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.
14 October 2022 - Dilworth, John
This fine cello bears its original label dated 1790, inscribed with Forster’s signature and the number 1. Forster’s own account book list the names of several customers for cellos in that year, but although it does not specify which was... Read more
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