Broadwood 1802 - Sold

This 5½-octave piano is in good playing order, but it does need one repair.   Also, when made in 1802 it would have stood on a French stand, but possibly as a 'fashion update' it gained six turned legs.  It was one of a minority of the Broadwoods of the time to be fitted with a pedal, which even more unusually is in working order!  However, it seems that the left-inner front leg makes operation of the pedal difficult, and this leg (although available) is not shown in the picture above.  The undercarriage has no effect on the musical qualities, but options could include finding a suitable French stand, or improving symmetry by using just four legs.  By 1807, Broadwoods did have six turned legs, although the pedal mechanism, fitted to all pianos from then onwards, was different

The elegant name calligraphy almost certainly originally included the date at the top, but this was very often scratched out by owners ashamed to be seen with 'last year's piano'!  Broadwoods were one of the last makers to date their pianos openly, and they gradually discontinued the practice from about 1807.  

It's good to see the silk-covered shade still present - it is not a 'dust cover' - these boards had an acoustic function.  As usual, the piano's serial number is repeated on the underside; this was often done with loose parts which were fitted to individual pianos, to ensure that they did not get muddled up.  

The keyboard and internal condition are good, with a full set of those beautiful brass under-dampers. 

The soundboard looks good, and the cloth under the hitchpins looks right.

There is one technical problem that should be fixed.  The bridges of square pianos were sawn from a single piece of beech, and the grain was 'short' where the curve was sharpest.  A combination of shrinkage and the side-draught of the strings often caused failure.  This one has had a new treble section of the bridge fitted, but there was a pin near the join, which has failed again.  At present, the strings have been arranged so that the hammer only strikes the good one of the pair, but it would be good to correct this.




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© David Hackett