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date: 14 November 2019

Beck, Frederick locked

  • Margaret Cranmer


(fl 1756–98). German piano maker, active in London. He left Germany for England sometime after 1756, and the rate books of St James’s, Westminster, show that he settled at a house in Broad Street, London, from midsummer 1771 until the end of 1798. During the early 1780s the street numbers were changed, giving the false impression that Beck changed addresses. He appears also to have had operations in Paris, at 364 rue Saint-Denis; in 1777 Pascal Taskin owed him 660 livres.

Beck is known only to have made square pianos. Several were confiscated in France during the Revolution. Up to 1780 at least, Beck‘s pianos were not numbered, a typical early nameboard reading ‘Fredericus Beck Londini fecit 1775/No.4 Broad Street Golden Square’, then ‘Fredericus Beck Londini fecit 1780/No.4 Broad Street Soho’, then ‘No.1941 Fredericus Beck Londini fecit 1788/No.10 Broad Street Soho’, the number 1941...

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