Dr Mike Baldwin : Organologist : Historian : Researcher : Writer: Harp maker : Restorer
Leases and wills
Harp maker, Jacob Erat (1758-1821), was the second largest harp maker in London during the 19th century. He opened his manufactory at 100 Wardour Street, Soho, c1796, relocating to 23 Berners Street between 1819 and 1821 - the business operated at both addresses whilst the new premises were expanded and adapted to meet the needs of a growing business. Following Jacob's death, his sons, Jacob and James, succeeded to the business (an inventory of the stock-in-trade was compiled on 8/9th December 1824, by fellow harp makers, Alexander Barry and Thomas Dodd, as directed in Jacob senior's will, coinciding with Jacob junior's 21 birthday. The brothers became leading lights in The Society of British Musicians, hosting a recital by Felix Mendelssohn, amongst others, in 'Mr Erat's library'. The brother continued trading together until Jacob junior's death in 1836 when James took sole control. Having produced over 4,000 instruments since 1796, the business closed in 1858 following James's death.
Click the images below to explore the Erat documentary sources