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 April 4th

Two square pianos in the April sale - firstly a 1776 Pohlman.

This one sold for the upper estimate of  £2,500.



Next, an early nineteenth-century piano by a lesser-known maker, Webley, of Welbeck Street. London.  

This one sold for mid-estimate  £820.


The spinet by Henry Tull, an early pioneer of the early keyboard instrument revival in England.  

The soundboard is decorated with paintings of flowers.  With an estimate of 2,000 - £3,000, sadly this one failed to attract any bids.


All images by, and by courtesy of, Piano Auctions Limited.

Gardiner Houlgate 15th March

In the first of this year's musical instrument sales, Gardiner Houlgate have a fine-looking square piano by Matthew and William Stodart.

This one is in playing order.  It was recently restored to a very high standard by Jean Maurer, and comes with a full report dated December 2017.

  The maker George Dettmer left his signature GWD and the serial number 808 in the top corner of the soundboard.

  The estimate was £1,000 - £2,000.  More than usual for a square piano, but an instrument recently restored to this standard is worth much more than this. It sold for £2,100 hammer-price - surely good value.




  Also a return appearance by the Sébastien Garnier haprsichord (Paris 1747)

The stand is later.  Formerly the property of Michael Thomas, this one now has an estimate of £25,00 - £35,000.  Sold for £38,000 hammer-price.


All pictures by, and by courtesy of, Gardiner Houlgate Limited.

Piano Auctions 13th December

  These 'revival' instruments by Morley (as this example) and others are well-made and reliable, but usually fetch disappointing prices at auction.  This one was in rather better adjustment than most; it played well (apart from the fact that the 4' was out-of-tune, but no surprise there...)  

  At an estimate of £600 - 800 it would have been a lot of harpsichord for the money, so it was encouraging to see it sell for £2,600 hammer (£3224 total).  Still surely good value, though!

Gardiner Houlgate 14th December 2018

There were seven interesting keyboard instruments in the Gardiner Houlgate sale on 14th December.

Lot 1540 was a de Blaise double compact harpsichord, 8' + 4' stops.  Against an estimate of just £100 - £200, it sold for a trivial hammer-price of just £65.

A Morley double harpsichord, 8' + 8' + 4', estimate £200 - £400.  A lot of harpsichord for the money.  It sold for £460; quite a contrast from its relative sold at Piano Auctions the day before (see above).  

A nice-looking Samuel Bury square from the 1790s; estimate £700 - £1,000.  Sold for £680

A very handsome 5½-octave Longman & Broderip. c. 1795; estimate £1,000 - £1,500.  Sold for £1000

An 1811 5½ -octave Broadwood Grand; estimate £2,000 - £3,000.  Sold for £4,600.

A modern harpsichord along classical lines, based on the Thomas Hitchcock double.  Made by Richard Maunder in 2005; estimate £5,000 - £7,000.  Not sold.

And finally a Broadwood 'wallclimber' upright, c.1835. Estimate £200 - £300.  Sold for £1,350.  

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© David Hackett