The Auction Page

Please remember that, as with 'Pianos for Sale', I have not usually seen these pianos, and any comments I make may be based entirely on information supplied by the auctioneers, or what we can see from the pictures.

Piano Auctions Sale - December 15th

Like the past two sales, this one will be at Langley, with viewing by appointment only.  


For early keyboard enthhusiasts, this will be a very interesting sale indeed - as well as an Érard square piano, there will be three harpsichords, a virginal, and a clavichord.  

Lot 9 is an anonymous two-manual harpsichord, which is something of a 'project'.  

We see that it has a full specification of two 8' stops and a 4', plus lute and buff.  Two of the rows of jacks are not in place, but they are included in the lot.  Estimate £600 - £800.   

Lot 9 is a special Morley harpsichord, with the veneer scheme and general design based on the splendid eighteenth-century English instruments of Kirckman.  

The inscription on the jackrail records that it was commissioned by Eric Woolfson and exhibited at the International Harpsichord Festival at Bruges in 1980.

The estimate for this fine instrument is £2,000 - £3,000.

Lot 36 is one of the pioneering instruments made by Alec Hodsdon before and after the war.  These are now an important part of our history.  This attactive  virginal was made in 1962; the estimate is £300 - £800.

From Morley again, Lot 54 is one of their ever-popular clavichords.  This is the four-octave model in a walnut case.

Estimate £200 - £400.

Lot 63, the square piano, is by Érard, dating from 1819.

Missing pedals?

Good to see that the 'shield' has survived - although apparently only half of it (thanks to Friend DH for the tip-off).  The part over the soundboard was separate, and is now missing.  Easy to replace!

This one has a divided bridge to equalize the tension of the brass and steel strings.  An acoustically elegant design, first used by Broadwood on grands in the 1790s, and introduced by them on squares a couple of years after this Érard.  


The estimate for this one is £600 - £800, in recognition of the fact that it does need restoration.

Finally amongst the Early Keyboards, lot 73 is a good-looking single manual harpsichord, again without a maker's name.

In a black and gold case, and built in the Italian style, it apparently has 2 x 8' stops and buff.

Estimate £1,000 - £1,500

Pictures by courtesy of Piano Auctions Limited

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© David Hackett