Astor c. 1815

Georg Astor was born in Waldorf, near Heidelberg, in 1752.  In 1770 he came to London to live with an uncle who worked for Shudi & Broadwood.  He was soon joined by his brother Johann Jacob, and they set up a business, initially selling woodwinds.  JJ emigrated to America in 1783 and set up a successful business in Baltimore and then in New York, while Georg (George) moved to 79 Cornhill in 1796, and added pianos to his inventory.  He died in 1813, and the business was taken over in 1815 by a Mr Horwood (Christian name not known) and thereafter known as Astor & Horwood.  In 1824, then under Christopher Gerock,  it was known as Gerock, Astor & Co.  The form of the name on this piano implies a date no later than 1815.

The beautiful name-transfer is in excellent condition.

This is a restoration project.   Fortunately, all of the hammers are there;  replacement of the leather hinges and tidying up the dampers are routine jobs.  Many of the strings appear to be original, but a re-string is also desirable.

There is a crack in the soundboard and an associated loose treble section of the bridge;  The bridge itself is fortunately intact.  This repair does need to be properly done, which will entail removal of the soundboard.

The wrestpins are original, and the nameboard and back corner frets are intact.  The  casework of this one is very good, with all six turned and reeded legs and the matching pedal, and good to see that it has kept its green shade.  All brasswork is present and correct - this is a fine Regency piano.

After a careful restoration, this will be a very fine Regency piano. 


It is in the London area; the price is £350. 

Please contact John Hollingbery


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© David Hackett