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 Piano Auctions September Sale, and Meeting of Friends of Square Pianos


 We look forward to the next sale to be organised by Piano Auctions Ltd at Conway Hall, Holborn, on September 17th. 


   I can also confirm that we will be having our usual informal gathering of Friends of Square Pianos on Wednesday 16th September in Conway Hall.  If the weather is good (as it should be) we will take refreshment in the café in Red Lion Square gardens.  Or lunch in the Dolphin pub if winter arrives early...  Please come along if you can, especially if you have not been before.


  There will be three pianos of special interest to us:

Frederick Beck 1779

  The earliest pianos always attact the most interest, and Frederick Beck was one of the original group of London makers.  

This one has all the most attractive features: small size, a 'short' keyboard from GG, beautiful nameboard with stepped ogival ends to the name panel, and three handstops.

We see the cloth strip on top of the damper-cover, in the style of the early Zumpes, and the Beck characteristic of no dampers for the top few notes.  Evidently some work is needed - a few of the hammers are detached - but this is routine.

The soundboard is very tidy, and could be a replacement, but the bridge and pins seem to be original.


The estimate is a very enticing £700 - £1,000.

Charles Lemme c. 1817

  An interesting piano.  Charles Lemme was the son of Friedrich Carl Wilhelm, both born in Brunswick, but Charles at least worked in Paris from 1799.  Only five pianos are listed in the Clinkscale database;  a grand by CFW, an four squares by Charles.  Five pedals!  Very much the fashion in Continental Europe around 1820.  This piano makes a very interesting contrast with contemporary English instruments.


  Estimate £1,200 - £1,500.  

  And finally, a truly splendid 5½-octave grand by John Broadwood & Son, dated 1798. Could there possibly be a finer piano?  This one was restored by our dear friend, the late Don Adcock, and was the property of the late Mary, Lady Verney.  


 It's difficult to put a price on such a lovely piano, but the estimate is £7,000 - £10,000.


 Piano Auctions June Sale


Piano Auctions have confirmed that their interest in historic keyboard instruments is undiminished - the absence of square pianos at the June auction was simply because no suitable instruments had been presented. A Beck piano has already been promised for September, and we hope for others.  

   However, a group of us did meet informally for a little party anyway, and we had a very enjoyable chat in the beautiful summer weather in the café in Red Lion Square gardens.

Gardiner Houlgate

Specialist Musical Instrument Auctions


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