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 23rd June

 

Piano Auctions Sale June 23rd - Report

 

Clementi 1811 For Sale

 

Longman, Clementi & Co c. 1799 For Sale

 

Clementi 1818 For Sale

 

Weber Piano (USA) Free to Good Home

Clementi 1811 For Sale

This fine-looking Clementi is now offered for sale - an early example of a six-octave square piano.  Please see the Sale Page for details.

Longman, Clementi &Co c. 1799 For Sale

We all know that the firm of Longman & Broderip was facing bankruptcy at the end of the eighteenth century, and was finally liquidated in 1798.  What is less well-known (and thanks to Leif Sahlqvist for this) is that John Longman had already, in 1796, started a new company with Muzio Clementi.  The new firm took over the premises at 26  Cheapside on 1st November 1798, but in June 1800 John Longman went his own way, and the firm became the snappily titled 'Clementi, Banger, Hyde, Collard & Davis' - happily abbreviated to 'Clementi &Co' on the nameboards.  We may therefore date this very attractive piano to the nineteen months of the existence of Longman, Clementi & Co. 

 

This one has been fully restored by Michael Cole.  Michael has very kindly written a piece about the recent history of this piano - the link is on the Sale Page

 

Please See the Pianos for Sale page for details.

Clementi 1818 For Sale

  For those who are buying a square piano as an instrument to make music, it is well worth bearing in mind the cost of professional restoration work.  Prices of the pianos themselves might go up and down (mostly down, lately) but restoration work takes time and skill.  So, overall, it is usually worth buying a piano such as this on which the work has been done.

  This handsome piano is in excellent playing order, and is now offered for sale.  Please see the Sale Page for details.

Weber Piano needs New Home (USA)

There were at least four piano makers called Weber; this one was made in New York.  It now lives in California.  The owners are moving to a smaller house, and therefore is is being offered Free to Good Home.

Please see the Sale Page for details.

Piano Auctions Sale June 23rd, and Meeting of Friends of Square Pianos June 22nd

  For various reasons, some of the usual Friends were unable to be with us this Wednesday, but we enjoyed a gathering of half-a-dozen or so.  We spent most of the time chatting as usual, and were pleased to be joined for coffee by Sean the Auctioneer, with many tales from behind the scenes. 

  There were three square pianos in the sale.  The big Steinway (not many of those in this country) and the 1835 Broadwood were in a condition that we experts refer to as 'needs tuning'.  But please see the report on the Auctions Page for a surprise or two.  

 

  The Thomas Haxby was a lovely little piano, though - recently restored to a very high standard, and in very good playing order.  It is rare to see a square piano as lovely as this in an auction - it should do well.

 

  There was also be a harpsichord by Michael Thomas, and a clavichord by John Rawson - both fine makers.

 

  Please see the Auction Page for details of all these and the results.

Gardiner Houlgate Auction - 16th June

  Four square pianos at Gardiner Houlgate's auction on 16th June, including one by Schoene & Co., the successors to Zumpe.

 

  PLEASE NOTE THAT THE BROADWOOD PEDAL HAS BEEN FOUND

 

  Please see the Auction Page for more details.

Martyna's Website

 

   We will always remember Martyna Kazmierczak's enchanting playing at our Finchcocks parties.

  She has just launched her own website - make it one of your favourites for regular visits:

 

www.martynakazmierczak.com

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 case, soundboard, and keyboard are now complete, and the marquetry and calligraphy hane been applied to the nameboard.

  

Please see the Spinet Page for the latest news of this enjoyable project.

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.

 

www.cats.org.uk/wellingborough

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© David Hackett