We are now open by confirmed appointments only (Mon - Fri 12:00 - 15:00)     Call now to book your appointment (0)20 7487 5682

20 years in London……..

Arriving in London in 1992 to start post graduate viola studies at the Royal Academy of Music…I guess it was quite obvious my bigger skills would be elsewhere as in the first week of my RAM studies I had sold Violin  Professor Eric Grunberg a very fine F.N.Voirin.  Playing was my obsession, indeed my dream was always to play in a London Orchestra (having grown up in a small Australian country town!) but buying and selling instruments was already in my life.

After graduating in 1993 I was fortunate to immediately start working with all of London’s best Orchestras. This I did for 8 years…but always selling instruments and bows to my friends and colleagues. In about 1998 I realised my dream was a shop! , not an Orchestra. So I spent more time trying to learn and deal!

In 2002/3 I closed the viola case and went full time. I was never sure how I could leap from dealing at home to an actual premises but in 2004 I was offered a nice small studio in Mayfair, South Molton street on the 3rd floor. It was affordable. Just. We set up, polished the floors, painted the walls and bought a desk! I found a great old bookcase I converted into an instrument hanger…I still use it today!

We stayed at 42 South Molton st only for a year as the roof started leaking and  It was time to move really. …….just across from  number 42 was number 18!

A bigger shop, office for me, showroom and a small workshop. Business continued on an upward projection, and I was able to get my first P.A, Lisa Rattray, wife of the RAM’s instrument custodian, David! And then Alexandre Valois started working 3 days a week or so as my in house restorer. I had also Michael Shakespeare as my main restorer since the 1990’s…he probably worked 2 days a week for me for 20 years… he was one of the quickest and most able restorers I have ever met, and it was always nice to visit him in his Blackheath workshop or later on when he would visit us with a collection of restored instruments.


In 2010 my 5 year shop lease was up and the shop owner wanted it back so I was on the hunt again. I first saw 2 Hinde street on a brochure, dismissed it as far to expensive for me and was busy looking elsewhere. I found a new place near Oxford circus…but the “legals”  seemed to be dragging on so thought I had better have a B plan.


Back to 2 Hinde Street….it was Love at first sight! So I did it. What was an old Spanish travel agent became my home for the next 11 years. I spent a small fortune kitting it out and off we went. I held “Cremona Violin Making “ Exhibitions every second year, we did 1 or 2 masterclasses a year in shop with great visiting artists… And I sold many instruments including Stradivari, Montagnana, Guadagnini, Gagliano, Vuillaumes etc etc


It was a great place to be.

In 2020, the pandemic hit, and while I rode the storm ok, I was wondering did I want a different place. So in June 2020 I found 92/93 Great Russell st and we fitted it out and moved January 2021. I love GRS and expect this to be my last shop. It feels like home.

Some numbers…..


Started with 4 instruments and 10 bows…the rest consignment.

Now…I own 140 instruments and 250 bows…..no real need for consignments.

Around 2000 sales.

I am lucky to do a Job that I love.

Thank you for the 20 years….let’s get another 20!