 1763), produced more than 900 square pianos, many apparently sold and even copied abroad; his earliest known signed piano dates from 1771 (earlier he probably made pianos for Jacob and Abraham Kirkman and others in the trade) and the latest from 1798. Beyer’s instruments exhibit refined craftsmanship and unusual features that added to their cost and doubtless appealed to an elite clientele. Some of Beyer’s pianos incorporated organs. One square from about 1775, probably commissioned by Hugh Percy, 2nd Duke of Northumberland, for Syon House, Middlesex, is enclosed in a remarkably ornate ...

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Tula Giannini

[Bizet]

(fl Paris, 1716–c1758). French maker of woodwind instruments. He was admitted into the Communautés d’arts et métier de la ville et fauxbourgs de Paris (Paris community of master makers) in 1716 for which he served as juré compatible (‘expert responsible’). In 1721 he supplied two oboes to the Munich court. By 1734 he was located at rue Mazarine, Saint Sulpice; in that year he served as an ‘expert’ in the valuing of the instruments and tools of the maker Antoine Delerablée, successor to the Naust workshop. By 1746 his workshop address was rue Dauphine, St André des Arts. A document of ‘obligation’ dated 18 April of that year shows that Bizey was owed 515 livres for money and merchandise supplied to Nicolas Hannès Desjardins, oboist to the King's chamber.

Bizey was part of a network of makers who were linked by family and professional ties: he married three times (although he remained childless), each time to relations of his apprentice, the Parisian maker Paul Villars (Anne Simonne Villars, Elizabeth Simonne Chalopet and Anne Marguerite Chalopet). Bizey was also the first of a ‘dynasty’ of woodwind makers that continued at the rue Daulphine until ...

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Philip J. Kass

(bc1707; d Paris, France, 1756). French luthier. He was born in a small town in the Champagne region. In 1725, assisted by his cousin, the composer Michel Pignolet de Montéclair, he bought the workshop of Nicolas Bertrand. He ran a successful business under the sign ‘à la guitare royale’, catering to clients for all sorts of instruments, but his speciality remained violins. He was master of the Violin Makers’ Guild in 1752. Besides instruments of the violin family he made a few guitars, and was evidently in demand as a maker of viols and violas d’amore. His workmanship is accurate and unmannered and the choice of woods invariably good. His varnish is either red-brown or yellow-brown and appears rather thin. Boivin used one form of printed label, with the address changing from Rue de Grenelle St Honore (1726–40) to Rue Tiquetonne à la guitare royale (after ...

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Friedrich Jakob

(fl c1720–67). Swiss organ builder. His family came from Weingarten, near Lommis, in the canton of Thurgau. Together with Speisegger he was one of the most important organ builders in eastern Switzerland in the first half of the 18th century. The only certain biographical date is that of his marriage on 15 October 1725 in Kutná Hora (Bohemia) to Anna Daussek of Plzeň. Stylistically Bommer had close links with the Swabian and south German organ builders, but some characteristics of his work probably reflect his years as a journeyman in Bohemia. He built organs in Switzerland at Unterägeri (1720), Fischingen Abbey (positive; 1727), the Cistercian convent at Kalchrain (positive; 1730), Fischingen (rebuild; 1736), the Dominican convent of St Katharinental (1736–41; still extant), Kirchberg (1750), the Iddakapelle at Fischingen (1750), Eschenbach (1761), the Laurenzenkirche, St Gallen (...

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Charles Beare

revised by Sylvette Milliot

(b c1680; d May 19, 1730). French violin maker. He ranks with Claude Pierray as the most important of the early Paris luthiers. His shop was in the rue d’Argenteuil from 1712 to 1725, and then in the rue de la Juiverie, near Notre Dame, until his death. He was half-brother to Louis Guersan. Like Pierray, he worked on an adaptation of the Amati model. His wood was usually that available locally; the fronts are not ideal tonally, but in the 18th century, as now, his instruments were in good repute among players. The varnish is Italian in appearance, if rather more brittle in consistency, and as a result his work is quite often seen with more illustrious names attached. In particular this is true of his cellos, which are fine instruments tonally.

R. Vannes: Essai d’un dictionnaire universel des luthiers (Paris, 1932, 2/1951/R as Dictionnaire universel des luthiers...