Carl Friedrich Wilhelm Bechstein (d.1900) apprenticed in Germany with piano maker Johan Gleitz. To expand his expertise, he traveled to Paris, where he observed French piano ateliers, including Erard. In 1853, Carl established his own workshops in Berlin with the goal of producing pianos suitable for the vigorous playing style of the contemporary Romantic pianists. So successful were the results that the Bechstein firm eventually supplied instruments to celebrated composers including Claude Debussy, Richard Strauss and Franz Liszt. Liszt's Bechstein concert grand still resides in the salon of the Liszt Museum in Weimar and has been recently restored by the Bechstein factory. As the company's fame grew, international exports flourished, as is evidenced in the present example, which was sold by the renowned London retailer Harrod's. Bechstein branches were eventually set up in London, Paris, St. Petersburg and Moscow. After Carl's death, his sons Johann, Carl & Edwin continued the management of the company.