Astrea Strings can trace their history back to 1863 when two French men, Joseph Prospere Guivier and Alphonse Villin started their business in London for “the manufacture and import of strings for musical instruments”.
Alphonse Villin left the business after a brief period but J.P. Guivier and Company flourished and moved to Golden Square where by the 1870’s they had established a sideline in selling musical instruments in addition to strings.
In 1886 Joseph returned to France and sold the business to a Mrs Ellen Cohn, formerly Miss Hawkes of the company Hawkes and Son, later to become Boosey and Hawkes. It was under Mrs Cohn’s leadership that the business expanded and moved to bigger premises in Great Marlborough Street and it was in 1897 that she first trade marked “Astrea” as violin strings.
From 1921 until 1960 Mrs Cohn’s son Henry George (Harry) ran the business and moved to Mortimer Street where in 1952 he became Managing Director when the limited company was formed.
Alan Wilks, who joined the firm in 1947 became Managing Director upon Harry’s retirement and by the early 80’s had decided to stop manufacturing “Astrea” strings at Mortimer Street and contracted Nashville Music Strings, a specialist manufacturer located in Pentre South Wales to produce the strings to the original specifications.
Nashville’s successor company, Strings and Things Ltd., in 1984 transferred to a brand new dedicated string factory in Treorchy South Wales and continued manufacturing “Astrea” strings for Guivier. In 2019 Strings and Things Ltd. purchased the “Astrea” brand from Guivier and now distribute the range through their own sales team and established U.K. trade wholesalers.
Units 3 & 4
202 - 210 Brighton Road
01273 446 801
*Export Enquiries Welcome