The Auction Page

Please remember that, as with 'Pianos for Sale', I have not usually seen these instruments, and any comments I make may be based entirely on information supplied by the auctioneers, or what we can see from the pictures.

Freudenthaler c. 1812

at Mallam's, Abingdon  25 March

Ten instruments by this firm are recorded in Clinkscale, six of them in museums in France.  This elegant example was Lot 77 in Mallam's auction on Monday, 25 March.

The firm occupied the Rue Mont Martre address from 1811.

The interior condition appears to be good.

The soundboard is signed.

The main element of the gilded decoration is this figure of an angel composing music on the fall-board, visible when the case is closed.  


The estimate for this elegant piano was £300 - £600; it sold to an internet bidder for just £350 - sounds a bit disappointing to me (except to the buyer, of course...


All images by, and by courtesy of, Mallam's Auctioneers

Harpsichord by William Watson c. 1981

at Ramsay Cornish (Edinburgh) 2 March

Perhaps a somewhat conservative compass (GG/C - d3) for the beautiful coromandel keyboard, but this is the finest marquetry I've seen on a modern harpsichord.

The auctioneer does not go into detail, but the strings appear to be in groups of three, so presumably  8' + 8' + 4', and the width of the jackrail agrees with this.

Estimate just £300 - £500.  Sold for £600 hammer price.


Our Friend Arno Proeme has been to see this one, and has very kindly given us a link to his pictures and a sound-clip  HERE 


Images by and by courtesy of Ramsay Cornish Auctioneers

A Beautiful 1807 Broadwood at Hawley's, Beverley, February 23 -24

Sold for £600

Lot 924 at Hawley's auction on February 23 - 24 will be this beautiful 1807 Broadwood, one of the very last to feature my favourite brass underdampers.  By this date, the new design with Geib escapement action and Southwell overhead dampers (both origianally licensed to Longman & Broderip) and six turned legs was being introduced.  

The inscription with the date 1807 is clear, and it's good to see the original hinges and lock.

Strings, wrestpins, hitchpins, bridge, and soundboard look good. The serial number 10119 agrees with the date of 1807. One of the hammers seems to have been re-covered, but the rest look original to me.

The image above clearly shows the difference between the original softly-coloured red cloth under the hitchpins and the garish red of the the listing-cloth - typical of so many modern dyes.  A good opportunty to remind ourselves that the authentic cloth developed by Graham Walker is now avaialble from Lucy Coad.  

This one comes with a useful tuning-hammer, hiding in the little cubby-hole to the left of the keyboard.


The estimate for this lovely piano is £300 - £500.  A set of new strings, which this one does not need, would cost considerably more than that!


Sold for £600 hammer price.


All images by, and by courtesy of, Hawley's Auctioneers, Beverley.

Early Keyboard Instruments at Piano  Auctions Ltd, 12 December

After a gap when there have been no 'Early' keyboard instruments at Piano Auctions specialist sales, it's good to report that there are eight 'items of interest' in the sale on December 12th.


More details and pictures will be posted as they become available - specifically from December 7th, when the instruments will be displayed in the Auction Room in Watford.

Lot 32 - Morley harpsichord  8' + 4', Estimate £600 - £800.


Sold for £580 hammer-price


Click on image for more pictures.

Lot 42 - Robert Goble & Son 1978 Two-manual 8' +8' + 4' , Estimate £1,000 - £1,5o0.


Sold for £2,400 hammer-price


Click on image for more pictures.

A rather splendid Broadwood Grand, 1808.  Estimate £4,000 - £6,000


Sold for £9,200 hammer-price


Click on image for more pictures.

Lot 59 - Something a bit different - any Sugar Plum Fairies watching?  A celeste by the inventor if these charming instuments,  Auguste Mustel.  Would also suit inhabitants of a famous aquarium.  Estimate £3,000 - £5,00o.


Sold for£3,000 hammer-price


Click on image for more pictures.

Lot 66 - Yes, there is a square piano - a fine late Broadwood, keyboard to top G - estimate £300 - £500.


Sold for £100 hammer-price


Click on image for more pictures.

Lot 104 An 'Alan Savage' spinet, 1977.  Could this have  been from a kit?

Estimate £400 - £600.


Sold for £200 hammer-price.



Lot 112 - A  very interesting chamber organ by 'Hendrik K ten Bruggencate Oxford' (copy)  £3,000 - £5,000.


Not sold


Click on image for more pictures.

Lot 113 Late 19th-century reed organ 'H Christophe et Etienne' Estimate £300 - £500.


Not Sold


Click on image for more pictures.


All images by, and by courtesy of, Piano Auctions Ltd

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© David Hackett