A website for the Early Piano

Welcome to this informative website about early English pianos that gives findings from independent research.  There are interesting articles about early piano makers, their pianos and useful advice.

You can also purchase authentic early keyboard materials from the store not only for early pianos but for other early keyboard instruments such as harpsichords, spinets and clavichords.  These materials are commissioned by us and are not available from other suppliers.    

Early pianos are offered for sale from private clients.  

We hope that you enjoy your visit to this website.

2 July 2019 –   A New green “Early Keyboard Cloth”

We always aim to produce the most authentic cloths possible of the highest quality and improvements  have been made already to the damper cloth that now has a much higher weave count making it easier to cut into the very small pieces required for square pianos.

The green Early Keyboard Cloth is seen as the most appropriate for early keyboard instruments but it is being replaced.   We have worked closely with our cloth manufacturer to produce a new cloth that is even more authentic in the type of wool yarn it uses, the weave and weave count, and most importantly, the finishing process that gives it a felted finish.  One of the considerations in producing the new cloth has been to make it as acid-free as possible in meeting the requirements of museum conservators.  It is not a production line cloth but one that has been specifically designed and made for the purpose.

The new cloth should be available in August 2019.  It has been more costly to produce and therefore it will be a little more expensive to purchase than the present cloth, but the advantages are worth the extra cost.

Our stock of the present cloth is currently low and unfortunately, we are not able to meet orders for larger quantities until the new cloth arrives.  The present cloth remains available for single instruments or as part of single instrument sets.  More information about the new cloth will be given when available.

3 July 2019 – A new book about Zumpe and his pianoforte

2019_05_09 Presentacio llibre Zumpe 02

The presentation of the book at the Museu de la Música de Barcelona, Spain.

Until now, no book had ever been written exclusively about Zumpe and his pianoforte. So, this is the first publication devoted solely to this maker and his formidable instruments. It was sparked by the Barcelona Music Museum’s restoration project for the 1776 Zumpe & Buntebart pianoforte after a lengthy process of research and study carried out by the German restorer Kerstin Schwarz.   Read more information about this book

Find your early keyboard materials in our Store

We have a range of authentic cloths including keyboard action cloth, hitch-pin worsted weave bearing cloth (Broadwood square piano type) and damper cloth suitable for pianos and other early keyboard instruments.     More information can be found on the Keyboard Materials  page or  visit our shop to find the full range.  Leather and silk may also be available but these materials are not offered through our online shop at present.

Directory of Piano Makers and Merchants in London 1760-1800

A directory of Makers and Merchants  making or selling pianos in London before 1800 together with some new biographical information. 

Gallery of English Square and Grand Pianos

Some interesting examples of early pianos from private collections are shown in our Gallery together with comment about these instruments and their makers.

Articles on Early English Pianos and their Makers

Here you will find short articles on early English pianos, their makers and related subjects including new information taken from independent research.

If you have an early piano that you wish to know more about, we are happy to provide advice about the maker, age and value of your instrument. If you are considering restoring an early piano, we do not undertake private commissions but there are excellent restorers who may be able to do this for you.  A list of  professional restorers in the UK who undertake this work for private and commercial clients is given.  Alternatively, you may have an early piano that you wish to sell.  We can provide advice and you are welcome to offer your instrument for sale on this website for which there is not a charge.

We would be pleased to hear from you.  Please get in touch with Graham or use the Contact Form on this website.

The logo image used on this website is: “Miss Harriett and Miss Elizabeth Binney” by John Smart painted in 1806.  This watercolour shows the Binney sisters by an early 19th century grand piano.  This image is used under licence from V&A Collections.

This website is maintained by Graham Walker, Dorset UK.