Schoene c. 1800

The family-tree of the Schoenes is not well-established: the firm is usually known as 'Schoene & Co', and they made much of the fact that they were 'successors to Zumpe'.  The name most often found in the records is Frederick, and there is also mention of a George.

However, we see that this piano clearly carries the two Christian names Fredericus and Georgius, apparently belonging to one person.  It shares this with an example dated 1805 now in Pennsylvania; both carry the address 'N° 248 Paddington Street, Mary-le-Bone'.  The records show that the firm moved from Princes Sreet, Cavendish Square to this address in 1799 - 1800, so we may date this piano to the very early years of the nineteenth century.

We see that it is conservative in appearance, with a five-octave compass and no nameboard frets. Sadly, the stand has been lost.

Internally (the lid is propped open with a cigar-box!) we see that it is apparently in original, if somewhat distressed, condition.

There are no strings, but these would need to be replaced anyway.  Some of the hammers are loose, but there is only one actually missing (and this could be rattling about inside).  Apart from the left-hand bracket, the entire damper-assembly is missing.  There is no sign of handstops (outmoded by this date anyway) and it is possible that it had pedals like the Pennsylvania example.

This interesting restoration project is offered for sale at just £150.  It is in Knapton, Norfolk, and the owner may be able to offer some help with transport. 


Please contact Alan Young


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© David Hackett