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COLLARD & COLLARD
in London

1811

"COLLARD, FREDERICK WILLIAM (1772–1860), pianoforte manufacturer, son of William and Thamosin Collard, was baptised at Wiveliscombe, Somersetshire, on 21 June 1772, and coming to London at the age of fourteen, obtained a situation in the house of Longman, Lukey, & Broderip, music publishers and pianoforte makers at 26 Cheapside.

In 1799 Longman & Co. fell into commercial difficulties, and a new company, consisting of John Longman, Muzio Clementi, Frederick Augustus Hyde, F. W. Collard, Josiah Banger, and David Davis, took over the business, but on 28 June 1800 Longman and Hyde retired, and the firm henceforth was known as Muzio Clementi & Co.

After some time William Frederick Collard was admitted a partner, and on 24 June 1817 Banger went out. On 24 June 1831 the partnership between F. W. Collard, W. F. Collard, and Clementi expired, and the two brothers continued the business until 24 June 1842, when W. F. Collard retired, and F. W. Collard, then sole proprietor, took into partnership his two nephews, Frederick William Collard, jun., and Charles Lukey Collard.

After 1832 the pianos which had long borne the name of Clementi began to be called Collard & Collard, and many patents were in course of time taken out for improvements both in the action and the frame of the instruments.

The firm soon gave up the business of music publishing, and confined themselves to pianoforte making, except that they had also the contract for supplying bugles, fifes, and drums to the regiments of the East India Company until 1858, when the government of India was transferred to the queen.

About this time a novelty was brought out, which was suggested by an article in ‘Chambers's Journal,’ a piano of the cottage class styled pianoforte for the people, which was sold in considerable numbers.

To the Great Exhibition of 1851 Collard sent a grand, for which the musical jury awarded the council medal, but this award was not confirmed, owing to some feeling of jealousy.

The firm suffered twice from large fires; on 20 March 1807 the manufactory in Tottenham Court Road was burnt to the ground, and on 10 Dec. 1851 a new manufactory in Oval Road, Camden Town, was entirely destroyed.

F. W. Collard died at 26 Cheapside on 31 Jan. 1860, aged 88, having always lived in the same house since his arrival in London in 1786.

William Frederick Collard, the brother and partner of the above, was baptised at Wiveliscombe on 25 Aug. 1776, and, in addition to an inventive genius respecting improvements in pianos, also developed a taste for lyric poetry. He retired from business in 1842, and died at Folkestone on 11 Oct. 1866." Dictionary of National Biography volume, p. 330-331

1879

"COLLARD. This firm of pianoforte-makers in Groevenor Street and Cheapside, London, is in direct succession, through Muzio Clementi, to Longman and Broderip, music publishers located at No. 26 Cheapside, as the parish books of St. Vedast show, as long ago as 1767.

Becoming afterwards pianoforte-makers, their instruments were in good repute here and abroad, and it is a tradition that Geib's invention of the square hopper or grasshopper was first applied by them.

Their business operations were facilitated by money advances from Clementi, whose position as a composer and pianist was the highest in England. The fortunes of Longman and Broderip do not appear to have been commensurate with their enterprise : Clementi, about 1798-1800, had to assume and remodel the business, and the Haymarket branch passing into other hands we find him in the early years of this century associated with F. W. Collard and others, presumably out of the old Longman and Broderip concern, pianoforte makers in Cheapside.

There can be no doubt that the genius of this eminent musician applied in a new direction bore good fruit, but it was F. W. Collard, whose name appears in the Patent Office in connection with improvements in pianofortes as early as 1811, who impressed the stamp upon that make of pianofortes which has successively borne the names of 'Clementi' and of 'Collard and Collard.

The description of the improvements from time to tune introduced by the house will be found under Pianoforte. The present head of the firm (1877) is Mr. Charles Lukey Collard. [A. J. H.]" A Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 1879, p. 377 - see also CLEMENTI Biography

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