Feliks Janiewicz (often spelt with a Y in Britain) was an important figure as a violinist and composer. He was born in Vilnius, then part of Poland, in 1762. He moved to Vienna in 1785, and via Italy and France and following the French Revolution he arrived in London in 1790. He was at 25 Lord Street, Liverpool from 1800 - 1815. He then moved to Edinburgh where he died in 1848 at the age of 86. He was not a piano maker himself, but he did lend his name to a number of attractive instruments.
This one is a standard Clementi model of the time, but with unusual brass rosettes and drawer pulls – all original – and unusual pattern of leg, again original apart from the bottom sections and castors, as the originals had been cut shorter and nasty ball castors inset!
The Indian ink signature on the wrest plank, which closely matches the signature on Yaniewicz’s marriage documents in Liverpool, suggesting that he did indeed write the inscription:
8714 / Yaniewicz & Green / 25 Lord Street / Liverpool / N° 194
If 8714 is a Clementi number, it corresponds to 1810, which looks about right. (Picture taken before re-stringing!)
The piano is in remarkably fine condition, with an excellent soundboard that needed no attention apart from cleaning, a lovely ringing resonant sound and good responsive action.
We are happy to say that this lovely piano is reseved for The Friends of Felix Yaniewicz, and subject to sucessful crowdfunding will be part of a project involving an exhibition on Yaniewicz’s life and music at The Georgian House in Edinburgh next year.