William Forster I
(c. 1714 – 1801)
The little extant information about William Forster's life and work comes by way of his great-grandson, violin maker Simon Andrew Forster, who published an account of the family's history in 1864. He was born around 1713 in Brampton and worked as a maker of spinning wheels. His gravestone memorializes him as a maker of violins, ...Read More but that assertion is somewhat exaggerated. While his son William Forster II was a true craftsman, Forster I was neither very prolific nor accomplished, and his work is rough and unrefined, largely based on exaggerated Stainer models using pre-1700 construction methods. His instruments are valued for their rarity and are the earliest remaining of this multi-generational family of violin makers.
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