The Seller writes:
Upon the eventual dissolution of the eminent firm of Longman & Broderip in 1798, Francis Fane Broderip formed a partnership with Wilkinson to continue to exploit legitimately Southwell’s landmark 1794 patent for additional notes, Irish dampers and sonovents (frets). To do so Broderip & Wilkinson commissioned Leukfeld to build Southwell patent pianos for them, though by 1806 the relationship had fallen into litigious dispute. When Broderip died in 1807, Wilkinson continued the business. This square piano, to the Southwell patent design (and thus the same as contemporary Clementi pianos), carries internal Leukfeld stamps and was likely originally constructed for Broderip & Wilkinson c.1804. See Bozarth and Debenham ‘Piano Wars’ for full details of the Southwell patent and consequent legal machinations amongst London’s leading piano companies.
I have owned the piano for a number of years, but done nothing to it other than clean the interior somewhat prior to storage – this means the complete set of captive Irish dampers is not currently installed .
The honey coloured case and lid have a good and even patina, and there is little evidence of internal intervention. Ten hammers are detached but present and require rehinging (so best to do the entire set).
There is no separation of case and baseboards, and the soundboard ribs are undisturbed. The original pedal leg and metal trap are present.The hinged green silk ‘resonance-board’ is present, as are many original strings. The nameboard frets are undamaged, though the rear corner fret has suffered.
Overall, an attractive instrument which makes a good candidate for restoration.