Welcome to

Friends of Square Pianos!

This is a sort of on-line club for anyone who owns, or would like to own, a square piano. Or anyone who is just interested, possibly to learn a little more.


Please get in touch with me, David, on friends.sp@btinternet.com with questions, comments, or just to say 'Hello'.  This is a site for everyone, especially those new to the world of Square Pianos.  And of course, we very much appreciate the support of those with more experience.


Update 24th October


English Spinet c. 1760 - Sold


1770 Pohlman sold at Auction


1664 And All That - Our Spinet Day 2017


Southwell Upright Square Sold for £15,000

English Spinet c. 1760 - Sold

The English spinet was in many ways the ancestor of the square piano, and a number of famous makers including Haxby, Culliford and Kirckman made both.  We all know by now that  English spinets are my favourite instruments, not only for their beauty of tone and form, but also because they are practical to maintain, and much lighter than pianos!


 It is quite rare that an opportunity arises to buy an original instrument.  Please see the Instruments for Sale page for more details of this one.

1770 Pohlman Sold at Auction

  It is worth keeping our eyes on the non-specialist auctions around the country.  This delightful 1770 Pohlman was sold at Tennants on Saturday 8th October.

  The pianos of Johann Christoph Zumpe were the first to achieve fame in England, but his compatriot Johannes Pohlman (one 'n', please) was not far behind.  There are those who say that his pianos are rather better made, and less prone to the dreaded 'twist'.  Please admire the decorative brasswork on this one.  It does need some work, but it will be a beautiful little piano.

  The auction estimate for this one was a modest £70, but the action began with a commission bid of £500, and after a late intervention on the telephone the hammer fell at £2,400.

1664 And All That - Our Spinet Day 2017

Why '1664'?  Please see the Spinet Day page to find out.  

  We all miss our Finchcocks parties very much, so we are pleased to announce that there will be a Friends of Square Pianos event in April next year, in the form of a celebration of the English Spinet.  This will be in Chelveston, Northamptonshire, and there will be a group of spinets assembled, with the opportunity for everybody to play them.  We are hoping to have a world-famous harpsichord player to entertain us.  There will be three short talks, but mostly it's an opportunity for us to meet informally and to share good food.  


  Please see the Spinet Day page for full details, and let me know as soon as you can if you would be interested in joining the party.

New CD Release

  I'm always happy to feature Friends' recordings on this website, especially if they are on square pianos!  This one by Medea Bindewald is remarkable in bringing to us the music of the little-known composer Jacob Kirkman, a nephew of our most famous harpsichord maker.  It is also notable as one of the last recordings made at Finchcocks.  The 'Crowdfunding' campaign has now been successfully completed.


Please see the Friends' Recordings page for more details.

Caring for the Elephants 

  We all want to see an end to the terrible business of ivory poaching and illegal trade.  But I can't see how destroying eighteenth-century pianos is the answer to the problem.


  Measures that may be taken by various goverments to restrict or prohibit trade in antique ivory will affect us all.  There is now a separate Ivory Page on this website, which I will endeavour to keep up-to-date.

Not a Square Piano

  - But a very fine instrument indeed, and a remarkable restoration project.

   Combinations of square pianos with pipe-organs were quite popular at the end of the eighteenth century, and were known as 'organized pianos'. But very few have survived, and even fewer - perhaps one or two - have been restored to working condition.  


  This splendid instrument is unusual in being a combination of an upright grand piano with an organ.  It was made by Longman, Clementi & Co in 1799, and was sent to the United States of America, where it was first owned by the Tucker Family of Williamsburg, Virginia.  

For full details of this restoration, including a wealth of pictures and sound-clips, see 

Southwell Upright Square

Sold for £15,000

William Southwell's pianos are famous not only for their technical innovation, but also the exquisite quality of their cabinet-work.  This magnificent example of a Upright Square will be in the auction sale at Woolley & Wallis on October 5th.  There are now more pictures on the Auction Page.



These pianos are very rare, but it is remarkable that a very similar example appeared in the Finchcocks sale in May - that one achieved a hammer-price of £16,000.

Making a Spinet - The 1704 Blunt Replica 

  Some of you may have been following the construction - starting from a pile of wood - of this replica of a remarkable and important instrument.  The spinet is now complete and playing well, and has gone to its new home in Scotland.    

 Please see the Spinet Page for the story.

The Spinet Page

  We all love those beautiful English Spinets, and now they have a Page of their own, where I hope to encourage interest, ownership, and amateur makers.

Square Piano Tech

Please take time to visit our sister website www.squarepianotech.com  This is run by our Friend Tom Strange in America, and is rapidly growing into a treasure-store of permanent wisdom.  

About the 'Webmaster' (David Hackett)

My only claim to respectability is that Carl Dolmetsch once offered to take me on as an apprentice.  This was in 1962, when I had just shown him my first clavichord, and been his guest at Haslemere.  However, he also advised me that it would be better to go to University, and I accepted his advice.  Early Keyboard Instruments have therefore remained a hobby, and now happily retired, I am able to spend a bit more time enjoying them - and encouraging others, I hope..

My real work is with homeless cats now, though - I have the privilege to be Co-ordinator of the local voluntary branch of Cats Protection.



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© David Hackett