Auction Page


 Piano Auctions September Sale

and Meeting of Friends of Square Pianos


  The full catalogue for the sale is now on the Piano Auctions website


  The Sale will be on Thursday September 25th.  The usual informal gathering of Friends of Square Pianos will happen on the viewing day before, Wednesday 24th.  We will meet from about 11.00 or just before, either in the Café in Red Lion Square Garden, or in Conway Hall itself.      There will be no fewer that seven early pianos, including the ery important and lovely Broadwood grand.  Please come along if you possibly can, to look at the pianos and for a chat.  Possibly even to buy?    There will be something for everybody in this sale.


We offer our thanks to Richard, Terry, and Sean who always make us very welcome.

The Star of the Sale will undoubtedly be this lovely 1787 Broadwood Grand.   This is one of the first grands to be made by John Broadwood, and indeed one of the very earliest English grand pianos.  The example in the Colt Collection (number 203) is probably my favourite piano, if you don't count my own little Broadwood square from the same year.  It is a delight to play and to listen to.  Pianos got bigger and louder, but in my opinion they never got any better.  If five octaves is enough for you -and it's enough for Mozart and much early Beethoven - then this could be a truly lovely piano.


The estimate for this truly classic piano is £10,000 - £15,000.  

Another important item will be this very interesting and beautiful example of a conventional very early London square piano.  The short compass from GG and other details remind us very much of Zumpe.

However, the finely-inscribed name is something of a surprise: 'William Glover'.  We thought we knew all the early London Makers (please don't mention 'The Twelve Apostles') - but Mr Glover is very much less well-known.

This piano appears to be in fine condition, and has evidently been recently restored.  I do have further images if you'd like to email me.


If a similar piano by Johannes Zumpe were to appear at auction, it would surely attract a high price.  Will this one do as well, or could this be an opportunity to acquire a lovely piano without paying just for the name?


Estimate £4,000 - £6,000

The second early grand in this sale is a beautiful Clementi, 5½ octaves and 7'7" long.  The stamped number is 451, which indicates a date of 1803 - 4.  


The estimate for this one is £6,000 - £8,000.  

Two more squares - John Price (upper) and James Rigg (lower).  Lesser-known names, but we believe that the Rigg, with the characteristic twin music-stands, was probably made by W Rolfe & Son.  


Estimates £600 - £800 for either.

The little 1769 Pohlman makes a return appearance.  This one has had more than its fair share of adventures, but it is one of the very earliest English square pianos, and the only one I have ever seen offered for sale whose date begins 176-.  It is a rare thing indeed, and with an estimate of just £1,000 - £1,500 could be an unrepeatable opportunity for a new owner prepared to undertake the challenge of restoring it.  

The workshop of Robert Morley & Sons was a pioneer in the revival of interest in the early keyboard instruments, and they are always well-made and potentially relaible.  As found, they often need some adjustment, but seldom any major work.   This one is a virginal in the Italian style, and could offer the opportunity for a lot of enjoyment and experience at an affordable price.  The estimate is £500 - £700.


 Gardiner Houlgate

Specialist Musical Instrument Auctions


The firm of Gardiner Houlgate is established at Corsham, near Bath, and is becoming well-known for specialist musical instrument auctions.

Next Sale 18th & 19th September

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© David Hackett