Piano Auctions Sale
Exciting News! Amongst the pianos in the next Piano Auctions sale on September 25th will be something very special - A 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.
There will be the usual informal gathering of Friends on the day before the sale, and no doubt we will be giving more than usual attention to this one!
Also at Conway Hall will be this very interesting square piano. We see that it is a 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?
For details of the hundred-and-more other pianos to feature in the sale on September 25th, please keep an eye on the Piano Auctions' website www.pianoauctions.co.uk
- And if you possibly can, please join our Friendly gathering on the viewing day before, Wednesday September 24th.
Specialist Musical Instrument Auction
The firm of Gardiner Houlgate is established at Corsham, near Bath, and is becoming well-known for specialist musical instrument auctions. www.gardinerhoulgate.co.uk
Gardiner Houlgate describe this fine instrument as follows:
Square piano by Christopher
Ganer, London, 1783, the mahogany case with satinwood crossbanding, the lid further embellished with multiple bands of chevron stringing and a wide kingwood band, inlaid with floral spandrels in each
corner, the fascia board of satinwood with chevron stringing and kingwood crossbanding, the name plaque flanked by musical trophies, the five octave keyboard, FF to f3, with ivory naturals and ebony
accidentals, three brass-knobbed hand levers controlling the damper lift above and below c1 and the buff stop, single action with over-dampers, on frame stand with square tapered legs, inscribed on a
boxwood plaque on the fascia board Christopher Ganer Londini fecit 1783, Broad Street, Soho, length 5' 1",
Restored by Lucy Coad in 1999 and accompanied by her pre-restoration report dated 1998. There is some fading of the lid veneers and some old water damage. Some key ivories are worn and most are yellowing. The hammer covers have been replaced and the instrument re-strung. The e3 key shaft is broken. Both the soundboard and the bridge have just a very few old worm holes. The buff stop which was replaced by Lucy Coad is currently jammed. There are traces that a lid swell may once have been fitted, ie there is a hole in the soundboard just inside the right keyboard cheek. All parts replaced by Lucy Coad, such as the hammer covers and damper springs have been retained and accompany the instrument.54.5cm; width 1' 9", 53.3cm.
The estimate for this one is £1,800 - £2,500.
Sold for £1,800
There was also another Ganer, 1784, which did need considerable work. There is no stand, but a plain trestle would be entirely appropriate for this instrument, and wood look well. In fact, although the elegant 'French' stands cost more originally, many of us these days prefer the simpler style. Friends of Square Pianos can supply a design, and authentic castors and bolts are available.
The estimate for this one is a modest £200 - £400.
A nice little piano - Sold for £780
The third square piano was a Broadwood serial number 19,899, corresponding to a date of 1815. Good to see the original cream-painted inner board has survived, as has the pedal.
The estimate for this one is £250 - £450, but sadly it failed to reach that, and was not sold. Surely it was worth more than that?