Piano Auctions April Sale and
Meeting of Friends of Square Pianos
We enjoyed our usual informal gathering of Friends of Square Pianos on the viewing day before the sale, Wednesday April 9th.
The two square pianos did well.
The Broadwood, c.1815, was in better-than-average condition, with everything working. Good to see all six legs and the pedal, although a couple of the legs looked a bit wonky, and needed the usual attention to the threads. The estimate for this one was £600 - £800, and it sold for an encouraging £1,250
The 1804 Broadwood, an early example with 'Dolly' dampers, was very nice indeed. Still with the elegant French stand, complete with music shelf. This one was restored by David Winston in 1988, and was in playing order.
Against an estimate of £1,000 - £1,500, it sold for £3,400. But bearing in mind what a lovely piano this was, the cost of a professional restoration, it was surely good value.
The Morley spinet was not so fortunate. It was a nice-looking instrument, well-made as Morleys always are, but it had the unfashionalble metal register with plastic jacks. Even so, it needed attention to these and the keyboard to make it playable again.
Against an estimate of £700 - £1,000, the hammer fell at just £280. If it did indeed sell for this (i.e. not protected by a reserve) the lucky new owner has an attractive project at a bargain price. The work should not be too difficult, and this could soon be a practical playing instrument again.
All pictures courstesy of Piano Auctions Limited.
This handsome Tomkison piano (number 6038) will be up for auction at Bamfords, Rowsley, Derbyshire on April 16th - 17th.
It dates from 1820, and is one of the first to be 'Maker to His Majesty' (George IV, previously Prince of Wales and Prince Regent.
Good to see all six legs and the pedal! I do have some more detail pictures.
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. The sale on Thursday and Friday 13th - 14th March featured an amazing diversity of over a thousand musical instruments from Fender Stratocasters to hurdy-gurdies. www.gardinerhoulgate.co.uk
But of greatest interest to us was a beautiful and rare Clementi grand piano, number 504, from 1804. It is recorded in Leif Sahlqvist's list (see the Clementi Page).
This beautiful instrument was the property of the late Philip Lancashire, keyboard instrument maker.
It is rare for a piano of this quality to appear at auction. It was sold for £11,000 (hammer price) to a UK buyer.
Gardiner Houlgate are keen to feature square pianos and other early keyboard instruments in future auctions, and will keep us in touch.