Broadwood 1797                    at Great Western Auctions, Glasgow

This good example of a 1797 Broadwood, N° 3772, was Lot 2007 in the Glasgow saleroom of Great Western Auctions on June 14.

Most Broadwoods by this date had the name on an inlaid cartouche, but this one retains the style that I prefer, of elegant calligraphy directly on the sycamore.  We note 'John Broadwood and Son'  -  James Shudi Broadwood, son of John and Barbara (née Shudi) who had been made partner in 1793.  

This one does now deserve  some refreshment, but as far as we can see it is complete, including a full set of those beautiful brass under-dampers.  The ivories are good.  The wrestpins and strings appear to be original, and there is no sign of any unfortunate 'intervention'.  The mahogany lid for the useful little box in the front left corner seems to be missing, but easily replaceable.  There is a little piece of wood behind the wrestpins just by the serial, but I'm pretty sure this is the support block for the shade, detached from the back left-hand corner. 

The bridge and soundboard are exceptionally good, and all of the hitchpins (sometimes a vulnerable point) are intact.  The shade - (often mis-called a dust cover - 'shade' is what Broadwoods called them) - is missing as usual, but the little brass pin which supported it at the right hand end is still there, visible extreme right, about half-way between the lid prop and the bass end of the hitchpin row.  It is well worth making a replacement shade - I can supply a pattern. 

I was going to say that the back-right corner fret is missing, but on checking other Broadwoods from the time the corner-triangle was vacant (about 1795) until 1788, I see that all have either a filling of plain cloth, or evidence of that.  So the remnants of green material (silk?) that we see are probably original.  Any thoughts? 

We are sometimes nervous about twisting and front-right corner separation, but eary five-octave Broadwoods are less affected than most by these problems, and the above square-on image is reassuring.


Against an estimate of  £200 - £300, the hammer fell at £850 - a fair price in my opinion.


Images by, and by courtesy of, Great Western Auctions, Glasgow

Print | Sitemap
© David Hackett