Although widely known as ‘Old Forster’, William was himself the son of the first violin maker of the family, also named William. He was born in Brampton in 1739 and moved to London in 1759 to work for Beck’s music shop on Tower Hill. Very soon he opened his own business in Duke’s Court, St Martin’s Lane, and in 1762 was at 33 St Martin’s Lane. In 1785 he finally moved to 348 Exeter Exchange. He was given the Royal Warrant of the Prince of Wales, and also published the works of Joseph Haydn in England. In later years assisted by his son William (III) later known as ‘Young Forster’, the business was known as ‘Forster & Son from 1785. The workshop was prolific, and employed Thomas Powell and John Carter and others. Instruments were provided in several grades, mostly on a Stainer model. He died in 1808.
Tim Ingles and Paul Hayday will offer an initial evaluation of the authenticity and value of your instrument or bow. At this stage, the assessment is free and without obligation. In the first instance, we suggest submitting good-quality images to us, preferably by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by completing the valuation form.Read more