John Augustus Köhler was the third ‘John Köhler’ responsible for the firm of wind and brass instrument makers established by his grandfather in London in 1786. Following the death of her husband John Köhler (II) in 1805, the business appears to have been run by John Augustus’ mother together with her foreman Thomas Percival, until John Augustus opened his own shop at 35 Henrietta Street in 1830.
In 1838, his agreement with John Shaw enabled Köhler to use Shaw’s patented design for disc valves, invented in an attempt to overcome some of the problems resulting from sharp bends in the tubing of other types of valve, an idea which was well received at the Great Exhibition in 1851.
The company passed through the hands of successive Köhlers until it was sold to Messrs. Swaine and Adeney, whip manufacturers, in 1907.
Gift of Richard Walton, 1998
E.A.K. Ridley, edited by Elizabeth Wells, Royal College of Music Museum of Instruments Catalogue Part Ia: European Wind Instruments: Addenda, (London: RCM, 1998), p.32.
Lance Whitehead & Arnold Myers, 'The Köhler Family of Brasswind Instrument makers', Historic Brass Society Journal, 16 (2004), pp.89-123.
A list of instruments made by the Köhler family is included on the Galpin Society website.