Astor Bb Fife

George Astor

Place of business: London, England.

Dates of business: Circa 1778-1830*

*Per Langwill: Workshop established by two brothers George Peter and John Jacob.

C 1778-83 as “George & John Astor” as flute makers; 1783 John Jacob left for Baltimore/MD, where active first as dealer in WWI’s then in New York as merchant in “Furs & Pianos”, later in real estate, amassing a legendary fortune; from 1784 as “George Astor”, by c1798 as “George Astor & Co.” or “Astor & Co.”, also active as MI dealer, music seller, publisher, later pianoforte maker, by 1801 organ builder, c1807-c1811 also as Astor & Lucas; 1813 his widow successor, c1814-1819 in partnership with Horwood as Astor & Horwood;1824-1827 also in partnership with Gerock as “Gerock & Astor”; 1830 last directory listing. Byrne suggests that on arrival in England they may have worked first with G. Miller.

Date of this fife: Circa 1799

This fife is marked:G Astor & Co, London, Head of a Unicorn


Length of Instrument: 16 3/8 in

Diameter of Instrument: .897 in

Wood: Appears to be Boxwood

Key of Instrument: Bb

Finger Holes:

The spacing on the holes is as follows: 

Swell: A little before the embouchure hole.

Ferrules: Brass/seamed/2 + 2 scoring. 

​Astor 3