Broadwood 1786

These first-generation Broadwoods are my favourite square pianos, and it's not often that an example is offered for sale in mainland Europe.  This one is the 'Elegant' model, with inlay-bandings and a French stand.

The sycamore nameboard carries the maker's inscription 'Johannes Broadwood Londini Fecit 1786' in beautiful calligraphy.

The wrestplank has been carefully cleaned, with the serial number 519 preserved. 

It is good to see the full set of straight brass 'peacock' dampers intact, and the wrestpins look original.  

We see from the picture above that the green action-cloth which should be below the hammers is missing, as also are the tiny red damper-cloths.  This piano will need a careful full restoration, including a new set of strings, but it is complete and in largely undisturbed condition - the ideal starting point.  This will be a lovely piano.  

The hitchpins and block often need attention in these pianos, but this one looks perfect - except for the fact that insects have devoured most of the red cloth.  Graham Walker can provide specially-made woollen cloth in the authentic soft red shade.  Note also the brass post in the middle of the hitchpins.  This, and the little blocks around the edge are to support the plain wooden 'shield'.  It is well worth making a replacement (from  4 mm soundboard-quality wood) as these do make a significant improvement to the sound quality.   Friends of Square Pianos can supply a plan.

The bridge and soundboard look good, with the usual water-stain!

The advice (above) still holds good - but please use special non-waxing clock-oil.  The old oil has usually hardened, and needs to be cleaned away with white spirit.


The piano is in Brescia, Italy; Price on application.

Please contact Federica Zeppini


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© David Hackett