Thomas Smith cello, London 1750
Thomas Smith (d. 1790) was among the most influential English makers of the mid 18th century. He worked at the Golden Harp (also known as The Harp and Hautboy) in Piccadilly, London, run by Peter Wamsley I (c. 1670–1744) and his son Peter Wamsley II (c. 1715–c. 1751). The workshop served the most distinguished musicians of the time, including Frederick Louis, the first Duke of Edinburgh and Prince of Wales, who played the viola and the cello.
Smith maintained the shop's high standards when he took over the Wamsley business in 1751, significantly influencing English makers throughout the remainder of the century with his copies of Stainer and Stradivari models. Several esteemed makers of the London School apprenticed with Smith, including Joseph Hill (1715–1784) and Benjamin Banks (1727–1795).