<Considerable numbers of spinets were made in the mid twentieth century, and these are often available through auctions or private sales at affordable prices. As many of them made use of new techniques such as metal registers and plastic jacks, they are perhaps not 'fashionable' now, but they can often be very attractive and practical musical instruments. One problem that can be encountered is when plastic jacks are broken or missing, and spares are no longer available from the manufacturers. David Massey, one of our new Friends, was in this situation, which he was skilfully able to resolve by making a mould and copying in resin. The illustration above is of an original jack from a Dolmetsch spinet (left) and one of his replicas (right). He has very kindly agreed to offer help to others in this situation. A guide-price would be about £10 per jack, which compares favourably with modern mass-produced jacks. Please not that this does not include the guide-pins often fitted to these jacks. If this offer would be of help to you, please email me at the address above, and I will put you in touch.
Cesar Hernandez trained with Lucy Coad, and is now available for specialist square piano removals and tuning. He is based in Tunbridge Wells, near to London, and could be available for on-site adjustments and repairs in the area.
He is seen here tuning instruments at the Richard Burnett Heritage Collection in readiness for a concert.
or 07463 325335
Tim Smithells has started his new workshop near Wincanton in Somerset, specialising in the restoration of square pianos. Tim was the steward at Finchcocks Museum from 1998 and worked for John Broadwood & Sons for ten years until they relocated to Whitby. He is joined by his stepdaughter Freya, who is a professional musician with a Masters Degree in music. She is a teacher and performer, and she has demonstrated the instruments at Finchcocks on several occasions. They can be contacted by phone, 01747 841351, or email,
Olaf van Hees is a specialist in restoring square pianos, especially Dutch square pianos, and based in The Hague, The Netherlands. He can be reached by email
or by phone ( 0031 70 345 25 10 or 0031 6 54 75 70 52 )
Olaf also now has a Facebook Page, with more about his collection
Lucy Coad www.squarepiano.co.uk
Lucy also operates an on-line shop for items that we frequently need.
John Broadwood & Sons Limited - the longest-established of all the piano-makers - is still active, and happy to undertake restorations of Square Pianos. Especially Broadwoods, of course, but other makes will also receive sympathetic treatment. No email or website, but please write to Dr Alastair Laurence, John Broadwood & Sons Ltd, Lythe, Whitby, North Yorkshire YO21 3RT, or telephone 07770 772233
Andy Durand www.musicroomworkshop.co.uk
Anne Acker www.annesharpsichords.com is a well-known restorer of pianos from the late eighteenth- and early nineteenth centuries. She is also a harpsichord maker, a player, and a lecturer.