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Article

Jeremy Montagu

(b Croydon, South London, UK, April 11, 1863; d Oxford, Feb 9, 1939). English ethnographer, museum curator, and collector. He was appointed first curator of the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford (GB.O.prm), in 1893, having worked there as assistant from its foundation in 1884, and continued as curator until his death. He enriched the collection enormously by contacting every anthropologist he knew, through the Royal Anthropological Institute of which he became President, and government officers and administrators in districts all over the British possessions, asking them to acquire objects of ethnographic interest with as much documentation as possible. He travelled widely and acquired many objects himself, all of which, more than 15,000 items including hundreds of musical instruments, he bequeathed to the museum. Consequently the Pitt Rivers became one of the world’s great ethnographic museums, particularly rich in folk and non-Western musical instruments, most of them well documented with photographs and often with field recordings. Balfour published ...

Article

(b Copenhagen, May 1, 1855; d Frederiksberg, Feb 22, 1931). Danish textile manufacturer, diplomat, philanthropist, and instrument collector. He was the son of a theatre prop manager. In 1884, after some years as a school teacher and inspector, he moved to Malmö, where he opened a textile factory. While living in Sweden he helped establish the Swedish section of the International Musicological Society which he led until 1914. He returned to Copenhagen in 1906, but maintained his business in Sweden until his death. Previously he was instrumental in founding the Musikhistoriska Museet in Stockholm (1899). At the outbreak of World War I he was appointed Denmark’s consul in Peru, becoming consul-general in 1915. Active in charitable, mercantile, and museum circles, Claudius was chairman of the Sundby Asylum, co-founder of the Danish Music Society (1921), and in 1928 he became a member of the Swedish Royal Academy of Music. His honours included Knight and 2nd degree Commander of the Dannebrog. Claudius collected coins, prints, liturgical manuscripts, autographs, bookplates, but especially musical instruments, which he acquired over about 30 years, amassing one of the largest private collections in Europe at the time. He and his wife hosted concerts played on historical instruments in their home. Claudius bequeathed his collection of music and musical instruments to the Danish state. In ...

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

Rosemary Williamson

(b Dorchester, Dec 25, 1858; d Richmond, Surrey, Dec 30, 1945). English collector of musical instruments and scholar. He was educated at King's School, Sherborne, where James Robert Sterndale Bennett, son of the composer, encouraged his aptitude for music. From 1877 he studied classics at Trinity College, Cambridge (BA 1882, MA 1885), where he played the clarinet under Stanford in the orchestra of the Cambridge University Musical Society. Ordained in 1883, he was curate of Redenhall with Harleston, Norfolk, for four years, then curate at St Giles-in-the-Fields (1887–91), vicar of Hatfield Broad Oak (formerly Hatfield Regis, 1891–1915), vicar of Witham (1915–21) and rector of Faulkbourn (1921–33). In 1917 he was made a canon of Chelmsford Cathedral. From his university years onwards, Galpin made an outstanding collection of musical instruments, which he made freely available for public exhibitions and lectures and described and illustrated in his book ...

Article

(b Strelna, Russia, 1848; d Tallinn, Estonia, 1925). Russian baron, military officer, musician, and instrument collector. From 1882 he led the St Petersburg court vocal and instrumental ensemble, which used some violins and flutes that had belonged to Alexander I (whose ancestor Peter III had acquired more than 60 valuable instruments). From 1897 Shtakelberg directed the court’s professional orchestra. In 1899 he joined a commission to examine the status of the imperial theatres. With the support of Alexander III, a serious amateur musician, Shtakelberg initiated in 1902 a museum of music that was to have five divisions: a comprehensive collection of instruments of all peoples from antiquity to the present; a centre for instrument design and construction, intended to encourage Russian manufacture; an acoustical laboratory for the exploration and explanation of musical sound; a musicological research library, with a section on the history of music printing; and an archive of music manuscripts, iconography, and memorabilia. The museum was to be complemented with concerts, using instruments from the collection or copies. The project was not completed, but through extensive correspondence and exchanges with other European and American collectors, donations from Russian nobles—the empress Maria Feodorovna herself donated a group of richly decorated Persian instruments—and his own travels, Shtakelberg built an impressive assemblage of historical and exotic instruments that formed the nucleus of the present collection of the St Petersburg State Museum of Theatre and Music....

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 ...