Welcome to Friends of Square Pianos!

A Merry Christmas

and a Happy New Year

to Friends All Over the World

Update December 20th


The Christopher Hogwood Collection

First Details of the Auction to be held on March 12th 2015

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.


Gardiner Houlgate

Specialist Musical Instrument Auctions

The Christopher Hogwood Collection


  We were all saddened to hear of the death on September 12th of the great musician Christopher Hogwood.  

  He had assembled a fine collection of twenty-six keyboard instruments, including what is probably the best collection of clavichords anywhere in the world.  They will be sold in aid of charity by Gardiner Houlgate of Corsham, near Bath, on Thursday 12th March 2015.  There is certain to be considerable interest.  It is worth noting that the collection was intended to be played, and therefore without guarantee we can say that most of them should be in perfect order - in some cases follwing restoration by the leading experts.  The only problem that I know about for sure is the recent structural failure of the Culliford harpsichord - the sort of thing that can happen to anyone at any time.

    There is only one square piano in the collection, but a fine one at that, the 1773 Pohlman seen above.  For further details of this, please go to the Auction Page  or click on the image above.  Details of other favourite instruments (starting with the Hancock spinet)  will be added during the coming days.

  The problems relating to the sale and import of ivory to the USA remain a problem for the time being, although some good news is theoretically possible before the auction.  However, it is worth noting that of the twenty six instruments, only five are certain to have ivory keys.  For many of the others, it depends whether the German makers used bone or not, as well as the modern makers (Dolmetsch, Adlam Burnett, etc.) who could have used bone or synthetic material for the sharps on 'black' keyboards.  I will try to find out more.


Piano Auctions and Meeting of Friends of Square Pianos

December 10th

A good turnout of Friends for the viewing day on December 10th - fun with the pianos, a good gossip, and lunch in the pub.  What could be better?


Please see the Auction Page for the results of the sale.


Thanks again to Terry, Richard, and Sean, of Piano auctions for making us so welcome.

A Blue Plaque for Haydn

Target Reached - Thank you.


The Haydn Society of Great Britain has been given permission to comemmorate Haydn's first visit to London with a plaque on the house where he stayed, in Great Pulteney Street.  We are pleased to say that the necessary funding has been achieved. 

Finchcocks 2015

We can confirm that the dates for our fifth Square Piano Weekend at Finchcocks will be Saturday and Sunday May 9th and 10th 2015.     


 Keynote Presentation - Martyna Kazmierczak

Please see the Finchcocks Page for a report on Finchcocks 2014.

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