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 email@example.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.
Square Piano Weekend
8th - 10th May
Less than two weeks to go before our informal Friends of Square Pianos Weekend will take place at Finchcocks (May 8th - 10th).
There are still a few places remaining, so please come if you can, especially if you have not been before. It's a friendly party, and w have a lot of fun - please see the Finchcocks Page for full details.
Duke - an Appeal
Most of our Friends know that I work with our local voluntary branch of Cats Protection. Our volunteers give freely of their love and time, but our vets' bills are truly frightening at the best of times, even for routine things like neutering, vaccinations, and microchipping. But this is a special appeal for Duke.
Duke was picked up by one of our volunteers after being reported as a stray in poor condition. Duke was immediately taken to one of our local vets where he was diagnosed with a condition called Entropion. This is a condition in which the eyelid folds inward. It is very uncomfortable, as the eyelashes constantly rub against the cornea and irritate it. Entropion is usually caused by genetic factors.
Duke is now being cared for by one of our foster carers. We did, of course, book him in for the necessary operation as soon as we could, and we believe that this has been successful, and that his sight has been saved. Such fine work is a tribute to the skill of our vet. He will, of course, be much more comfortable when the tiny stiches can be removed, but he is already happier.
The picture above was taken at the end of the operation. We expect him to make a full recovery quite soon.
Apart from this condition, Duke is also in need of dental work as he is finding it difficult to eat. Duke has already been blood tested for FIV/FELV and neutered.
Throughout all his suffering with his eyes and teeth, he is very happy having a warm comfortable bed and regular food.
Inevitably, the operation on his eyes and his dental work will come at quite a cost so we are asking if any members of our cat loving community would like to donate a small amount to help cover the bill. Any donation, however small, will be truly welcomed.
Please help us so that we can continue to help cats like Duke.
Donations made to the Paypal button above will go directly to our Cats Protection branch account. Thank you.
Broadwood 1841 For Sale
This fine-looking Broadwood is the latest arrival on the Sale Page
Clementi 1810 For Sale
Please see the Sale Page for details of a beautiful and unusual Clementi for sale. Has anyone seen this presentation of the Company name before?
Kruse c.1820 For Sale
Piano Makers in Victorian England -
by Dr Marie Kent
Dr Marie Kent is our favourite Piano Historian. She is seen in the above picture giving a presentation about London Piano Makers in Prison (!)
At Finchcocks this year, she will be talking about the wills of the old makers, and the story that these documents tell. But in the meantime, she has recently published in the Royal Musical Association Research Chronicle a fascinating article about the 6,500 or so piano makers active in Mid-Victorian England. Possibly a bit 'after our time' (I think the last English square was made by Collard & Collard about 1872) but many of the names will be familiar.
It may be downloaded http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/eGTquIgdnFGA2ZNM6SGY/full and the first copies will be free!
Thank you, Marie, and we look forward to seeing you again in May.
Specialist Musical Instrument Auctions
The Christopher Hogwood Collection
The sale on Thursday 12th March was well-attended, and a great success, with all the instruments sold for good prices. In most cases these were close to, or a somewhat above, estimates. The only square piano, the 1773 Pohlman seen above, sold for £4,400 against an estimate of £2,000 - £3,000. The star lot of the sale was the famous 1761 Hass clavichord, which achieved more than double the top estimate to be sold for £82.000. Is this a record for recent sales?
The full results may be seen on-line at http://gardinerhoulgate.co.uk
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.
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.