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Article

Peter Andreas Kjeldsberg

(b Kranz, Russia, July 7, 1896; d Trondheim, Norway, Nov 19, 1963). Norwegian collector of musical instruments and founder and director of the Ringve Museum in Trondheim. An amateur singer, she had no formal musical training, but three siblings became professional musicians. In 1920 Victoria (née Rostin) married Christian Anker Bachke (1873–1946), the last private owner of Ringve manor outside Trondheim. Together they made plans for two museums: one for the history of the manor and its inhabitants, another for musical instruments, which they had begun to collect. Upon Christian’s death, his will established a foundation encompassing the land and buildings, and Mrs Bachke began serious collecting to prepare the museum, which opened in 1952 in the manor’s main building, a well-kept example of historicist architecture and interior decoration from the second half of the 19th century. Her main gifts for this task were enthusiasm and useful contacts, notably in France and Italy. One of her advisors was the Danish musicologist and organologist Godtfred Skjerne. Before she died, Mrs Bachke had collected about 1000 instruments of European and non-Western classical and folk traditions. She desired that the instruments be playable. Today the Ringve Museum has a national responsibility for collections of musical instruments in Norway, with educational and scientific staff and a conservation workshop. It remains a foundation under the administration of Museene i Sør-Trøndelag AS....

Article

Allison A. Alcorn

(b Kingston-on-Thames, Surrey, UK, March 14, 1940). English dealer in musical instruments, rare music books, music iconography, and related ephemera. After leaving school at the age of 16, Bingham trained as a quantity surveyor and opened his own surveying business in 1961, about the same time he began dealing in general antiques. He had a partnership in a musical instrument business for one year until 1966, when he opened his first independent shop at 247 Kings Road, London. Through extensive travels Bingham obtains and sells both Western and non-Western instruments. He specializes in assembling collections of European woodwinds, illustrating their development also with patent documents, methods, and other materials. His shop at 11 Pond Street features collections of metronomes, oil paintings of musicians, trade cards, tuning forks, and trade catalogues in addition to instruments. Major museum clients include the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), the National Music Museum (South Dakota), the Musée de la Musique (Paris), and the Musashino Academia Musicae (Tokyo), while private collectors have included Joe R. Utley, Nicholas Shackleton, and H. Iino. Bingham has also published several important works on musical instruments, such as William Waterhouse’s ...

Article

Nancy Groce

(b Canton, CT, Nov 11, 1833; d Brooklyn, NY, May 17, 1896).

American instrument dealer and collector. He was trained as a clock maker in Bristol, CT, and later worked as a machinist in Hartford, CT, before moving to New York in January 1852. The following year he became a clerk at Rohé & Leavitt, a firm of dealers at 31 Maiden Lane; on the partners’ retirement in 1863, Foote bought the company and continued it under his own name. Except for a short-lived partnership with John F. Stratton in 1865, as Stratton & Foote, “importer and manufacturer” of brass band instruments, he was sole manager for the next 30 years, dealing in string, woodwind, and brass instruments and serving as the sole American agent for several French manufacturers, including the firm of Courtois. A Chicago “branch house” of his business, under the management of W.H. Foote, was still in operation at the time of his death. An obituary in the ...

Article

Richard Rephann

[Morris]

(b Scheinfeld, Bavaria, March 9, 1831; d New Haven, CT, Jan 21, 1912). American music dealer and collector of instruments. He moved to New Haven in 1854, and in 1856 to Savannah, Georgia. Shortly after the Civil War broke out he returned to New Haven, and his name appeared in the New Haven City Directory of 1862; by 1866 he was listed as a piano and music dealer. He formed the Mathushek Pianoforte Co. and later the M. Steinert & Sons Co., which sold pianos in Boston, Providence, New Haven and other cities. He was active in the musical life of New Haven where he was organist at St Thomas’s Church, taught music and formed a quartet in which he played cello. He later formed an orchestra which was to become the nucleus around which he founded the New Haven SO in 1894. This orchestra is the fourth oldest in the USA with a continuous existence. He became interested in antique musical instruments and the problems involved in playing them, and assembled a collection of considerable importance which was exhibited in Vienna in ...

Article

Albi Rosenthal

(b Oxford, Feb 11, 1838; d Oxford, Jan 8, 1905). English music and instrument dealer and collector . He was the son of Charles Taphouse (c1816–1881), the founder of the firm of Charles Taphouse & Son Ltd, first established in 1857 at 10 Broad Street, Oxford, shortly after at 33 St Giles, and from 1859 at 3 Magdalen Street. Taphouse held various local appointments as organist, and made the music shop into a lively musical centre, having added a piano warehouse and several music rooms to the premises – one of which was for many years the home of the Oxford University Music Club. His collection of early music and instruments, which contained numerous rare and some unique printed and manuscript items (including the only contemporary source of the Violin Sonata by Henry Purcell), became one of the finest in the country. The library was sold by auction at Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge's in ...

Article

Charles Beare

(b Fontaneto d’Agogna, nr Novara, c1790; d Milan, Oct 1854). Italian violin dealer and collector . He was born of humble parents and is said to have trained as a carpenter, with violin playing as a hobby. He developed an interest in violins themselves, and with a natural talent both as a connoisseur and for business he began to acquire and resell some of the many fine instruments that were lying unused in the towns and villages of northern Italy. His first journey to Paris (in 1827) was evidently profitable for him and for the dealers there, who gave him every encouragement. In the same year he made his greatest coup, acquiring a number of violins from Count Cozio di Salabue, including a 1716 Stradivari in unused condition. This violin was Tarisio's treasure, and as he spoke of it on every visit to Paris but never actually brought it with him it came to be known as the ‘Messiah’....

Article

Cynthia Adams Hoover

(b Potsdam, Germany, Nov 15, 1855; d Washington, DC, Nov 14, 1938). American collector of and dealer in keyboard instruments. His father, Christian, had a music business in Trenton, New Jersey, from c1858 to 1861, and in Washington from 1863 to 1868 and again in 1883; Worch and his brother Emil took this over in 1883, and after Emil’s death his widow and Hugo continued the business as Hugo Worch & Co. from 1884 until 1895. After 1895 the firm of Hugo Worch sold instruments (including pianos sold under the Worch name but manufactured elsewhere), sheet music, and, as tastes changed, phonographs, recordings, and radios. The firm went out of business in 1960 on the retirement of Hans Hugo Worch, who had bought it from his brother Carl and sister Paulina in 1954.

In the 1880s Worch began collecting keyboard instruments that showed the development of the American piano industry from the 1790s to ...