Finchcocks 2015 was a great success, and I'll be adding to the reports and pictures on these pages as soon as I can.
The programme headings are seen below - please watch this page for further details and pictures.
Marie spoke about the wills of six early London piano makers - Americus Backers, Lorence Beyer, John Zumpe, Christopher Sievers, Christian Schoene and Gabriel Buntebart - who all died, in that order, in the last decades of the C18th. She described what can be learned not only from their bequests, but also from the names of other people mentioned in the wills, such as the beneficiaries, executors and witnesses, whose work and friendships formed the backdrop to the lives and careers of the testators and to the wider piano industry. She spoke about the bestowal of working tools and mourning rings, and of gifts to charities, loyal servants and staff, and of the problem shared by all these makers - the lack of an adult son and heir.
Marie has prepared a draft of this presentation, complete with illustrations, as as PDF. For technical reasons, this is not ready for 'publication' yet, but she has very kindly offered to make the draft available to Friends on request. This makes fascinating reading - please email me, David, at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like me to send the file to you.
English Spinets are of course really square pianos - apart from the facts that they are neither square nor pianos. Or perhaps it should be the other way round: for about a hundred years from 1680, the elegant wing-shaped spinet was the domestic keyboard instrument.
And in any case, we all love them, so no excuses are necessary for making these lovely instruments another of our themes for the day.
The instrument above is by Edward Blunt, dated 1704, and apparently made (at least in part) by Thomas Hitchcock, and signed by him.
The full story of this spinet is available to be shared by Friends as a private study document; please email me if you would like to receive the latest version. Also, the construction of a replica is now in hand (will it be ready for Finchcocks 2016?) and yu may be interested to follow this project 'in real time' on the Spinet page of this website.
Until next year....
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