Clementi 1830

This Clementi is one of the last to appear under the Great Composer's name, before the firm changed its name to Collard and Collard.  The Collard brothers (confusingly named Frederick William and William Frederick) had in any case been responsible for the piano design and manufacturing side of the business since 1800 or before. This piano is numbered 23584, which dates it to 1830.  Muzio Clementi was 80 years old by this time; he died in 1832 and is the only piano-maker to be buried in Westminster Abbey as 'The Father of the Piano'.

 

The name transfer is in good condtion.  These are real gold, somewhat delicate, and difficult and expensive to repair well - so this is a good point.  

  We see that the case is in good condition, but the pedal is missing.  Good news is that a Friend has a pedal assembly from a similar piano for sale.  Friends of Square Pianos would be happy to put the new owner in touch with the seller of this rare item.

 

Inside we see the full-length soundboard, extending to the left over the keys and action.  The owner assures us that all the hammers are present, and all the notes work, although some are a bit 'sticky'.  

The strings all seem to be present, and in decent condition (including the covered bass strings).  There is a good chance that they could still be serviceable.  The picture above shows the 'Stewart Patent', whereby all the plain strings are looped around a stout hitchpin and then returned to another wrestpin.  There were literally hundreds of patents relating to pianos filed in the nineteenth century, but this is one of the very few to be really successful, and is used in every moden piano to this day.

  Cracking of the bridge at the point of greatest curvature (where the grain is 'short') can be a problem with pianos of this age, and especially with later C&Cs, but the owner has checked this one and it looks to be OK.

 

  So with gentle cleaning and adjustment, and the replacement pedal, this handsome piano could be playing again quite soon.  

  The piano is in Bude, Cornwall, where it has been with the same family since 1945.  Sadly, due to 'downsizing' it now must find a new home.  These are fine pianos from a Golden Age; let's hope it will soon be making beautiful music once again. 

 

  The price is £300.  Please contact the owner, Kath Howarth

kathhowarth101@gmail.com

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© David Hackett