Some English instruments made or sold upon the Strand.

Working in central London, it’s always a pleasure to see instruments that were made and sold within meters of your shop. In restoration I have a Robert Cuthbert, made in 1685 on Russell Street in Covent Garden, almost in sight of the studio and approximately on the site of the Royal Opera House. One day it will be beautiful again. For immediate sale is a reasonably priced violin well under £10,000 by Thomas Cahusac around 1780 in very sound order, whose shop was by St Clement Danes, the church in the far distance. William Forster’s shop is obliquely visible in the near-ground. It was demolished to make way for the approach road to the new bridge built to commemorate the battle of Waterloo. You will be passing through it as you cross the road between Maplin and Pret a Manger when you come to visit. Almost in view was the Crown and Anchor Tavern where Handel met with other musicians in 1710 to form the Academy of Music.

A charming example of Thomas Cahusac’s work from around 1780. Although the ink purfling has almost completely worn from the back and the violin is made from a variety of cheap materials, it is a bold and confident instrument demonstrating an understanding of the Amatise violins of Banks and Forster. For further information please email

Some years ago I had the privilege of handling a masterpiece viola by Jacob Stainer made around 1660, and much of what I recall is evident in this viola by William (Royal) Forster, made around 1780 with astonishing finess. The size of the instrument, just below 16inches is still well within the tolerances for professional playing. A delightful instrument that keeps giving . For further information please email

Benjamin Banks, the “English Amati” was worked in Salisbury but was intimately connected with both Forster and Thomas Cahusac, whose son married his daughter. His violoncellos are amongst the most sought after of all British making and we have an astonishing example. Made in 1785 it is one of a tiny handful made on a Stradivari pattern. The violoncello is in almost perfect condition, with outstanding tonal properties. For further information please email


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