Â Leon Eugene Clerc was born in London Â and made his debut as a banjoist at the age of 18 with "The Star Minstrels", an amateur organisation.
When he was 22 he had become established as a teacher of the banjo in London's East End and about the year 1888 he opened a factory at 44, 46 -& 48 Commercial Street, Shoreditch, London, for the manufacture of musical instruments and his banjos and zither-banjos carried the brand names of "Athena", "Crescent" and "Marvel."
In 1891 he formed the "Athena Quartet" which became known in all the best concert halls in and around London and did much to publicise Clercâs own make of instruments. Production appears to have ceased about 1908.
He died in Wokingham, Berkshire aged 76
Images courtesy of Glen Morris