This handsome Broadwood is from the last years when the beautiful brass under-dampers or 'Peacocks' were employed. They are elegant, quiet in action, efficient and reliable, and pianos with this action are perhaps my favourites. It is fair comment, though, that the developing styles of music and performance were better served by the escapement action as introduced by Longman & Broderip. Broadwoods adopted this later action in about 1806.
However, possibly as a consequence of this, I have found that these Broadwoods from the first few years of the new century retain a more 'eighteenth-century' sound, and are ideally suited to the earlier music.
Most of the pianos with this action, including this one, did not have a pedal.
This fine example carries the date 1802 on the sycamore nameboard, which has no frets, again in the eighteenth-century style.
The original silk-covered inner acousic board (please let's stop calling them 'dust-covers'!) is still present, although somewhat warped. It carries a repeat of the serial number on the usual paper label. There is also a modern replacement.
The piano was restored by John Barnes in 1992, and notes of the restoration survive. The hitchrail cloth is original.
The first two hammers are not 'odd' - they are just catching the light!
There is a little problem in that two of the hitchpins have failed, and hence to strings are missing. Friends of Square Pianos will be happy to offer support to put this right.
...and one of the lid hinges would benfit from a little attention.
We can be confident that John Barnes did a good job on the restoration, and the piano was maintained in playing order at a pitch of A415 for a good few years.