Kennedy was one of the most prolific cello makers in London in a period when such instruments were in high demand. He also made violins and small violas, all at varying levels of quality, from the very basic levels of materials and finish, to quite distinguished work with good, richly coloured varnish. The model is usually of Stainer or Amati, the cellos having a distinctive form with extended centre bouts. He was the son of John Kennedy (1730-1816) and was apprenticed to him, and later worked with Thomas Powell and for William Forster (III). From 1804 he was established independently at 16 Princes Street, moving to 16 Nassau Street in about 1813, and to 364 Oxford Street in 1816. At these premises he employed the distinguished bow makers Thomas Tubbs and James and Edward Dodd, and the violin makers John Crowther and William Forster (IV). From 1848 his business seems to have declined and he occupied various workshops in Cumming’s Place, King’s Road, and Pentonville Road, supplying instruments to Goulding, D’Almaine & Co., a retailer whose brand is often found on the back of Kennedy’s instruments. He died in 1870.
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