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Solicitor and antiquary William Sandys (1792-1874) had a lifelong passion for music and took cello lessons from the renowned Robert Lindley. His principal interest, however, was the Christmas carol, particularly the ballad carol; his meticulous collection of examples ensured the survival of many melodies that are now well known. Simon Andrew Forster (1801-70), of the London-based family of stringed instrument makers and music sellers, took on the Frith Street business in 1824, but is best known for this collaboration with Sandys. First published in 1864, it is an important treatise of its time, not only for its history of bowed instruments, its survey of the principal makers in Europe, and its details relating to well-known orchestral and virtuoso string players, but also for its first-hand information on the Forster family, listing all the numbered Forster instruments, with the name, in many instances, of the first purchaser.