Regular visitors to this site will know by now that these early Broadwoods (five octaves, straight dampers) are perhaps my favourite pianos. As the years went by, pianos got bigger and louder, but whether they got any better or not has to be a matter of opinion. Of course, it does depend on the music - you cannot play Rachmaninov on one of these. But for J C Bach, Haydn, Mozart... they are perfect. My own example (number 697) was made in 1787, and I am very fond of it, even though it is very plain, and has taken a few knocks. The sound is truly delightful.
This one is just a year later, and is a much more splendid example with 'elegant' decoration and a French stand.
It has suffered very little 'intervention', apart from efforts to repair a few broken strings. It does need a complete overhaul, but everthing that is there (notably the hammers and soundboard) is original. Even the inner board (as seen in the heading picture) has survived intact.