Longman, Lukey, & Broderip c. 1775

James Longman founded his business as a music publisher and seller of musical instruments c. 1767, just a year of so after Johannes Zumpe launched the square piano in London.  In 1769 he took a certain Mr Lukey into the partnership, known thereafter as Longman, Lukey & Co.  The firm did not make musical instruments, rather taking them in from specialist makers, and selling them under their own name.  About five pianos are known carrying the names of Longman & Lukey.

Then in 1775, Francis Fane Broderip joined the partnership, but by 1776 Lukey had gone.  So for just this one year of 1775, the pianos bore the names of Longman, Lukey and Broderip.  This instrument is the only recorded survivor.  

Sadly, these images are of low resolution, but they are all we have.  The above picture shows a later undercarriage, probably added during the nineteenth century, but the seller included some trestle parts in the sale.  We also see above that there is some damage to the left of the keyboard.  

The compass is GG - f3, typical for a very early piano.  Note the good condition of the ivories.  Three handstops, for divided damper-lift and buff.  Most, probably all, of the hammers are there.

As far as we can see, the soundboard, bridge, and wrestpins are OK, and the damper-assembly is missing.  This is clearly a challenging, but very worthwhile restoration project, which will lead to a lovely little piano, possibly the only survivor from this short period in the history of a famous firm.  SOLD


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© David Hackett