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 20th March 2017



Piano Auctions Sale and

Meeting of Friends of Squue Pianos


Spinet Day at Chelveston

- Three Weeks to Go!


Strong Results at the Gardiner Houlgate Sale


Piano Auctions Limited April 6th

Instruments from the Colt Collection

- More Pictures and Details


Piano Auctions Sale 6th April and Meeting of Friends of Square Pianos

Much as I would love to come to Conway Hall to see the instruments from the Colt Collection, I will just have too much to do preparing for our Spinet Day on the Saturday.  So I will not be there this time, but Luke Bradley will be going along on the day of the auction itself to see what happens, and he has very kindly offered tea at his home afterwards.  The Viewing on the day of the sale (Thursday) will be open from 9.00 a.m., and the sale will start at 12 noon.  We hope that other Friends will be able to join Luke.

Spinet Day - Three Weeks to Go!

  The latest spinet  promised for this event is the beautiful replica of the 1731 Barton from the House of Durand, so we will definitely have about a dozen instruments for us all to play.  Perhaps not all at once, but Francis and Dan will be playing some duets for us.  The instrument pairs planned for this rare event will be the 1704 Blunt and its replica, and the 1735 Hitchcock and a replica by Stephen Robinson.

 We have comfortable numbers attending for a good party, but there is still room for a few more.  For details, please see further down this page or go to Spinet Day April 2017.

Clementi c.1811 Sold

Please see the Instruments for Sale page for details of this pretty Clementi.

Piano Auctions Limited April 6th

Instruments from the Colt Collection

We are sad to report the recent death of Lore Barbara Colt, widow of the founder of the Collection, Cecil Colt.  We all know that the collection has been undisturbed since the founder's death in 1985, and it has always kept a low profile, with no website or email.

  Some of the instruments at Bethersden were the personal property of Barbara Colt, rather than belonging to the charitable trust, and five of these are now to be sold at Piano Auctions' next sale.


  First of these is perhaps my favourite piano of all time, and the inspiration for my own grand piano - the lovely Heilmann grand in the above picture.  Please see the Auction Page for details of this, and the other four important instruments in this sale.  More pictures have been added.

Gardiner Houlgate Auction 17th March

Strong prices at this auction.  Against an estimate of £5,000 - £8,000, this very pretty Longman & Broderip harpsichord sold for £24,000 (plus commission) . More details of this and the other three instrumemts on the Auction Page.

A Fine Collard & Collard For Sale

When buying a square piano, we should consider not only the initial price, but the money and time that need to be spent in order to bring it to the condition we would wish.  This fine example of a late square piano is perhaps the best Collard and Collard I have ever seen.  Please see the Sale Page for details.

Music in the Home Festival, Penhow,

near Newport, Monmouthshire

Please see the PDF for details of this interesting festival, featuring clavichord, spinet, and two square pianos.

Music in the Home Festival 2017 Flyer.pd[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [391.2 KB]

A Special Appeal  -  Thank You

  The work will go on, of course, and we will be facing exceptional vets' bills for some time, but it's good to report that about half-a-dozen of teh 56 Rescue Cats are now happy in their forever homes, with the misery of the past behind them.  


  The handsome fellow above will always have a little wink in his left eye, but his recovery into a beautiful fluffy cat is remarkable.


  Signing off now - but thank you again to all the Friends of Square Pianos who have been so generous.

Spinet Day April 8th

  The highlight of our year will be our Spinet Day, to be held at Chelveston (Northamptonshire) on Saturday April 8th.  As you would expect from Friends of Square Pianos, it will be an informal and sociable day, with plenty of opportunity to chat and make new friends, and to enjoy playing the instruments.  There will be a few 'experts' there, but it is primarily a day for those who are relatively new to the world of these lovely instruments.   Plans are still being developed, but already it seems that this will be the largest gathering of spinets (about a dozen?) since the International Inventions Exhibition of 1885.  It is a nice touch that two of the instruments that were in the 1885 show will now be re-united.  The Hitchcock number 1460 is one of them, and the internationally famous harpsichord specialist Alan Cuckston will be playing this one (and others) for us.  


Latest News

We are pleased to announce that the leading spinet-maker Stephen Robinson will be joining the party, and bringing with him one of his replica 'Hitchcock' instruments, based on the example in the Russell Collection, Edinburgh.  Stephen is a regular exhibitor at the London Early Music Show.


Not all spinets were made in London!  We will be delighted to welcome a spinet by the famous York maker Thomas Haxby.


  Please see the Spinet Day April  2017 page for details.  More will be added as the programme evolves.  


  The list is filling up nicely, but there are still places.  If you would like to come, please let me know as soon as possible.  


Please email me, David, on   friends.sp@btinternet.com


Questions, comments, and suggestions will be very welcome.

New CD Now Released

Jacob Kirkman, Lessons and Sonatas
Medea Bindewald (harpsichord, square piano), with Nicolette Moonen (violin)
This recording features the nearly forgotten composer Jacob Kirkman (1746–1812), a nephew of the famous London harpsichord maker of the same name. His delightful lessons and sonatas are representative of the musical taste in post-Handelian London. Medea Bindewald plays a 1756 double manual harpsichord by the composer’s uncle Jacob Kirckman and a 1795 square piano by Broadwood & Son, both from the Finchcocks Collection in Kent, England. The variety of different sounds presented on this CD is enhanced by including Kirkman’s works written in the unique and nowadays much-neglected genre of keyboard repertoire with a violin accompaniment, played here by Nicolette Moonen. This is one of the very last recordings made at Finchcocks Musical Museum before its closure.
To order the CD or listen to a sound sample: 

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..

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© David Hackett