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.

20th March 2019 – A late Collard & Collard square grand piano c1850 offered for sale in Norfolk Read advert

A new damper cloth  Our aim is to manufacture early keyboard cloths as close as possible in quality and appearance to those found in late 18th and early 19th century pianos.  The present cloths are well-received and are considered the most appropriate available for both period and modern copy instruments but where improvements can be made, these are adopted.

We are pleased to announce that a new damper cloth is available replacing the existing cloth.  It uses a much finer wool yarn and is weaved with a very high thread count.  This will make it easier to cut into the very small pieces used on early 19th century square pianos but it is equally suitable to be used for dampers on fortepianos and later square pianos.  It can also be used as a listing cloth to damp the non-speaking parts of the strings.

Damper with new cloth

An early 19th century square piano damper with the new cloth

Do you own a Christopher Ganer square Piano?   Many square pianos made by Christopher Ganer between 1775 and 1808 have survived but very little is known about his life and work.  Research is being undertaken to find out more about him and give a greater insight into the design and production of his instruments. If you have a Christopher Ganer square piano you may be able to help. Read article

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.

An example of an excellent performance on an early square piano of 1777 by Zumpe and Buntebart played by Dr Pablo Gómez Ábalos a fortepianist, freelance scholar, and collaborator of the Museu de la Música in Barcelona (Spain). 

Pablo is currently preparing a book on Zumpe and the antecedents focusing on pantalons in England and Germany. He brings new light to the development of Zumpe’s instrument.

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.