J & A Beare (John & Arthur Beare) is a violin dealership and repair shop in central London founded in 1892. While in earliest incarnations, it constructed new instruments, it came over time primarily to focus on older ones.[1] Primarily a family business throughout its history, it included outside partners at its inception and in 1998 merged with another long established violin dealer, Morris & Smith, who now run the business following the resignation of Charles Beare in 2012.


John Beare (1847-1928) founded his shop in 1865.[1] According to an 1898 book, he had soon gained "practically a monopoly of the old violin business in the provinces", being both knowledgeable and a skilled performer.[2] In 1892, he divided his business in two, forming Beare & Son and Beare, Goodwin & Co,[1] taking on Edward Goodwin as a partner in the latter and leaving his son Walter to run the former.[2][3] The company dates its formation to that division.

Beare, Goodwin & Co at that time was primarily engaged in selling high end violins and violoncellos, many of which were imported.[2] However, John Beare's son Arthur had an interest in working with older instruments, which influenced the development of the company.[4]

Beginning in 1912, the Royal Academy of Music each year awards a Beare's violin bow as a student prize.[5]

In 1954, Beare, Goodwin & Co. changed its name to J & A Beare.[1] In 1998, the company merged with London-based violin dealers Morris and Smith.

François Barzoni ViolinsEdit

François Barzoni was the trade name for violins manufactured for Beare & Sons around the turn of the 20th century. They were made in workshops in France and Germany, and the quality and price varied from instrument to instrument.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d Kennedy, Michael; Joyce Bourne (24 June 2004). The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music. Oxford University Press. p. 57. ISBN 978-0-19-860884-4.
  2. ^ a b c Cardwell, John Henry (1898). Two centuries of Soho: its institutions, firms, and amusements. Truslove and Hanson. p. 227. Retrieved 15 January 2012.   This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  3. ^ Fox, Paul (2011). The Other Brands of Gibson. Centerstream Publications. p. 14. ISBN 978-1-4584-1130-3.
  4. ^ Violin Society of America (1982). Journal of the Violin Society of America. Queens College Press. p. 167.
  5. ^ "Royal Academy of Music student recipients of violin bows from J&A Beare's" (PDF). Royal Academy of Music. Retrieved 17 March 2016.

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