James Ball c. 1830

Although James Ball is a very English-sounding name, we believe that he came from Germany, perhaps around 1780.  This six-octave piano seems to be in basically sound condition, but is now offered as a restoration project.  Most of the the bits are seem to be there.  Importantly, it still has its pedal; these are not easy to make, and so many are missing that 'spares' are very rare indeed.

The date of this piano is something of a puzzle.  The four well-nourished legs and the iron string-plate and bar suggest no earlier than 1830, but the form of the name is just 'James Ball'.  After 1819, we might expect 'J Ball & Son' but very few pianos by this maker are recorded.  

Note the string-plate and bar -- an aid to structural and tuning stability - and also the divided bridge to avoid the drop in tension at the transition from brass to iron strings.  We also note that the soundboard appears to be in good condition.

This piano is in Harrow, North London, and the price is just £50 to encourage a keen restorer. 


Please contact Peter Peecock  cppeecock@gmail.com


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© David Hackett