Simpson Sweetings Alley c. 1780

The family firm of Simpson had a long history, but relatively little is known about them.  At the time this little piano was made, they were operating as music publishers and instrument dealers in Sweetings Alley, Royal Exchange, opposite the Bank of England.

From data in 'Clinkscale' it seems likely that just three pianos with this name are known (there may be a double entry) one of which has Buntebart's name on the back of the nameboard.  There is strong evidence that this one was also made by Buntebart (former partner of Zumpe).  

The beautifully detailed nameboard has stepped ogival ends to the inlaid name cartouche.  It now carries the Simpson inscription, but there is a suggestion that it carried another name before this - Buntebart?

Enough remains to ensure that all missing details can be replicated correctly, but this is very much an heroic restoration project.  Never has the phrase 'needs tuning' been more appropriate...

The French stand bears witness that this piano had at least two pedals, one for a lid swell.

The basic structure appears to be sound, ready for the wrestplank to be re-installed.

The seller has made a nice new soundboard, but has relaized that he has too many restoration projects in hand, and not enough workshop space!

It retains a full complement of original undrilled wrestpins.  




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© David Hackett